How to Turn off Mouse Acceleration on Mac

Disable it via Terminal or turn it down in System Preferences

What to Know

  • To disable, enter defaults write .GlobalPreferences -1 in Terminal.
  • To reduce, go to System Preferences > Mouse and reduce the tracking and scrolling speed.
  • Disabling mouse acceleration is useful if you need to be more accurate with the mouse pointer.

This article teaches you how to turn off mouse acceleration on a Mac. It looks at two methods to do so, as well as highlights why you may need to switch off mouse acceleration. 

How to Turn Mouse Acceleration off on Mac

To turn mouse acceleration off entirely on Mac, you'll need to change a command within Mac's Terminal. Here's how to turn mouse acceleration off on Mac.

This method requires the confidence to use Terminal. It's a good idea to back up your Mac before doing so.

  1. Open Terminal from your Applications > Utilities folder. You can also find it using Spotlight or Launchpad.

  2. Type defaults write .GlobalPreferences -1 into the Terminal window.

    Mac Terminal with a command highlighted.

    Change the number to anything between 0 and 3 to turn mouse acceleration back on. You can also enter the command without a number to confirm whether mouse acceleration is activated.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. Mouse acceleration has now been switched off until the next time you restart your computer.

How to Reduce Mouse Acceleration on Mac

If you don't feel comfortable using Terminal, or you would prefer to adjust and reduce mouse acceleration, there's a different method. This way uses System Preferences, which is more user-friendly. Here's how to reduce mouse acceleration.

  1. Click the Apple icon on the menu bar.

    Mac Desktop with the Apple icon highlighted.
  2. Click System Preferences.

    Mac Desktop with System Preferences highlighted.
  3. Click Mouse.

    Mac System Preferences with Mouse highlighted.

    If you don't see your mouse, you may need to re-pair it with your Mac or plug it back in.

  4. Adjust the tracking speed to something that feels more comfortable for your needs.

    Mac Mouse options with Tracking Speed highlighted.
  5. Adjust the scrolling speed for similar effect when scrolling.

Why Would I Want to Turn off Mouse Acceleration?

Mouse acceleration makes your pointer move faster, but not everyone wants that. Here's why it can be helpful to disable the feature. 

  • To be more precise when drawing. If you sketch designs out on your Mac, mouse acceleration can make it hard to be accurate. Nothing will compare to a stylus, but lowering or disabling mouse acceleration can help.
  • To improve your gaming performance. If you play games like Fortnite on Mac, you'll know how important it is to be accurate with your shooting. Tweaking mouse acceleration can be useful if you don't feel comfortable with the default settings. 
  • To be more comfortable. We're all used to different keyboards and mice. If you've just switched to a Mac, you may feel more in control once you've adjusted the mouse acceleration settings.
  • To have more control. Disabling mouse acceleration means that the mouse pointer moves the same distance as the mouse on your mousepad, which can feel more logical to some people.
  • How do you right-click on a Mac mouse?

    You can right-click on a Mac Magic Mouse or trackpad in two different ways. The easiest is to click with two fingers, but you can also hold Control while you click for the same effect. If the first method doesn't work, go to System Preferences > Trackpad > Point & Click and turn on Secondary Click.

  • How do I connect a mouse to a Mac?

    You can use either a wired or wireless mouse with your Mac. For a wired mouse, plug it in to a USB port on the computer. For a wireless, put it into pairing mode, and then go to System Preferences > Mouse and select it when your Mac detects it.

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