How to slow down the mouse in Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to adjust the mouse speed in Mac OS X. Many people have difficulty using a mouse because of the speed the pointer travels on the screen when the mouse is moved. This speed can easily be reduced to make the mouse more manageable.

Note: The following abbreviations for keys on the Mac are used: Ctrl is used for the Control key, Apple is used for the Command key, and Alt is used for the Option key. For keyboard access, make sure 'Full keyboard access' is turned on - you can turn it on or off by pressing Ctrl + F1 at any time.

Slow down the speed of the mouse pointer

Step 1: Open the 'Keyboard & Mouse' window

Make sure you are in 'Finder'. If necessary, press Apple + Tab to cycle through the open applications until you return to 'Finder'.

Click on the 'Apple' icon on the menu bar or press Ctrl + F2.

Click on 'System Preferences', as shown in Fig 1, or press the down arrow key to highlight it and then press Enter.

Fig 1'Apple' drop-down menu

In the 'System Preferences' window (shown in Fig 2), click on the 'Keyboard & Mouse' icon, or press Tab repeatedly (you might need to press Ctrl + F7 first) to cycle through the icons until the 'Keyboard & Mouse' icon is highlighted and then press the Spacebar.

Fig 2'System Preferences' window

Step 2: Adjust the mouse pointer's speed

In the 'Keyboard & Mouse' window (shown in Fig 3), make sure the 'Mouse' tab is selected. If it is not, click on it, or press Ctrl + F7 to highlight one of the tabs and then press the left or right arrow key to select it. (Note: This window may display more options than those shown here, depending on the type of mouse you are using.)

Fig 3'Keyboard & Mouse' window showing 'Tracking Speed' slider

Under the 'Tracking Speed' header, click on the slider and drag it to the speed you want, or press Tab until the slider is highlighted and then use the left and right arrow keys to set the speed.

The mouse pointer speed changes straight away, so you can try different speed settings until you are happy with your choice.

When you are finished, click on the window's red close button or press Apple + W.

Back to How to guides - I find a keyboard or mouse hard to use

More ways to: Make your mouse easier to use

Make your mouse left-handed

Swap the left and right buttons on your mouse

Slow down your mouse's double-click speed

Change how fast you need to double-click the mouse

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.