How to Change the Mouse Sensitivity

By Andy Warycka

In the course of working on your computer you may find it helpful to make your mouse more sensitive for making large, fast movements across the screen or less sensitive for precise pointer placement. It only takes a minute to adjust the pointer sensitivity in both Windows and OS X, so you can quickly change this setting on the fly depending on what task you need to accomplish.

Windows 8

Step 1

Point to the upper-right hand corner of your screen with the cursor until the menu opens, move the mouse pointer down, and click the Search icon -- the one shaped like a magnifying glass.

Step 2

Type “mouse” in the search box, then click on “Change the mouse pointer display or speed.”

Step 3

Move the slider under “Motion” to the left to make the pointer move more slowly, or to the right to make it move more quickly.

Step 4

Click the "Apply" button followed by the "OK" button when you are happy with your mouse sensitivity.

Windows 7

Step 1

Click the Start button, then click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Type “mouse” in the search box, then click “Change the mouse pointer display or speed.”

Step 3

Move the slider under “Motion” to the left to make the pointer move more slowly, or to the right to make it move more quickly.

Step 4

Click the "Apply" button and then the "OK" button when you are happy with your mouse sensitivity.

Mac OS X

Step 1

Click the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen, then click "System Preferences."

Step 2

Click the "Mouse" icon in the System Preferences panel. If it does not appear, click "Show All" at the top of the panel.

Step 3

Adjust the Tracking slider to the left for a slower moving pointer, or to the right for a faster moving pointer.

Step 4

Close the System Preferences panel when you are happy with the sensitivity. Changes are saved automatically.

Tips & Warnings

  • With cordless mice, pointing accuracy and speed may be adversely affected as batteries begin to fail. If you begin to notice erratic mouse performance, charge or replace the batteries before attempting other troubleshooting.
  • Since cordless mice typically operate on the same frequency as Wi-Fi signals, it's possible that those signals can interfere with your pointing device. If this occurs, try moving your router or wireless antenna, switching to a different channel on your router, or using a corded mouse on the affected computer.
  • Some higher end mice may offer the ability to change the sensitivity of the mouse by pressing a button or adjusting a switch on the mouse itself. Consult the device’s user manual for more information if you have one of these pointing devices.