How to Change Mouse & Trackpad Speed on Mac

Apr 21, 2019 - 1 Comment

How to change the tracking speed on Mac of Trackpad or Mouse

Want to change the tracking speed of the cursor on a Mac? Maybe you want your mouse to move around on the screen faster? Perhaps you want the Mac trackpad to move the cursor slower?

You can manually change the tracking speed of either a mouse or trackpad connected to a Mac, and you can even have different tracking speeds for a mouse as you do for a trackpad, a handy trick for users who have both input methods in use on their Mac.

How to Change Tracking Speed of Mouse / Trackpad Cursor on Mac

  1. Go to the  Apple menu in the upper left corner of the display
  2. Choose “System Preferences”
  3. Select “Trackpad” or “Mouse”, depending on which you have or want to adjust the cursor tracking speed for
    • For changing Trackpad tracking speed: Under the “Point & Click” section, look for “Tracking speed” and adjust the slider on the scale from “Slow” to “Fast” as preferred, the tracking speed changes immediately so you can test the change right away
    • How to change the Trackpad tracking speed on Mac

    • For changing Mouse tracking speed: Adjust the “Tracking speed” slider on the scale from “Slow” to “Fast” as desired
    • How to change the mouse tracking speed on Mac

  4. Close out of System Preferences when finished

What tracking speed you use is almost entirely a matter of personal preference. Some users really like a fast tracking speed, while others prefer a slow speed. You should try out different settings and see which works best for you. Often you’ll find somewhere in the middle of the tracking speed slider options offers a good compromise.

Remember you can change the tracking speed of the cursor for input devices independently from one another. For example, you could have the internal trackpad of a MacBook Pro set to fast tracking speed, but any connected mouse could have a slow tracking speed, or vice versa. To independently change the cursor speeds of different input devices, just connect each input device to the Mac and then go to the “Mouse” settings and then the “Trackpad” settings and adjust each as needed. (Side note; you can also independently control mouse and trackpad acceleration speeds with a third party tool, but that’s a different topic)

Note a separate preference setting exists so that you can also change the scrolling speed of a mouse or trackpad on the Mac, which applies to either gestures for scrolling or to scroll wheels.

Some related helpful tips may be changing the size of the Mac cursor, and if you notice the cursor randomly getting big when you move the mouse or trackpad suddenly and you don’t like that, then you might want to disable Shake To Find on the Mac.

If you know of any helpful tips or trick or interesting insight pertaining to tracking speed adjustments on the Mac, or perhaps an alternate method using defaults commands or otherwise, share with us in the comments below!


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

One Comment

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  1. Botanical Bob says:

    I like a fast mouse tracking speed. One thing that the Mac does great compared to Windows is have a good mouse tracking acceleration, the speed that picks up after it starts moving the cursor, it always has felt more natural on the Mac then on PC.

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