How to Check Your Mouse's DPI

By Karen S. Garvin

A computer mouse’s hardware capabilities are measured in dots per inch (DPI). The higher the DPI, the smaller the amount you need to move the mouse in order to move your cursor across the screen. High-end gaming mice allow users to adjust their DPI setting for more accurate targeting.

Hardware Configuration

The DPI capability of a computer mouse is one of the key specs that hardware manufacturers use to rate their products. Some mice have a fixed DPI value, while others have adjustable DPI settings that allow users to customize the mouse depending on their needs. High DPI rates work well for users that have larger or high-resolution monitors, but they can make it difficult to accurately select small areas on the screen. Some mice have external buttons that allow the DPI to be selected manually. The Logitech G600, for instance, lets users adjust the DPI from 200 to 8200 from a button located behind the scroll wheel. To determine a hardware-based DPI setting, check the buttons on your mouse.

Software Configuration

Inexpensive mice typically have a fixed DPI that cannot be changed. Mice with adjustable DPI settings can either be changed through the operating system’s mouse settings or accessed through specialized software that was provided with the mouse. High-end gaming mice usually have customization software provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the product’s specs, the DPI sensitivity levels, report (polling) rate and other adjustments can be changed through the mouse software. In Windows 8, DPI settings for some mice can be accessed through the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. Check the Keyboard Center or the software that came with your product to determine your mouse’s current DPI setting.