Fix Mac Mouse Acceleration and Scrolling Speed

It has been talked about all over the internet in many blog posts and articles from popular websites. Apple computers have been using weird mouse acceleration algorithms for a while now. Snow leopard Macs have a mouse acceleration formula that drives windows and linux users crazy. Most people suggest free and pay programs that try and modify apples acceleration scheme to mimic windows. However non of the programs will make you feel like your using a pc on linux machine. This is because non of them are effectively overwriting the apple algorithm.

The solution is to not fight the algorithm but use it against itself. Here is how your going to fix your mouse scrolling to a point where you actually feel in control of your computer. First off, figure out what mouse you have. You need to know if its Microsoft, Logitech, Saitek, etc…. Then download their drivers from their website for your operating system whether its Leopard, Snow Leopard, 32bit, or 64bit. Then install the drivers and reboot.

Now open up to system property windows. Navigate one to the default Apple mouse tracking speed page, and the other one to the mouse’s proprietary setting page (like Microsoft, Logitech, etc..). The trick is to scale back Apples acceleration curve usually to the third from last tick mark. This effectively smooths out the acceleration curve to something your used to in windows. At this point your left with a mouse that moves to slow. Now you will go to the mouse’s proprietary settings page and move up the tracking speed to a point where its fast enough for you. Voila! Now you have a mouse that wont drive you crazy! I am currently using a Logitech mouse and here is a screenshot of my setting (Snow Leopard on a MacBookPro with intel).

mousesettingscrop

So basically the trick is you have to use Apple’s settings to smooth out the acceleration curve to something suitable for windows and linux users. Now go enjoy using a mouse again on a Mac!

  • http://www.qwerty-design.co.uk/ Richard Dale

    I think you could be right mate. So far it does feel better, it just feels free if you know what I mean.

  • richarddale

    I think you could be right here mate, so far it does feel nice.

    Great article cheers!!

  • violetnataly

    Thanks for a nice explanation. A mouse is such a simple device but it has also its secrets. I like Apple a lot. I've seen a documentary about the development of this company (I found it at rapidshare SE http://rapidpedia.com )and since that time I usually buy Apple products. I can be sure in their quality.

  • http://benjamingettinger.wordpress.com Benny

    I love you. I've been looking for years trying to get this right. I used iMouseFix, Steermouse, and a couple freebies but none of them quite did the trick. Steermouse came close, but was making my cursor jump around ever so subtly and was driving me nuts, plus it would quit after a short amount of time, and I'd have to reconnect it. This is just perfect – it feels just right, very smooth and no poorly-written 3rd party crap. BEAUTIFUL.

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  • rainerflame

    different people have different touch.. at my mac i have to recalibrate to my setting because at my family everyone have different setting..

  • http://professional-suggestion.com/ Uninstall Program

    This will be great if it will work. Thanks for sharing it.

  • kirk

    How about the other way around? The Mac acceleration routine feels more natural to me. I hate the windows acceleration routines. Is there a way to make my Windows machines feel more like the Mac? I use Synergy with one mouse/keyboard to operate both my machines.

  • Richard

    The other way round? never heard anyone say that they want a Windows mouse to feel like a Mac?

    Have you tried smearing your desk in treacle?

  • Hellrage

    God bless you! Thank you, man, I just downloaded drivers for my Microsoft Intelli Mouse and now have an ability to use back/forward button in finder and acceleration.

  • http://www.americanrecordablemedia.com/ DVD Duplicator

    What is the advantage of this mouse from an ordinary mouse?

  • Garrett

    WHOOP! Class of '08 here. :)

  • Aaron

    This won’t work if you’re using an Apple mouse such as Magic Mouse. For that I use Magic Driver (http://plentycom.jp/en/magicdriver/index.html) which gives me adjustment for tracking speed and sensitivity, the only thing I’ve found that works. If you like Magic Driver write to the developers because they are seriously considering stopping development and letting the current beta expire in April!

  • ahha

    Good advice. Setting Apple tracking speed in the middle, and then Microsoft Mouse IntelliPoint pointer speed to fastest works smoothly across 2 monitors. No more herky jerky movements :)

  • michael2008zh

    I think you”re the man… thanks a lot!

  • guest

     Thanks a lot, man! I’ve just got my first mac and have been really satisfied so far, EXEPT with this little mouse thing! Now everything runs smoothly. Thanks again, really appreciate you sharing your hints!

  • guest

     Thanks a lot, man! I’ve just got my first mac and have been really satisfied so far, EXEPT with this little mouse thing! Now everything runs smoothly. Thanks again, really appreciate you sharing your hints!

  • Mike

    I’m not about to get into an argument as to whether Mac or Windows mice feel better, but personally as a motion graphics and 3D artist, I need precision… On windows I never, ever miss the mark… I can select 1px vertices instinctively… On Mac, I’ve been using a Wacom tablet for the last 2 years as I could never get used to the Mac mouse settings, no matter what I tried… I’m going to give this a go when I get home and fingers crossed it works :)

  • JoeUser

    Thanks!  Works great.  Minor tweaks needed to the directions for “Snow Leopard”, but not too hard to figure out.

    Another annoyance with “Snow Leopard” is the inverted action of the mouse scroll wheel. I found a program (by MacUpdate) to reverse the action, so that’s fixed.  But I wish this setting was directly controllable with “System Preferences” Mouse settings.

    Seems as strange as the “command” key being used instead of the “control” key, or why the “delete” key doesn’t work like a PC (or at least where is the function of the PC key “delete”?)  I dunno, seems like we users are caught in some mega corporate battle between self-styled Titans.

  • SG

    Thanks so much for this. I have been pulling my hair out trying various apps/terminal commands — when your solution is so simple and works better than any of them. Legend.

  • http://L337Tech.com KC – L337Tech

    Thanks….this method was created out of necessity when I bought my first mac.  The mac scrolling drove me crazy.  Thank goodness it’s fixed.

  • Max

    L337… YOU ARE THE MAN!!

    After using SL for almost a year (having tried several solutions… also broken 2 mice from getting crazy!) I started searching the net for a final solution.
    After searching and searching I fell upon you (god bless you!). The funny thing is that if you think about it it sounds logical. What more natural than downloading the drivers for the mouse?  but it seems that all of us were searching for a solution within the Operating System. After all OSX shouldn’t have this problem…
    Downloading the drivers for my MS optical mouse saved my life! Thanks again man! You ROCK!

  • Art D

    Wow Thank you very much!!! had had this problem with the mouse for years, it really works for me thanks

  • Isaacctk

    Greatest solution that I’ve found so far! I have an apple mouse and only annoyed while gaming. I could set the system pref like yours, and increase tracking speed in game