How to Disable MultiTouch on Magic Mouse for Mac

Aug 17, 2017 - 11 Comments

Disable Multitouch on Magic Mouse

The Mac Magic Mouse with multi-touch is fantastic for many users, allowing you to swipe and scroll around through documents by touch alone, but some people may find that they accidentally trigger touch gestures or other scrolling behavior they don’t want. This happens more often than you might think, particularly for people who have come to the Mac from a platform without multitouch. Thus, some users may just want a Magic Mouse to work like a generic mouse, without any multitouch scrolling behavior, instead just moving the cursor on screen without any touch responsive multitouch gestures being activated.

While you can toggle some Magic Mouse settings and gestures off and on within the “Mouse” System Preferences, if you want to go further and turn off multitouch you’ll need to turn to the command line of Mac OS. With Terminal, you can disable multi-touch on the Magic Mouse, this will stop momentum scrolling, stop all horizontal scrolling, and stop all vertical scrolling capabilities too. Yes, that means the two-finger scroll in all directions.

This tutorial will show you who to disable multitouch on Magic Mouse, and also how to re-enable multitouch on a Magic Mouse again if you change your mind and want the scrolling abilities back again.

How to Turn Off Multitouch on a Mac Magic Mouse

Note this will prevent all multitouch scrolling capabilities from working on the Magic Mouse and from being activated at all, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Only issue these commands if you want no scrolling capabilities or multitouch capabilities on the Magic Mouse at all.

  1. Open the Terminal and enter the following commands into the terminal:
  2. defaults write MouseMomentumScroll -bool NO;

    defaults write MouseHorizontalScroll -bool NO;

    defaults write MouseVerticalScroll -bool NO;

    defaults write MouseMomentumScroll -bool NO;

    defaults write MouseHorizontalScroll -bool NO;

    defaults write MouseVerticalScroll -bool NO;

  3. Hit Return to execute the commands, each command must run separately for changes to take effect
  4. When finished running all six commands, reboot the Mac by going to the  Apple menu and choosing “Restart”

When the Mac boots back up, the Magic Mouse multitouch scrolling capabilities will be disabled and instead the mouse will behave more like a typical mouse without any multitouch.

Remember, other multitouch and Magic Mouse options are available to adjust within the  Apple menu > System Preferences > Mouse control panel, and if you use a trackpad you can find similar capabilities in the Trackpad system preference panel too. This includes the ability to make adjustments to things like tap to click, a literal right-click, the many multi-touch gestures, three finger drag, and much more. While the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (and laptop trackpad) are different devices, many share the same gestures and features.

If you have any difficulty getting the commands to work with copy and paste, run them each independently, putting one by one each on their own command line, hitting return, and then issuing the next command.

How to Re-Enable Multitouch on Magic Mouse for Mac

Return to the Terminal app (found in /Applications/Utilities/) and enter the following commands, you will notice the only command difference is the “NO” boolean in the defaults string has been changed to YES:

defaults write MouseMomentumScroll -bool YES;

defaults write MouseHorizontalScroll -bool YES;

defaults write MouseVerticalScroll -bool YES;

defaults write MouseMomentumScroll -bool YES;

defaults write MouseHorizontalScroll -bool YES;

defaults write MouseVerticalScroll -bool YES;

Again execute each command and reboot the Mac to regain multitouch capabilities.

Separately, if you happened to have toggled on/off any other settings for Magic Mouse in the Mouse preference panel, don’t forget to go back to the  Apple Menu > System Preferences > Mouse section of your settings and adjust them again as well.

Another option is to use a third party app like BetterTouchTool or MagicPrefs, which allows you to disable and enable specific gestures and Magic Mouse abilities through a little control panel like Mac app too.

Have any other tips or insights for adjusting multitouch or a Magic Mouse to better work for you? Share with us in the comments below!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Command Line, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Ian Bell says:

    This is dead-right.

    In the end I had to go back to the old A1152 wired mouse to get what I wanted.

    There must (?) be a way of reducing sensitivity or delaying response/s and not switching them off – do Apple not follow up these comments?

  2. Don says:

    Thanks for your information on this issue! However, I DID try this, and the only issue is that it doesn’t allow ANY scrolling – only arrows will do that. TRIED to omit the vertical scrolling disable commands, but it would NOT just disable the horizontal which is my desire. I DO use the vertical scrolling a LOT. The nuissance is in the Mail App and Google Calendar … seemingly random horizontal scrolling when my finger is within a MILE of the mouse!
    IS it possible to JUST disable the horizontal? As I said, tried omitting those commands, but did not change anything until I entered ALL the commands you provided and restarted.

  3. Dug Wolfe says:

    I want to keep the scroll but the damn mouse is so sensitive I keep finding the bloody cursor where I don’t want it. What the hell is that all about? You can’t edit text like that. I’m a lyricist and writer of novels. I paid 80 quid for this damn thing. I would expect better. More monopolising by Apple for shit that does TOO much and is yet hopeless. FIX IT.

  4. Jerry Engelbach says:

    The Terminal command line to disable horizontal scrolling does not work in Mojave.

  5. Manfred says:

    Why buy a $10 mouse, when you paid $50 for the stupid mouse as part of your package?
    Apple needs to provide a professional control panel with a disable function. Apple do no longer care about customer needs – they simply lost touch and act arrogant.

  6. arnold says:

    I really like my magic mouse, but what keeps me from using it is that it doesn’t work correctly in adobe apps, like lightroom and photoshop, which I use all the time. They seem to have some mouse “helper” tools built in, making the thing way too responsive in some situations. I’ve tried all the regular fixes, but this is common problem according to their forums, and no-one has a good fix yet. As far as I know at least.

  7. Phred says:

    I can disable and enable features alacart. That is handy.

  8. no way says:

    If you don’t want the features of a Magic Mouse get a $10 USB or BT mouse then.

  9. Al says:

    That’s what I finally ended up doing, but thanks Shirley :)

  10. Shirley says:

    Why not just uncheck them in System Preferences > Mouse?

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