How to Change Your Mouse Sensitivity and Other Settings
Are you struggling with sluggish scrolling or muted movement? Are the default Windows settings the cause of rodent rage? Don’t be afraid, there is an easy way to deal with dissatisfaction with the mouse!
Here is a short and informative guide to changing mouse sensitivity in Windows.
Setting up the main mouse movement
When we talk about mouse sensitivity, we mean how much the cursor moves on the monitor when you move the mouse in a certain direction. Low sensitivity means that you need to move the mouse a lot to make the cursor move.
At the other end of the scale, a tiny push of your hand can cause the pointer to fly into the corners of the monitor. You may want this to happen or something completely different, but however you want, there are two ways to change this in Windows 10 and 11.
Let’s start with the simplest method: press the Windows key and I at the same time (or click the Settings gear icon in the Start menu). From here, select “Bluetooth and Devices” in the left menu, then the “Mouse” option in the main menu.
You will be shown a fairly simple settings screen, but it just makes it easier to quickly change the sensitivity. The speed of the mouse pointer has a slider where it is in the range from 1 to 20 (from the slowest to the fastest) — the numbers will appear when you click on the slider/button.
Moving this parameter will cause an instantaneous change in sensitivity, so if you accidentally reduce the speed to the slowest, it will take you a few seconds to get it back to the right level!
It’s always better to make small changes first and then test them in different situations (for example, when browsing the web, using a productivity app) to see how it all feels.
There are also options for adjusting the sensitivity of the mouse wheel, but before you do that, let’s look at another method of changing the mouse settings.
The old Windows Control Panel, which is accessed further away from the mouse pointer speed, does the same as the Windows settings, but we find it a little more informative, and it has additional things that you can change.
Click on the “Advanced Mouse Settings” option and a new window will open called “Mouse Properties” — we will refer to this method from now on.
Select the Pointer Options tab at the top and you will see a slider for the pointer speed. Move it to the level you want to test, click the “Apply” button, after which you will use the new sensitivity.
Note that these two methods change the same settings — one overrides the other, but the second always requires you to click “Apply” or “OK” to make it work.
To strengthen or not to strengthen?
While we’re here, let’s look at the “Increase Pointer Accuracy” parameter. By activating this by clicking the field and then clicking “Apply”, you will dynamically change the sensitivity of the mouse. Thus, the faster you move the mouse, the faster the cursor will move, and vice versa.
The word “faster” is inappropriate here — it should be “acceleration”.
Therefore, if you move from slow to fast, accelerating your movement, the sensitivity will increase, and the cursor will then decrease. This can make it difficult to accurately predict where the cursor will end up.
In fact, we recommend leaving this option disabled simply because the more you get used to using a mouse with a fixed sensitivity, the easier it will be to “find out” how the cursor will react to your input.
Many computer games have the same setting (mouse acceleration), and we recommend disabling it in them as well. It’s better to just increase the overall input sensitivity than to have acceleration. While we are still on the mouse control panel, let’s check some other parameters.
Figure out your DPI
Another important mouse parameter related to cursor speed or mouse sensitivity is called DPI (dots per inch). This feature is most commonly found on gaming and enthusiast-level devices. This parameter is controlled not in Windows, but in the application that comes with your mouse. In some models, it can also be controlled at the hardware level using the buttons on the mouse itself.
In fact, DPI is the number of pixels on the screen that the cursor should move per inch of mouse movement. The higher the DPI value, the more pixels the cursor will move, and vice versa.
The G7 and G8 side buttons on this Logitech gaming mouse adjust the DPI.
Therefore, if you find that the movement is too sluggish, try increasing the DPI, and if it is too fast, decrease the value. For example, some professional gamers prefer to use a very low DPI to better control the accuracy of the sight in the FPS game.
This means that their hands have to move in a large arc across the table to move the camera, so other gamers use a much higher DPI value, so they only need to jerk their wrists slightly to get the movement they want.
There is no “best” DPI parameter, as there is no correct pointer speed parameter — it all depends on personal preferences, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Scroll, scroll, scroll mouse
Even the simplest mice usually come with a wheel located between the main buttons. Not only can it function as an additional button, but rotating the wheel back and forth will cause the contents of the window to scroll up and down.
How far it will scroll is set on the control panel — select the “Wheel” tab and you will see options for vertical and horizontal scrolling (although the latter requires appropriate hardware support).
By default, vertical scrolling is set to 3 lines for each turn of the wheel, so if you want it to be more sensitive, increase the number of lines. Or, by choosing the second option, you can make the wheel scroll entire pages. We usually like to adjust this on a high-quality precision mouse to about 9 lines per scroll.
But, as in the case of pointer sensitivity, there is no correct setting here — it all depends on what works for you.
Of course, if you have never changed any of these values over the years of using Windows, then it will be most convenient for you to use the default settings.
Some of the things we have considered (pointer sensitivity, scrolling speed) can be changed on the mouse itself — it depends only on your model.
The Logitech MX Master 3, for example, has a wheel that can be configured to scroll freely, rather than one step at a time by simply pressing a button behind the wheel. Cue instant dynamic scrolling sensitivity!
Other mice, like the Razer DeathAdder V2, have a lot of extra buttons, but their functions are fixed and you can change what they do with the manufacturer’s software.
These programs always override any settings in Windows, so if you want to have some consistency with your changes, it’s always better to use the same method: Windows Settings, the old Control Panel, or the mouse creation application.
You’ll probably want to experiment a bit with mouse sensitivity to make it fit your needs.
So try it — nothing will be damaged or stuck forever, and you may well find the optimal setting for mastering your mouse!