Make the Mouse Track Faster or Slower - dummies

By Dan Gookin

You can adjust the speed of your computer’s mouse to be faster or slower by using the Mouse Properties dialog box in Windows. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Control Panel

    In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, choose Hardware and Sound, and then choose Mouse. In Window 7, the Mouse link is found beneath the Devices and Printer heading. In Windows Vista, choose the Mouse heading.

    In Windows XP, click on the Mouse icon.

    The Mouse Properties dialog box is displayed.

  2. Click the Pointer Options tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box.

    The Pointer Options tab contains a slew of useful tools for dealing with the mouse pointer in Windows.


  3. Use the slider gizmo below Select a Pointer Speed to throttle the mouse pointer on the screen.

    Pick a setting faster or slower than where the gizmo is positioned.

  4. Click the Apply button.

  5. Practice moving the mouse pointer.

    Gauge the speed.

  6. If necessary, repeat Steps 3 through 5 until you find a speed you like.

  7. Click OK to confirm the settings.

    Close the Control Panel window.

The Enhance Pointer Precision option adds a modicum of intelligence to the mouse pointer’s speed. When you accelerate the mouse quickly, Windows moves the mouse pointer in a greater leap. When you’re moving the mouse slightly, for minute movements, Windows increases the mouse’s sensitivity to help you navigate. It’s a good feature to have active.

  • A faster speed works best for larger displays or displays with high resolution. If you find yourself “palming” the mouse to move the pointer from one side of the screen to another, increase the mouse speed.

  • Some computer mice use a custom Mouse Properties dialog box. In that case, adjusting the mouse speed may take place in a different part of the dialog box, or specific speed tools for the mouse may be available beyond the ones Windows offers.

When you find the mouse jumping around too much, consider removing the check mark by the Snap To option, officially titled Automatically Move Pointer to the Default Button in a Dialog Box. This option is found in the Mouse Properties dialog box, on the Pointer Options tab.

Do not plug in or unplug the computer keyboard or mouse to a PS/2 connector while the computer is on. Doing so may damage the computer’s motherboard. Always turn off the PC before connecting the (old-style) PS/2 keyboard or mouse. This warning doesn’t apply to a USB keyboard or a USB mouse.