How to Change Mouse Settings on Your PC

By Dan Gookin

You can change the mouse settings on your PC. In Windows, you use the Mouse Properties dialog box to control, manipulate, and tease the mouse. To visit this dialog box, heed these directions:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

    In Windows 10, press Win+X and then choose Control Panel from the super-secret menu. In Windows 7, choose Control Panel from the Start menu.

  2. Choose Hardware and Sound.

  3. Click the Mouse link, found under the Devices and Printers heading.

    Lo and behold: the Mouse Properties dialog box.

The Mouse Properties dialog box controls the mouse’s look and behavior. It may also feature custom tabs that deal with special features particular to your mouse.

The following information assumes that the Mouse Properties dialog box is open on the screen.

Make the pointer easier to find

To help you locate a wayward mouse pointer, use the Pointer Options tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box. The options in the Visibility area, near the bottom of the dialog box, can come in handy, especially on larger screens or when the display is particularly busy. Other items worthy of note include:

  • Snap To: This option jumps the mouse pointer to the main button in any dialog box that appears.

  • Display Pointer Trails: This option spawns a comet trail of mouse pointers as you move the mouse about. Jiggling or circling the mouse makes lots of visual racket, which allows you to quickly locate the mouse pointer.

  • Show Location/Ctrl Key: This option allows you to find the mouse pointer by tapping the keyboard’s Ctrl key. When you do, a radar-like circle appears, by zeroing in on the cursor’s location.

Another way to make the pointer more visible is to choose a more visible mouse pointer: Click the Pointers tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box. Use the options there to choose a different look or size for the mouse pointer.

Fix double-click

If you can’t seem to double-click, one of two things is happening: You’re moving the mouse pointer a little between clicks or the double-click rate is set too fast for human fingers to manage.

The double-click rate is set in the Mouse Properties dialog box, on the Buttons tab, in the Double-Click Speed area. Practice your double-clicking on the tiny folder icon off to the right. Use the Slow-Fast slider to adjust the double-click speed to better match your click-click timing.

Use the mouse left-handed

In Windows, you can adjust the mouse for southpaw use on the Buttons tab. Put a check mark by the box labeled Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons. That way, the main mouse button is under your left index finger.

This and all computer documentation assume that the left mouse button is the main button. Right-clicks are clicks of the right mouse button. If you tell Windows to use the left-handed mouse, these buttons are reversed. A right-click is then a left-click.

Left-handed mice are available, designed to fit your left hand better than all those biased, right-hand-oriented mice on the market.