How to Fix Three-finger Tap Lookup Function in macOS High Sierra

Many Mac owners manage to upgrade to macOS High Sierra as it is the recently released version of Apple operating system. It has a lot of advantages in contrast to the previous releases, but it has plenty of drawbacks as well. One of the pitfalls is associated with the so-called three-finger tap lookup functionality. The problem is it refuses to work after this upgrade. Even after enabling this particular feature, it may still fail.

A lot of Mac owners face this problem. Stop! Don’t you know what the function is about? Let’s discuss it first then.

What Three-Finger Tap Lookup Stands for

trackpad three finger tap

This one has been a cool trackpad shortcut in Apple’s operating systems for a while. The problems showed up since the launch of Mac OS X El Capitan.

This gesture makes it possible to tap with your fingers on the computer’s trackpad with the mouse cursor over a term to discover its meaning within seconds. How does it help? Well, a user does not need to launch another tab and search for the word manually. Thus, it saves some time and is rather convenient, especially when working with many professional or international terms.

Most probably, Apple has canceled this option due to the Force Touch inserted in the latest models of Macs. Users with outdated Apple computers can utilize the function. Also, it is possible to activate Force Touch or the three-finger tap, but not at the same time.

Experts recommend re-enabling the gestures and returning the three-finger option like with the older versions of OS X on macOS.

As far as many users find this functionality useful, they have found a way to get back this gesture in the recent operating systems.

Enabling Three-Finger Tap Lookup on macOS High Sierra

In case the three-finger tap gesture was one of the functions you admired in previous versions of the operating system, you should not panic when you find it missing in the newer operating system. Since El Capitan, users used to have problems with that. It is simple to get the function back in any OS.

Start with launching System Preferences. Pick Trackpad and choose the Point & Click menu. It is located at the top. Sometimes, it is chosen by default.

Locate a checkmark in the box near the Look up & data detectors option. This action will re-activate the dictionary look up the option for terms that a user picks with the help of gestures.

Being there, a user may search for other available trackpad gestures to add. You can benefit from a lot of them. One of the examples if the Scroll & Zoom feature. It is possible to change the direction that the page scrolls whenever the user scrolls on the trackpad. Moreover, you may activate several great options associated with the usage of two fingers only. Those are rotating, pinching, and zooming.

Check the More Gestures menu. It is full of exciting gestures. Try swiping between pages and application. Also, you may call out the Notification Center/Mission Control.

Mind that it is impossible to customize trackpad gestures and shortcuts. A great option is to apply one of the third-party solutions capable of expanding trackpad usability. Such apps also allow coming up with new gestures.

One more thing to do if the three-tap lookup stops working after the upgrade to macOS High Sierra is solving the problem with the help of Spotlight.

  1. Go to the System Preferences.
  2. Launch Spotlight.
  3. Remove the check from the box saying, “Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Look up.”

Finally, a Mac owner can always right-click on the term and choose Look up in the dictionary. It is still a fast approach.