Mac OS X annoyances: What’s up with the mouse acceleration?

I bought a MacBook a few weeks ago, and I’m generally happy with it. However, it does have its faults, and being a long-time Windows user, there are quite a few features I miss in OS X. Today’s specimen is the weird mouse handling of OS X.

OS X is a lot less keyboard-friendly than Windows XP. One example is how you can navigate in application menus in Windows – you simply press the Alt key, and focus is moved to the menu bar. All menus now have a letter underlined in their name, so you can navigate to the menu with the arrow keys or just by pressing the underlined key. After opening that menu, you can navigate inside it in the same fashion. This is not always a perfect solution, but it’s better than OS X. I have to press Ctrl + F2 to get into the menu, which is more cumbersome than just pressing Alt. Then it is possible to use keys to jump directly to menus, but there is no visual indication of this feature. (I should probably mention that using the keyboard in this fashion in OS X is not the default – it must be enabled in the System Preferences / Keyboard and Mouse settings.)

Back to today’s topic: Mouse acceleration. Since the keyboard shortcuts aren’t as efficient as I’d like them to be, I use the mouse more than I would in XP. The problem is that it handles really badly. It is a bit tough to explain, but in Windows, there’s a setting for mouse acceleration. Meaning: How fast does the cursor move when you start to move the mouse?

In Windows, the cursor is very responsive, and relatively little effort is required to move it. In comparison, the OS X cursor feels light, but sticky. And at first sight, there is nothing to do about this.

Happily, there are settings for these things in the OS X mouse driver – they are just not exposed to the user via the GUI. Through Google, I found a free application called mousefix, which attempts to adjust the settings in the mouse driver. It alleviates this problem, but unfortunately doesnt’ fix it completely.

Check it out:

My life would really be so much better if the OS X design team could copy a few features from the Windows XP design. Next time: How on earth can I right-click (bring up the contextual menu) in OS X Finder using only my keyboard?

131 Responses to “Mac OS X annoyances: What’s up with the mouse acceleration?”

  1. Daniel Reis Says:

    Hey – I agree totally with you on this post. OS X seems pretty sweet so far to me, too (this is after one day of switching – I think I’m catching on quickly). The mouse acceleration thing has me completely vexed. When I go to Windows, one of the reasons why I’m so fast moving around is because I’m VERY used to it – this I can get over with mac. However, the acceleration slows me, and in my opinion, all other mac users down, too. They don’t even realize it, usually. Sad.

    Regardless, it’s for graphical work, and there it might make sense. I’m using mine to learn PHP and stuff. I just want to forget the mouse acceleration.

    I got mousefix to work once (using version 1.1 on his site). Now I can’t seem to get it to enable itself. This is very frustrating.

  2. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for posting. I’m surprised not more people are bothered about this. Of course, there is quite a large contigent of Mac users who will always reply “Just accept it, it’s the way it is” anytime someone makes an objection to the way OS X works. That might play a part.

    It’s really strange that mousefix should stop working. You run it from Terminal, but the pointer behaviour doesn’t change?

  3. Loop Says:

    I use MouseZoom on my Mac mini running 10.4.7 and it works without problems.

  4. NC Says:

    This isn’t quite what you’re asking, but I consider the trackpad an extension of the keyboard anyway (pretty much everything but the mouse button). If you go into System Preferences–>Keyboard and Mouse–>Trackpad, you can set it up so that tapping the trackpad using two fingers will show you the right-click menu.


    P.S: I’m sure you can also use some third-party app to create a keyboard shortcut that will show you the right-click menu.

  5. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for posting, guys.

    I am aware of the double-tap to right click-feature. Along with the two-finger scroll method, it is one of the nice Mac-specific features in Tiger. I wish they’d include an option to use the right Apple button as a context menu button too, though. Can’t see any reason not to – like the double-tap feature, it could be off by default to avoid any confusion.

  6. Pete Says:

    I’m a recent Mac convert, having purchased a MacBook just 3 weeks ago. I love everything about the MacBook thus far, less two things:

    1. The biggest thing is the same mouse acceleration problem you described.
    2. The lack of single-click “HOME” and “END” buttons on the laptop keyboard; when using an external USB keyboard, the behavior still isn’t the same as other OSs (ie. start/end of line, instead of document).

    I’ll stick with #1 as not to change the topic.

    The strange mouse acceleration vexes me greatly also, and I really feel that it slows me down more than the expected “getting used to a new OS” thing. I’ve been reading up on things the past two days on this, and I believe there are two potential solutions:

    1. Use sidetrack like someone above suggested, but I tend to not like tackpads in general.
    2. Since I use a MS IntelliPoint Mouse (I know, sacriligious), I’m going to try to use MS’s own drivers and see if that takes care of it — rumor has it that it may help.

  7. Pete Says:

    Just want to let you know that by installing the MS drivers, mouse acceleration is now to the familiar MS algorithm.

  8. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for the tip. Might be worth looking for Logitech drivers for OS X, then :)

  9. Hyssy Says:

    Hey there.

    I’m in the same boat as most of you. I got my Macbook a few weeks ago, and got a Mighty Mouse today. Now I like the mouse fine enough, but this acceleration is doing my head in. Being used to just turning off the acceleration option in windows, and I just installed the mousezoom ‘fix’. But I can still feel the stickyness in the movement.

    Disappointing, as I do sound engineering with my book and having the mouse move right down s-l-o-w when I’m trying to drag and drop or adjust faders etc…

    Has this been going on long enough that we will have to accept Apple won’t do anything?

  10. Are Wold Says:

    I can’t remember to have heard anything about this in OS X Leopard, and searching the web doesn’t turn up any facts. I am crossing my fingers, though.

    After all, there are signs that Apple is introducing resolution independence in Leopard, which is another of my main OS X complaints. And compared to most new Leopard features, fixing the mouse acceleration should be fairly cheap.

  11. Hyssy Says:

    Hmm, I’ve actually gone back to using the touch pad at the moment. I just can’t put up with the sticky feeling when trying to select something.

  12. Fernando Says:

    I had the same problem. I bought a MacBook 3 month ago and almost all this time i´m using WinXP with BootCamp dualboot. I know it´s a sacriligious, but i have to work and i am a lot faster with WinXP right now.
    I hope I can use MacOS X as my main OS anytime soon.

  13. Monster Says:

    The Shortcut for the Menu line is changeble – a bit OT and a bit late but still….

  14. Joel Says:

    I’ve been using my new MacBook for about 4 days. The mouse issue is driving me nuts. I feel the deceleration is the worst part. I’m constantly stopping a few pixels short of my intended target. Here’s a potential fix: I’m using the open source app Synergy (and QuickSynergy) to share my mouse & keyboard between my XP box and OS X box. It appears to me that synergy uses the mouse settings of the “server” computer. So if you set up your XP machine to act as the synergy server, you’ll get good old XP mouse accel/tracking on your Mac.

    “QuickSynergy” for Linux/Mac with GUI:

    “Synergy” for Windows with (inferior) GUI:


  15. UncleZeiv Says:

    Oh, no. I hoped to find a solution here and I can’t believe that there are none! Anyway, since nobody mentions it, you can try USB Overdrive, which is an alternate mouse driver that exposes the acceleration setting. I disabled it entirely.

    Unfortunately, though, I am experiencing some random freeze which seems related to usb and input devices, so I’d like to try without USB Overdrive to see if it is its fault, but I just can’t work with that horrible sticky cursor!

  16. Preston Says:

    I just started using usb overdrive today and it feels great! Need to tune some stuff and have not noticed the freezes posted about above. Guess I need to give it some more time but I’m hoping this will fix the problem. Seems windows users struggle with some of the mac os control limitations.

  17. John Says:

    I have the mighty mouse and this is so painfull. I really like the Mac but this is the one BIG thig that drives me crazy. Like Joel, I have a hard time hitting the target click, always a few pixles away.

  18. Tristan Says:

    Fellow latecomers:

    The easiest solution so far is imousefix – ,

    iMousefix rocks. Download the GUI version, open it, turn it on, close it, and enjoy.

    Another good solution is to get a high resolution mouse:
    When you turn down the tracking speed in the OS, the acceleration goes down with it. It seems the jackass that programmed it set up the mouse acceleration burned the curve as something like m^1.1 or m^1.2 where m is the tracking speed. Thus, as the tracking speed goes up, the acceleration follows exponentially.

    When you use a mouse that is 1600 CPI (counts per inch), it’s at least twice the speed (maybe 4x the speed, as it seems to be when I compare the two side by side) and performs *reasonably* well (it’s not as fast as I would like, so imousefix is preferable) at an acceleration curve comparable to that of XP’s default, “none”.

    My suggestions are: use mousefix where available, or, use a high resolution mouse with the minimum tracking speed in the OS when you are in a strictly controlled networking environment with tyrannical network admins (I’m talking to you! Stop reading my post! ;) )

  19. Jes Says:

    Mouse Zoom works and is free. Has fixed the problem for my trackpad at least, haven’t tried an external mouse yet.

  20. Modern Says:

    I think Loop doesn’t understand what the problem is. Just now, I’ve tried the mouse zoom and it simply helps control the overall speed of the mouse.

    To make it clear, the problem for long time window users is that the distances the cursor move on the screen are different according to the speed of your hand that holds the mouse eventhough the distance your mouse make on the mouse pad is exatly same each time.

    You may try this…
    Move your mouse extremly slow from one end to the other end.
    And ,next, move your mouse quite quickly in a same way.


    Sorry for the poor English. I am not a native…

    P.S. I am not satisfied with those programs… steer mouse, overdrive, mousefix… yet.


  21. Redux Says:

    I acutally just got an MBP today (my first mac since apple iigs) and the first thing i tried to do was turn off the acceleration, and i threw a fit when there was no way to do it. However, after having worked with it for the day, i’m starting to get used to it. I’m hearing from others who have macbooks that you have to re-train your brain a bit, and its even easier to use than a regular touchpad.

    Even though i have 2 laptops, i’m getting used to the different feels of the two. Anyway, best of luck!

  22. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    I have to say that despite having this Macbook for almost a year now, I am still a bit annoyed by this acceleration issue, mainly because it shouldn’t be so hard to give users the option of having proper mouse acceleration settings. It gives me the feeling that Apple is like a spoiled child who refuses to see sense.

  23. Chun-Yu’s Research Blog » Blog Archive » OS X on a Mac Says:

    […] X’s default mouse acceleration feels sluggish – I am not the only one with this opinion it […]

  24. Pro User Says:

    OK seriously the mouse issue has me very annoyed to the point that I am wondering why I spent 10 grand on mac computers for work to use with CS3.

    My wrist is killing me as I have to always move the mouse across the WHOLE mouse pad to go that last 4mm to actually click the icon.

    Its so horrible I have no idea why this is even on a mac… it causes my wrist to be in pain, and I feel retarted when I use the mouse….

    Macs are not just for slow morons who say “it just works”


  25. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for posting! I’ve always heard plenty about the professionals who use the Adobe products for editing/artwork etc, and wondered how they coped with the mouse acceleration issue.

    Most likely most of them are just grown up with a Mac and used to it, I think…

    Personally, I am frustrated by this even after being a Mac user for a year. I’m continually reminded of it as I switch between Windows at work (and games) and to Mac for my spare time.

    And it’s just one of those things that should take an engineer a week to sort out and no more – after all, it works just “like it should” on Linux.

  26. Are Wold Says:

    BTW, there are more workarounds/partial fixes for this problem, such as SteerMouse, which was mentioned at Plastic Bugs even before I got annoyed back in 2006.

    But come on, Apple, fix this…

  27. A Graphic Designer Says:

    I hate OS X mouse acceleration. it’s completely retarded. Anyone who says they like it and get along fine is just deluded, like a monkey saying that it likes to be whipped every day by the ringmaster. I have tried USB Overdrive, SteerMouse, MouseZoom, and they did not solve the problem at all. Installing these tweaks and moving a slider provides a powerful placebo effect but it is not enough to demolish my certainty that my mouse pointer is still out of control.

    I just tried MouseFix and for some reason it just has no effect. either way this is something that should be part of the OS. Not just an acceleration slider, since it’s more complicated than that. I want an option for several acceleration curves, with graphics that show what those curves look like.

    Apple should take notes from Bill Gates who researched pointer ballistics instead of applying an arbitrary and permanent mouse curve based on artistic merit or some other criteria. Fix it you cowards!

  28. kLy Says:

    The curve works GREAT for me pretty much uses a trackpad for everything minus gaming in my MBP.

    The movements are much more precise and I can move around much quicker by a simple finger flick. Compare that to Windoze where I can only ever use the mouse because the curve is so hideous for the trackpad (inaccurate and slow!). Conversely, I hate using a mouse in OS X… major elbow exercise.

    I’m thinking maybe Apple changed the curve due to the ubiquity of notebooks (and thus trackpads) nowadays? It’s interesting since a lot of people have been bitching about the curve for using a mouse and even doing usability studies. However, no one seems to have mentioned or had a look at how this affects the trackpad, which obviously uses much more different physical movements than a mouse. The need to throw the mouse across the pad for quick movement, would simply translate into a quick flick of a finger. On the other hand, precise movements with a finger would be much harder than using a mouse (hence the suckness of the Windows curve for trackpads).

    If I am right about the trackpad, this curve would be much better for it, though obviously Apple should use a different curve for mouse and trackpad. Any trackpad users out there than can comment on this?

  29. Nat Says:

    The mouse acceleration does, indeed, suck. However I have installed SteerMouse and it is MUCH better. I haven’t had time to fine tune the settings but straight off I felt like my brain had been released. Graphic Designer you should try this again because you should definitely notice some change for the better although I agree that it really isn’t good enough and Apple ought to sort this out.

  30. blubb Says:

    I got a new macbook. It definitely has its good sides, but the weird mouse response courve spoils most of my enthusiasm.

    Under both win and linux, I use to turn mouse accelleration completely OFF, getting a linear point-to-point correspondence between screen and mouse pad. I rarely ever have to step back with the mouse to move further without leaving the mouse pad. I can even move the cursor to a specific location on the screen quite accurately without much visual feedback during the navigation – my hand finds the goal more or less directly.

    I have found NO way I could do this under mac OSX, so far.

    This is what I have tried:

    (1) Setting mouse speed to minimum reduces the acceleration from about 4 to 2, which is an improvement but does not suffice. Furthermore, the speed then is really too slow for me.

    (2) MouseControl v11 did not work at all. Supposedly, it’s no universial binary yet?

    (3) USB Overdrive allowed to reduce the acceleration to lower than 2, but not down to 1, either. Also, it introduced another alinearity that made the movement still quirky. It feels like if they added some acceleration to the very slow range to make up for what appears as deceleration with the native OSX settings, but didn’t quite meet the same curve.
    Unfortunately, running the uninstaller resulted in nothing but the message: “The USB Overdrive X was not uninstalled.” All I could do is disable the overdrive checkbox in the control panel.

    (4) SteerMouse let me get down to an acceleration of 2 while speed remained reasonable and no quirks were added. The best I could get felt much like native windows settings. Alas, 2 != 1.

    I didn’t try ZoomMouse because some other guy already said it actually just scales the response curve but does not allow to edit its shape.

    Since some of you might wonder, here is how to find out at least the end values of the curve, i. e. the total acceleration:

    1. Take a solid object with vertical sides and put it onto the left side of your mouse pad (or of the area of desktop where you use the mouse in). Anithing like a pot, a thick book or even your macbook will do.
    2. Move your mouse from the right towards that object until they touch.
    3. Check if the cursor is now at the left edge of the screen. If it is not, try 2. again, starting with your mouse further away from the object.
    4. Move your mouse away from the object very fast, but not too far. The cursor must not have reached the right edge of the screen, or you need to go back to 2. again. Note that the sudden movement should start and end abruptly.
    5. Remember the location of the cursor, and pay attention to its distance to the left side edge.
    5. Smoothly move the mouse the same way back towards the object *very* slowly, until they touch each other. Slowly as in 1 mm per second is fine.
    6. Check the position of the cursor. If it’s exactly on the left edge again, the mouse was not accelerated at all. Btw, that’s what I am trying (and failing, as of now) to achieve. If the cursor instead ended up somewhere in between, the mouse was accelerated. The farther away from the left edge, and the nearer to the point you remembered in 5., it stopped, the higher the acceleration.

    Hope this helps.

  31. Jim Says:

    What no-one has mentioned here is whether someone has something that allows you to set multiple curves for multiple mice.. My Blutooth mouse is so sensitive that I need the ‘tracking speed’ slider (small guesture, but not much) set to 0 (although I’d like a LITTLE acceleration). But for the original corded mouse, this is dog-slow. This is on an iMac, so I don’t know about the trackpad.

    DAMMITT APPLE – LET *ME* DRAW THE DAMN ACCL. CURVE!! (And make a nifty little eye-candy graphic out of it while you’re at it)

    Does USB Overdrive let you set the curve based on the mouse in use, or do I really have to go hacking around with the IOHCI drivers? Has anyone brougt this up on the USB, Bluetooth, or IOKit lists that Apple hosts? As the drivers for all the HCI stuff (I think) are open, it shouldn’t be all that hard (heard being relative to one’s programming knowledge..) to make a util that would modify the position data at the point..

  32. The Web Guy » Blog Archive » Mac Mouse Acceleration Sucks Says:

    […] not the only one who thinks […]

  33. Dan Shoebridge Says:

    Yep I agree with almost everyone above (apart from the Apple plant).

    I got a Mac yesterday and it’s going straight back already because I cannot hack the annoying cursor behavior, especially as it slows down just short of my intended target. I’m returning the MBP because I quickly established on the net taht Apple don’t give two flying sh*ts about our complaints about this issue. For crying out loud Apple, this is losing you customers.

  34. Jonathan Says:

    I’m one of those who initially was used to that acceleration curve. When I got some interest in first-person shooters I began to notice some of the effects for real. In particular, it seemed harder to track moving things than it should be. So I went looking for a way to change it, and found none. MouseZoom just does the same thing as the normal preference pane except it doesn’t restrict you to a few values. MouseFix looked promising but didn’t work beyond changing the scale factor like MouseZoom, because it uses a deprecated and apparently already dysfunctional API to set the scale table.

    However, in the source of MouseFix I noticed how it restricted itself to positive values. Being curious, I removed the restriction and made an interesting discovery: non-negative values work like MouseZoom, but any negative value disables all scaling and acceleration so that one “mouse unit” maps directly to a pixel! Later I also found that when a negative value is written to the preference file, it is used and retained. So just run

    defaults write .GlobalPreferences -1
    defaults write .GlobalPreferences -1

    in the Terminal and log out and back in again. If it doesn’t work, try again without ever opening any program related to mouse speed, as I can imagine they might interfere. If it works, enjoy the linear mapping and don’t be afraid to open the mouse preference pane: it doesn’t change the speed until you actually move the slider. Yes, this also means you can easily go back if you really want to, simply by moving the slider.

    When I first tried it it felt weird but not really wrong. It was pretty easy to get used to. I even began to prefer it, and now I’m not going back. Beware though, you need much more dexterity to move at the pixel level. Personally I find that it’s easier as long as the mouse is reliable at that scale, but not everyone is like me.

  35. jonathan Says:

    Well, it’s too late for me. I bought a Mac laptop, frequently smiled at how beautiful things looked, but two problems were deal breakers

    – The mouse acceleration curve. Several times I came close to throwing the damn thing against the wall

    – I missed explorer. The tree view of the file system was just too useful. Plus other things that aren’t really worth detailing.

    When my Mac was stolen after 6 months of trying to find solutions and trying to get used to it, I went and bought a Sony VAIO. I’m quite happy with it.

  36. Ben Says:

    I too have been down this ugly road. I want to throw my computer away because I hate using it with the crazy mouse acceleration.

    I only saw it mentioned once above, but after going through all of the gyrations like everyone else, I’m settling on SideTrack ( using the Advanced –> Redmond switcher acceleration option.

    SideTrack does not yet work with Leopard and it also forces you to choose some other preferences, but it’s the best acceleration curve I can find.

    As an FYI, those who appreciate the efficiency of mouse activity might also appreciate this free software (Quicksilver — that allows you to launch programs and actions via the keyboard instead of mouse.

  37. Pj Says:

    The problem with the acceleration curve seems to be that it isn’t a curve at all. It’s an acceleration shelf. Move the cursor at less than x pixels per second, and you get the natural speed of the mouse. Move it at more than x pixels per second and you get the natural speed multipled by some integer, which is what the “tracking speed” in preferences selects.

    This forces you to always move the mouse slower or faster than speed x, because if you’re anywhere near speed x, it will randomly jump from one speed to the other when your speed randomly goes slightly over or slightly under speed x.

    This means that if you turn the tracking speed all the way down, the problem is relieved (but not cured since all the way down isn’t a multiplier of 1), but then the mouse moves too slow. So you turn it up, and the mouse moves faster, but now the jump in speed when you cross the threshold is much greater.

    This is absolutely frustrating. Nothing tortures the mind like an input device that doesn’t do what one expects, and this is that kind of device. People don’t expect jumps like this in tracking speed, which is why an acceleration curve is usually used rather than this type of acceleration shelf.

    It’s absolutely the most retarded thing I’ve encountered. I do not understand how an OS can be released like this without one developer realising that the mouse acceleration sucks. It’s just so obvious.

  38. Jonathan Says:

    AFAIK the curve consists of a bunch of straight line segments that match up at their ends. So it’s a bit smoother than Pj thinks. Still the slope change can be pretty hard in the derivatives. Maybe I’ll try to get exact algorithms and numbers sometime, but I don’t feel a strong urge as I’m happy with my negative-value trick. I’d rather know why there’s so much jitter in the timing of inputs.

    I wonder why hardly anyone notices this problem with the pointer acceleration. Same with input jitter; I’ve NEVER heard anyone else about it. It’s worse than the information I found about USB HID would suggest.

    P.S. I’m the same Jonathan as above, but only with the same capitalization.

  39. Pj Says:

    What I describe could be implemented as a few straight line segments. It’s just a matter of whether you’re looking at an input speed / multiplier graph or an input speed / output speed graph, although the conversion from one to the other requires a set of ‘b’ terms rather than just a single ‘b’ term, so it isn’t simply a matter of one being a derivative of the other.

    Why would anyone use straight line segments anyway? Linear equations are eighth grade algebra material, require a heck of a lot less code to implement, and provide more predictable acceleration. The only advantage straight line segments have is that programmers who aren’t mathematically inclined can still understand what’s going on. …well, not really, because I imagine they’d still be confused by the algebra that deremines the speed of the mouse. …unless they’re just being dumb about it and saying that whatever position offset the mouse reports is its speed. Hmm… Someone just not being very good at math really could explain all of this.

  40. Pj Says:

    …and one other thing. It seems the only way to communicate with Apple is to talk to them via the “describe what happened” box in their little “send a report to apple” dialogue. So I’ve been taking every crash as an opportunity to complain about the mouse and ask that they offer a “PC-style mouse accleration curve” option in the system preferences. I encourage anyone else who wants such a feature to do the same. Maybe even include a comment like “I’d much rather you fix the mouse than fix this program. The disfunctionality of the mouse does more to decrease my productivity than this application crashing now and then.” Maybe that will make them get the point.

  41. Are Wold Says:

    I’m happy there actually are more people who are concerned by this. I have a friend who says that he just “got used to it”. I’ve been using my Mac for 1,5 years now, and I am simply not able to adjust to this acceleration problem.

    I left Apple a note at just now – I don’t know if it gets through to anyone that actually cares, but one can hope…

  42. Jim Blackler Says:

    I bought my wife a MacBook for Christmas… I was frustrated that I couldn’t turn the ugly-as-hell pointer acceleration off, Googled and it brought me here. What the hell were they thinking? The point of an analogue device is that if you want to move the pointer just a little bit, you move it a little bit. Want to move it a lot? Move it a lot. The weird thing about the Mac acceleration is that it seems to kick in suddenly and whip the pointer out of your control.

  43. Corey Says:

    mouse acceleration is when the cursor reacts to how fast you move your mouse. If you flick your mouse across your mouse pad it will zoom off pretty quickly. IF you slowly push it across the pad then the cursor will slowly move.

    I have used XP all my life until recently and been able to turn mouse acceleration with XP is a great feature.

    I will give mousefix a go but this is becoming an annoying problem.

  44. Joe Says:

    There are several issues here. The first is simply mouse speed. Have you played with settings on the mouse system preference?

    The second issue is that Macs have dynamic acceleration – the faster you move the mouse, the faster the mouse moves – but it’s exponential rather than linear. Several people have suggested software solutions to that problem above. Feel free to use any of them if you wish. With third party software, you can tweak the acceleration any way you want.

    For long-time Mac users, this is definitely a feature, not a bug. With practice, I can hit any spot I want in an instant-even on a 24″ 1920×1200 screen. After time, you get in the habit of moving the mouse quickly until you’re close and then slowing it down. I find it to be much faster than Windows. One of the reasons for the difference is that the Mac menu bar and dock are at the top and bottom (or side) of the screen. You can just ‘fling’ the pointer in the right direction and it stops – you can’t overshoot. With Windows, the menu bars are at the top of the window – which means you have to hit them precisely. Furthermore, since acceleration is speed dependent, you have very precise control if you’re moving the mouse slowly.

    This probably won’t help with your problem, I thought it might be useful to understand the different philosophies and the benefits of the way Apple does it. You can always change it if you wish, though.

  45. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for your comment. In my experience, the acceleration curve is the other way around – moving the mouse across the screen with can be done with a sharp, fast movement on Windows, while on the Mac the distance I have to move the mouse doesn’t change that much when I move my finger/mouse faster. Of course, your experience here will have depended on the acceleration settings on the Windows computers you have used…

    In any event – the point here is that Apple should provide acceleration as a separate setting in their OS, as Microsoft does. This is a pretty fundamental interface setting (especially in the highly mouse-driven OS X), and one should not have to rely on third-party software.

    However, Apple has a history of being rather inflexible – other examples include poor keyboard shortcuts, the startup chime that can’t be turned off and the lack of a DPI setting (which I believe they finally implemented in Leopard – XP has had this all along). The one-button mouse is of course another famous example (and the one-button trackpad is still with us).

    Most of these things can be corrected with little effort, still Apple chooses to insist on the user doing things their way. This is probably nice for people who have been using Macs since the Dark Ages and most “normal” computer users, but for me it is really a pain, and the reason I’ll most likely be going for a Lenovo laptop with Ubuntu on it the next time around.

  46. Patrik Says:


    So, none of the third party apps is enough to cover a since long windows user? Is there anyone who knows more about the drivers then, like M$ Intellimouse or maybe some Logitech mouse drivers?

    I have an old IntelliMouse which i would gladly use if it solves the problem, i don´t have a mac yet but i am planing on getting one this week.

    If it works i will keep you posted and if anyone do the same test with other mice i would like to hear about it.


  47. Are Wold Says:

    This is just one of those things where the experience depends completely on the individual user. Just make sure that you get to try a Mac before you buy one – and try one with an external mouse if you will be using an external mouse. For instance, you can bring your own USB mouse into the store and see what it feels like.

    I know people who aren’t bothered in the slightest by the difference between Win and OSX with regards to mouse accereration, while it pretty much drives me nuts. (Actually, I’m moving over to Ubuntu on my Macbook as I am writing this, and this acceleration thing is one of many small reasons behind that.)

  48. Joe G Says:

    Interestingly enough, one of the staff picks on is the driver for the Microsoft Intellipoint mouse. I installed it today with a MS mouse I had laying around and I finally have a solution for linear mouse movement. No more sluggish/jumpy mouse movements on the iMac. Thank you Microsoft.

  49. DoggieRoggie Says:


    There are two things that drive me nuts with OSX – one is the crackers mouse movement as detailed here, the other is the fact that when you close a window in an app, it brings the next window in that app to the front. I’ve never found anyone else complain about the second thing, but at least it’s reassuring finding other people that have a problem with the mouse. It is kind of ironic that the mac bought the mouse to the mainstream but apple have managed to mess it up with OSX. Honestly I wouldn’t have thought it possible to mess up the mouse driver but somehow they managed it.

    I have licenced steermouse and usb Overdrive and whilst they were OK for a while, for some reason they are defeated by the new breed of laser mouse.

    I have an old logitech built dell mouse, a piece of cardboard as a mouse mat and steermouse as a driver. I have two laser mice that I can’t use because I get cramps off the OSX curve (one corded, one wireless).

    All I want is a wireless laser mouse that has an acceleration curve like OS9. If that microsoft mouse does it this, I’m buying one!

  50. Patrik Says:

    Hi again!

    Sounds Great, yes I have tested a few macs and i have noticed the problem, I am not even close to as fast with that curve on a mac as with the “standard” on a PC with windows.

    Still, trying a mac is a good step i think, BTW my iMac is arriving next week :P
    I´ll try out those drivers, thanks for the link.

    I will be reporting back in as much detail as i can.


  51. Andrei Potorac Says:

    I’m one of those that hope Apple will release a new feature with the 10.5.2 update for Leopard that is probably coming this week. This mouse thing is really an issue for us, the ones that switch to MAC.

    They added bootcamp to the OS. they should add this as well, so we don’t even consider installing XP or Vista on our macs.

    Please Apple, a little help here? And we should all send Apple some messages, or they will receive so many that they won’t even consider this feature! :(

  52. Andrei Potorac Says:

    I think you guys might want to read this, about the issue:

  53. David Pelletier Says:

    Thank you Joe G for your post of January 21, 2008. I did as you recommended, and so far it is working beautifully. I installed the Microsoft IntelliPoint mouse driver and I am using a Microsoft mouse that, like you, was laying around. I can now say goodbye this annoying iMac mouse behaviour. I am puzzled as to why Apple doesn’t fix this, but as I am still new to the Mac world, I might need to be enlightened by higher instances.

  54. Andrei Potorac Says:

    Damn. 10.5.2 is here but still NO FIX! :(

  55. Recent Mac Convert Says:

    I haaaaaated the mac mouse too. Tried mousefix–no good. Finally shelled out $20 for USB Overdrive and it feels JUST like a pc mouse, yipee!! Smooth, non-jumpy, non-freakish-acceleration. If you get it make sure to change the setting to 300 dpi speed, otherwise it still feels sluggish.

  56. Recent Mac Convert Says:

    p.s. quick clarification: I’m using a pc mouse with my mac laptop.

  57. Steven Says:

    This was a problem for me in Tiger, but Leopard seems to fix it…
    Although my friend, who still uses windows but is gonna buy a Mac for his next computer, says that the mouse is “weird” so I guess I’m used to it.
    But yeah in Tiger it was like I’m trudging through mud and the next second I’m across the whole screen D:

  58. Vinyin Says:

    I am a PC Switcher some of you guys and this “mouse precision” problem ist the one thing that drives me crazy.
    Currently I’m using mousezoom – the mouse movement is faster but very sluggish when doing or trying to do precise work.

    Does the Microsoft Drivers only work with a Microsoft Mouse or could it be used with other mouses ?

    I’m really glad that I’m not alone with this and that this thread is still active!

  59. Pj Says:

    I’m the same Pj as above…

    This mouse issue drove me so nuts that I eventually just installed Windows XP. I’ve been happily using it for the last couple of months, but the last few days I’ve been working on a project, trying to get Linux to boot on the MacBook from an external USB drive. After spending a lot of time wondering why the MacBook didn’t want to boot from the USB drive, I eventually read somewhere that it will only boot from GUID partitioned drives. I knew the Mac OS X install disk could partition the drive that way for me, and while I was using the disc, I wondered if it wouldn’t install Mac OS X to the USB drive. So I gave it a try.

    Sure enough, it worked, but that’s no the interesting thing. The interesting thing is that I was sitting here using the computer for about five minutes when I thought “isn’t this the OS I gave up on because the mouse acceleration was totally fucked?” I hadn’t even noticed, and when I stopped to notice, the only complaint I could come up with was that the mouse pointer was a little slow.

    I’m not sure what’s different now. I was thinking that perhaps I somehow didn’t touch the mouse, using the trackpad instead, until the OS updates were installed, and that Apple simply fixed the problem, but I cannot seem to find any indication on the internet that the problem has been fixed. The only thing I’ve done differently is install the OS to a USB drive instead of the internal drive, but that shouldn’t make a difference. I’m still using the same mouse.

    Then I decided to fix that “a little slow” problem, and sure enough, if you so much as move the tracking speed slider one point higher, it all goes to hell. I guess that’s Apple’s way of saying “upgrade to a higher resolution mouse.”

    I think I’ll stick with Windows XP. It’s really not such a bad OS once you see it’s competition.

  60. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Pj, very interesting! I’ll have to try moving the speed slider all the way down just to see if my Mac behaves the same.

    I have to say I’ve been using XP more than OSX lately, and sadly I feel more productive in XP – mostly thanks to better pointer handling and more keyboard shortcuts, as well as a more snappy (though way uglier) GUI overall. I wish it wasn’t so, in terms of aesthetics and security I really prefer OSX.

  61. Nick Says:

    Loving my mac except for the mouse acceleration insanity.

    Does Windows have less acceleration, or no acceleration (cause it has that ‘enhance pointer accuracy’ option right)? Basically I’m just wondering how to match it in USB Overdrive.

    What USB Overdrive settings (speed and accel) are you guys using to match Windows?

  62. Pj Says:

    It may depend on the resolution of each mouse, so it might be a different point for everyone else, but it seemed to work well in its default position, which is the left of the two points in the middle. (Why do none of the sliders have actual midpoints?) Like I said, if I moved it even one point to the right, the wackyness kicked in.

    However, while it was wacky-free at that point, it was also more than “a little slow.” It was damn slow. …but I didn’t notice it was damn slow until I rebooted into Windows XP, and so I think it’s probably the best workaround for this problem. I tried for several weeks to become accustomed to the wacky acceleration and it just wasn’t happening, but I’d only been out of XP for an hour and a half and nearly forgot how much faster it’s mouse pointer is.

    If I were stuck with OS X, I’d clear off desk space for a larger mouse pad. (I havent’ a clue where you’d get one as all of the one’s I’ve ever seen have been the same size. Maybe the Apple store?) I much prefer a slow and predictable mouse pointer to fast and random one.

  63. h1d Says:

    I just got a SteerMouse with the setting of ‘tracking speed’ of 0 and ‘sensitivity’ at around 80 (ymmv) and all is pretty precise doing small moves, i even feel it’s more precise than what it was when i used this mouse under Windows. I’m quite happy with my mouse move on OS X so far.

    i do hate to spend 20 dollars just to get the most basic thing working in an OS but this saved me for good.

  64. sleekdj Says:

    i have a logitech mx500 and installing the logitech mouse center (,en) has alleviated the problem for me… it offers a tracking multiplier setting that allows u to set 1:1 mouse tracking. i’ve set mine to 1:1.25 so i don’t have to lift up my mouse if i want to go from one end of the screen to the next.

  65. Paul Says:

    To those those that think MouseFix, SteerMouse and USB-overdrive don’t really address the problem I can recommend ControllerMate. It has a difficult to learn UI and does cost $15 but the payoff is that you get to micromanage the acceleration curve:

    The screenshot clearly shows the flawed curves that come with OS X and the way it can be fixed.
    For the people trying out the demo: To get to the curve editor shown in the screenshot you have to drop your mousedevice from the controllerlist (right floating window) into the workspace (left listpane, not the gridded editor) Open the Mouse Axes tab to edit your curve.

  66. Vidar Says:

    I second the ControllerMate! Cheaper than the other two options and it has a lot of other features too (which I admittedly have not really used yet, except for mapping “eject” to forward delete).

    Finally I was able to create an accelleration curve that suits me! :-)
    See for some hints at how it is done in windows. The problem is the transition from a low gradient to a high gradient at the low end of the curve. By smoothing this out (as also shown in the screenshot mentioned above), you get rid of the incredibly annoying “fast mode/slow mode” feeling that OS X has out of the box.

    To Apple’s defence, I must admit that their accelleration curves do seem to work very well for trackpads… But not having an option to adjust this is still the single biggest flaw I have found in the OS! While I had the original settings, I frequently found myself pulling my hair in frustration!

  67. HappyMouseUser Says:

    I just stumbled upon this article after almost two years of making do with the default mouse behavior on Mac OS X. I suddenly just decided to search for a solution to my annoyance, after a few months of using windows a little again and realising how good the mouse feels.

    I took the advice of Pete and installed the MS driver for my intellimouse. It now feels so much better! Clicks here and clicks there all feel so much faster; it’s great! Thank everyone.

  68. LarryCrutcher Says:

    Bought a macbook pro last week. The mouse issue has me still typing away on my trusty Sharp AL27 with XP.

    So I met this mac-head and asked him if he knew how to fix the acceleration issue. “what issue?” he said with a hint of disgust to my question. So I asked him to show me how his mouse worked on his laptop. He confidently placed his finger on the mousepad dragging towards the intended landing spot. Getting close he lifted his finger and moved the arrow a little closer, cloooser, CLICK. “So what’s the problem?” I smiled and directed my browser to the same page. “Watch” I said. I placed my finger on the mouse pad, drug it to the same spot and clicked. “What?” he said with puzzlement. I explained that my central nervous system had control over my finger and I could go directly to the location and click the radio button without trying 3 times. “Yeah, but this is a mac” he said with a little more disgust in his face.

    MAC, please fix this issue. If Microsoft can do it, can’t a MAC do it better?

    BTW, I just clicked “Submit Comment” with one smooth move and the tap of my finger.

  69. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for sharing your stories, it makes me feel a lot better about my own frustration. And Larry, you made my afternoon with your comment :D That’s exactly how I feel. (And I have a Mac-using friend who claims he doesn’t understand what I am talking about, so seeing comments like yours makes me feel particularly justified in my irriation over this issue.)

    I have actually sold my Macbook now – I still have a Mac Mini, but I use it as a HTPC and mostly interface with it using VNC from a Windows machine (meaning I have proper mouse acceleration ;) ). I do miss the elegance of OS X over Windows, but I am starting to become really platform agnostic.

    Most of what I do happens in a web browser, and it is really more important to have a snappy user experience, windows that can be maximized and a mouse pointer that behaves like it should than having a pretty GUI.

    Most of all, I miss the appearance of the black Macbook. I am thinking about getting a Macbook Air at some point and putting XP on it, but it is more likely that I’ll stick with the pretty robust ThinkPads for the foreseeable future.

  70. Ian Says:

    as a graphic designer the mouse acceleration with macs drives me absolutely crazy!! im so glad i found this because i seem to be the only person that notices it out of my peers.
    i’ll have to try some of these fixes so i can stop using my tablet as my mouse
    thanks all~

  71. Robbie Says:

    I’ve owned my MacBook Pro for about a week now. The mouse was driving me nuts too, so I Googled away and stumbled across this site.

    The weird acceleration curve isn’t helping Apple in their quest to convert PC users.

    Mac: Hi, I’m a Mac…

    PC: And I’m a PC… Mac, your mouse acceleration sucks – badly enough that people are switching back to me.

    Oh well… I’m off to invest in a Microsoft mouse so I can use its drivers. Never thought I’d see the day! I never even install mouse drivers on my Windows machines, of course the mice on them aren’t *$(@$ either!

  72. Chris Nova Says:

    it would be really nice if someone could explain further how to create this curve with controllermate.. the above description is somewhat lacking. there is no way to drop the controller from the controller list to anywhere BUT the grided area of the screen… and there are no “tabs” per say.. and no “axes” tab.. when clicking my controller in the left list pane under “controller types” i get a screen that mentions x y z axIS (with an I) nowhere does it mention anything about any AXES with an e.. please explain — very frustrated. what is wrong with interface designers.. software designers with little attention spans for interface must be killed

  73. JJ Says:

    I have used macs since 1993 and I really didn’t notice it until apple switched to the white mouse without the track balls. I hate apple mice now, they drive me crazy, its impossible to get anything done because the weird tracking. My hand fatigues very quickly because like everyone else says, the mouse goes so freaking slow when you need to move just a few pixels and to fast if you get frustrated and try to make it faster. Its like i’m pushing a 2 pound brick around on my desk to navigate the screen. My suggestion to every is go out and buy a cheap M$ mouse. Not only are the more ergonomic they track way better.

  74. Ulsen Says:

    Hi guys,

    I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a Power Mac and having to use Vista on it ONLY!!! because of the mouse acceleration. I tried MouseFix and USB Overdrive, they both don’t fix the curve, they only let you adjust the speed, which is not the original problem.

    I just checked out the ControllerMate website and FINALLY i see a CURVE that can be modified.

    So everybody, let’s stop ranting, start using ControllerMate, fix the curve and share the experience… I think that’d be the most useful move for everyone here.

    Good luck everyone.

  75. Sicadera Says:

    I thing aple* is just counting the stupidness of humans, with this. You “touch” the computer world, with the mouse… And they are laughing their asses out making a computer that is loosing this touch. Even if mac os was 1000 years far out of WINDOWS i would prefer WINDOWS just for the mouse irony.

    There are two possibilities.

    ONE is that they did the best they clould, and this mouse is the best the can, so I can imagine the rest of the “just works” mac world.

    TWO they did it on purpose…

    I cannnot believe that they did not do it in purpose…

    They just want to see how stupid we can get just from the ads. “it just works”… It just sucks, sould say…

    I am gladly returning to WINDOWS, having the “education” that anyone supports mac in any aspect is a monkey stupid or just wants to stretch our nerves.

    I believe that even WINDOWS 3.11 is by far better than this mac scum…

  76. Kevin Says:

    Hey guys,

    The “Logitech Control Center” driver at

    It has an option called “Tracking Speed Multiplier” with values from 1/4 to 4. It’s set at 1 and it feels just like Windows! Oh man, it is so smooth now, i feel like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

    FYI, i’m using just a simple 2 button Logitech mouse.

    I am sooo glad i found this thread. Just converted to Mac last week and thought i was going crazy re: the mouse!!! I kept asking my wife if she thought the mouse was strange, she said no. I tried 5 different mice, on 5 different surfaces, but they were all the same strangeness. Thank goodness for Logitech.

  77. Kidk Says:

    Just change the mouse speed in your system preferences you dopes!

  78. Kevin Says:

    you have no idea what we’ve been talking about.

    We’re talking about mouse Acceleration,
    NOT mouse speed.

    The system preferences only changes the mouse speed, not the acceleration curve.

  79. Sysadmin: Macbook Pro, after the honeymoon | Cypris' lookout Says:

    […] Mac OS X annoyances: What’s up with the mouse acceleration? […]

  80. Jon Says:

    Ah, brilliant! this must be the reason i suck in Call of Duty!
    incidentally, how are you able to adjust the acceleration on a windows as others have suggested is possible.

  81. Femke Says:


    For me using a ‘normal’ mouse with USB feels better than using the Mac bluetooth mouse. The USB-mouse will ‘only’ slow down when over certain buttons whereas the Mac mouse is sticky all the time.
    Except from getting irritated from the Mac mouse, I also start having sore arm muscles!

    As a new Mac user for just a few weeks I would never had thought that such a topic would ever get to me…

    Good luck! ;-)

  82. frigaut Says:

    +1 here.
    Thanks for the controllerMate solution ! Work like a charm. It also allows more customization, once one has grabbed how it works….
    A pity one has to resort to third party applications when this should be built right into the OS.

  83. NN Says:

    What doesn’t seem to be made clear here is that the Windows mouse acceleration is equally annoying to an established Mac user. But of course, with time and an open mind you will get used to either. Being a heavy user of both my informal hunch is that Apple’s curve is actually easier on the tendons and the brain, but it would take a small study to establish that.

    It’s possible that Apple is leaning on touchpad use and has tuned the curve to suit – their touchpads are pretty iPhone-like to use these days. They do have separate settings for mouse and touchpad, though, which is what I was searching for in Windows when I ended up on this page.

    In the future your thin client OS will learn the best per-devise physical interface settings by watching you interact with it. Back here in the stinky old past, you do at least have a few options, at least if you can bear wading through all the whining in this thread to find them from the few helpful users.

    Still looking for a way to put up with Windows when using two different pointing device modalities though…

  84. Are Wold Says:

    NN – the point is that Windows lets the user adjust this. OS X does not.

  85. Are Wold Says:

    Also – I should mention that this is far less of an issue for me on my new Macbook Alu compared to my old Macbook (black). Either having a much bigger trackpad helps, or they have tweaked the settings. Probably both.

  86. Ralf Says:

    Sheesh – just got my iMac and had the same problem – I cant believe I found a thread on this that has been running for 2.5yrs. Are Apple brain dead or is this supposed to be some sort of joke, even Bill can get this right. So frustrated.

    I have a Logitech mouse and will try their drivers for mac. I should return the mouse under trade practices legislation – “unfit for purpose intended”.

  87. A Dude Says:

    Weird. I just bought a new Logitech mouse today and noticed how messed up the acceleration felt, which lead me to severe frustration, mental distress, etc…

    I wondered why this was the case. I have been using a crappy Microsoft mouse all this time and never noticed the mouse acceleration issue–it wasn’t happening. Same feel as in Windows like I was used to. Only as soon as I switched over to my shiny new mouse was I missing targets, getting pissed off and so forth… I guess that Microsoft mouse wasn’t crappy after all! I will be returning the new mouse, as I can’t be bothered to deal with all the third party “fixes”…Shame. And then I’m going to buy a PC.


    And, I feel I should add, I want to cry a little, because I really like this mouse for my Macbook. Damn you, Apple!

  88. Ulsen Says:

    It’s hilarious. After I read about the Logitech Control Center solution I wanted got a Logitech G5 Laser mouse and wanted to re-adjust the acceleration with Logitech Control Center 2.6. Problem is that it doesn’t recognise the G5. AAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

  89. Dave Says:

    When I started my current job, I needed to be able to use a Mac as well as Windows and Linux PCs. Immediately, I found the mouse accelleration more than just annoying. It made using my Mac an extremely frustrating and time consuming experience. I tried out various fixes over the years including mousefix which you mentioned. I’ve tried out different mice and even installed a special Microsoft mouse driver. Nothing worked. I still bump up against the problem of the discontinuity in the acceleration curve and the inability to turn off acceleration and just have a simple 1:1 mouse to screen ratio which makes me a whiz at using the mouse to navigate in Windows and Linux.

    I’ve wasted many hours trying to fix this problem and many more hours in lost productivity. Eventually, I found a fix that gives OS X a more normal mouse acceleration. There’s another blog that concurs with the apparent fact that this is the only way to get proper moue behavior on a Mac.

    Here’s what you do:

    Set up a Windows PC next to your Mac.
    Run Synergy on both which uses the network to allow mouse and keyboard control from the Windows PC to control the mouse and keyboard on the Mac.
    Use the mouse and keyboard on the Windows PC and ignore the mouse and keyboard on the Mac. You can still use the Mac keyboard (and mouse) but since you’re already using the Windows mouse, it makes sense to use the keyboard too.

    It is not surprising to me that Apple has not fixed this problem. To fix the problem would be to admit that there was a problem.

  90. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for commenting – and sharing tips and emotions!

    Personally, I’m mostly using Windows XP on my Macbook these days.

  91. mike Says:

    I bought a Mac Pro 8-core system and I have the same issue with the mouse. I tried to explain it to my friends who are expert on Mac but they don’t understand it, either that I just can’t explain properly. The mouse navigation on Vista or XP are much better, they are much more responsive. It feels retarted when I try to highlight a text or click on something. I like OS X stability but the working with the mouse is really painful. And what’s up with when you double click on the title bar it goes away, also annoying is when you resize the window, you have to click on bottom right. Windows is a lot easier to use. I’m using the Mac Pro with both Vista and OS x.

  92. Chris Says:


    first of, what a blog comment history. And the problem still annoys me as of today. I really didn’t want to use one of those commercial applications that don’t really work I wanted to.

    But I found a great solution:

    It still works with the newest IntelliPoint Mouse Driver and 10.5.6.

    Use the Microsoft IntelliPoint Mouse driver as other people mentioned before but the cool thing is that you don’t have to have a microsoft mouse.
    You can edit the Info.plist and add abritary new mouse devices. I added my home and work mouse and they now work perfekt. One is a logitech and the other one is some noname mouse.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S The Mighty Mouse doesn’t work for me this way. Most likely because this device loads extra kernel extensions (driver). The mouse is unusable anyhow ;-)

  93. Are Wold Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Chris!

  94. chrisnova777 Says:

    check this software out – ‘s controllermate claims to be able to do alot more then adjust the fine tuning sensitivity of a device.. as long as its not using any custom drivers..

  95. Scoox Says:

    Most OS X Apple fan boys and girls who don’t consider OS X’s usability problems an impediment to workflow are eigher ignorant or plain stupid. Sorry, it is true. My friggin’ wrist hurts after mousing on a Mac. I can’t Cmd-Tab through minimized apps. I get things done quicker on a Windows PC. Yup, all OSs have problems:
    – OS X
    – Looks pretty (who cares… oh yes Apple fan boys do!)
    – Impractical, slows-me-down interface
    – CoreAudio is very well implemented, and I also like the way MIDI devices can be hot-plugged
    – No hardware CD eject key (wtf?), no disk access LED, mouse only has one button and you cannot lift the mouse while holding down the button.

    – Looks fine (still I always use the classic theme anyway)
    – UI is very usable and allows me to work efficiently
    – Mouse works the way god intended
    – Lots of free third-party software available to make UI it even better, (e.g. Kat Mouse, allSnap, TrueLaunchBar, etc)

    – Fine UI
    – Secure
    – Highly customizable
    – Unfortunately music production software not yet available so I use Windows

    I am not a Windows fanboy, I am a fanboy of stuff that helps me to get the work done and I tried to get to grips with Macs but its like walking through mud. Windows offers a good balance between a good UI and software availability, so I will stick with it. Good luck recovering from your RSI (repetitive strain injury) Mac fanboys.

  96. Apple Macs do my head in - Page 2 - Says:

    […] […]

  97. giga Says:

    I just bought a macbook also. I am having the same issues with the mouse. I have like 5 bluetooth mouses now. None of them seem to work well. So any good solution to it yet? I am thinking of trying with the logitech nano vx, but i guess it’s not a problem with the mouse. It’s with the OS.

    This is what I left on one of the mac forums:

    Anybody here using bluetooth mouse on the Mac OSX leopard and is happy with it?

    I usually like the mouse to move very fast and be accurate.
    I have tried 5 different bluetooth mouses and so far I am not happy with any of them on OS X.

    I bought the following mouses:
    Logitech v470,
    Microsoft Mobile Presenter 8000,
    RocketFish bluetooth,
    RadTech BT500, and
    Kensington Si670m.

    I tried them with the built in mouse driver and also with the latest drivers for the specific mouse.

    I also tried USB Overdriver, and SteerMouse.
    Tried changing the scaling in GlobalPreferences:

    With Microsoft 8000 wireless, the mouse is accurate, but even with the highest tracking speed, it’s very slow. The USB mouse with Mac OS X drivers have the same issues, but with the MS IntelliMouse drivers it works very well.

    All the other mouses, I can get them to move fast, but they are not accurate. The mouse movement is fast but very sluggish when doing or trying to do precise work. It feels LIGHT BUT TOO STICKY.

    I don’t have these issues on Windows Vista through bootcamp on the same machine with the same mouses.

    Any help or suggestions to this mouse issue.


    • Joachim Says:


      Get rid of the sticky effect as follows:
      Go in the SteerMouse settings and set the Tracking Speed to 0.0
      This deactivates the mouse acceleration completely, the movement is now fully linearly (as under Windows I think). However, you need to compensate that with a higher sensitivity. This value is however depending on the resolution of your mouse. You can than try out the different mouses you have to see which one suits you best. I had never mouse issues under Windows and Ubuntu (as most of the people here) and am using now (on my unibody MacBook) under Mac OS 10.5.7, SteerMouse a simple old Logitech two buttons mouse and am finally happy with it.

      Hope this helped.

  98. Oldarney Says:

    Omg i have an 80 dollar mouse because of my phobia of bad mouses. This thing(mac) was litterally killing me, thannks for the mouse zoom recomendation, it saved my hand from rsi ( i use dvorak too, not on maccbooks though).

  99. Ben Says:

    I agree. The acceleration is a dreadful feature, and if Apple keeps the feature in Snow Leopard I swear hope they have an acceleration setting in Mouse preferences…thankfully I’ve gotten use to the acceleration using settings in iMouseFix. iMouseFix doesn’t fix the acceleration problem but allows further speed/acceleration control, rather than what is available in the limited mouse preferences. I have iMouseFix settings about a centimetre across the line and I have made it open automatically as my Mac starts up (you can do this by going into System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Items -> Click the + icon, and find iMouseFix in the Applications section, leave everything from there as is.

    iMouseFix does load as the Mac starts up but the mouse uses the settings from the system till I do something in the iMouseFix application to make it override the system settings (what I do is when the Mac starts, and the iMouseFix app starts, I double-click the checkbox in the application that says ‘Enable Mouse Acceleration’. Then the iMouseFix settings kick in).

    The acceleration is difficult to get use to, but how I got use to is, to get into a habit of the way I move the mouse..I guess you need to practice a little, on how to get from the bottom to the top of the screen (let’s say to get to Safari preferences) and then you’ll learn what speed you need to move the mouse in the future. Generally you have to move the mouse fast first, to get to another part of the screen and then just slow down as you get there to avoid flying past the target. Trust me you can live with the acceleration you just have to get into a new mouse moving habit than we’d do with a PC. For doing things like checking a few checkboxes that are next to each other, you just generally move the mouse slowly.

    I guess the Mac way is different.

    • Joachim Says:

      As I wrote just above, this is not necessary. Download Steermouse, move to tracking speed 0.0 and just deactivate completly the accelartion. You ll have it linear and don’t have to start to learn the mouse like a baby again.

  100. Ethan Larson Says:


    Here’s an online petition to Apple:

    • Max D Says:

      Thank you for posting this here! As this is still an issue I think we should all sign this petition.

  101. dbonneville Says:

    I solved the acceleration problem for the short term…

    Get a logitech mouse and install their software and DON’T rely on the apple drivers, as I did at first.

    We are talking 98% Windows mouse action now. I work on both platforms all day and am VERY pleased with the v450 from Logitech, but it’s the drivers that do the trick…

  102. Scoox Says:

    I finally solved the mouse acceleration problem at root: I sold my Mac Pro on eBay, and made a profit too!! Problem fixed!

  103. Joey Says:


    Just download this clever japanese program called SteerMouse (installs in the preference pane) then click on “Cursor”, and set the

    Tracking speed to 0

    Sensitivity to 100

    to perfectly emulate windows. PS This works wonders for anyone using a DAW…

    Its like a speed boot for your mac!

  104. Fujilives Says:

    I had this same problem, it drove me insane. I figured at first it was just the mighty-mouse, so I had ordered a Razer Pro mouse since I needed a more comfortable 3+ button mouse. I’m also a gamer so the Razer Pro was just right for me. I tried several solutions to “remove” the acceleration after the Razer didn’t solve the issue, and finally came up with a good solution that makes it work perfect.

    Since it involves changing mice settings I threw together a PDF with some decent resolution images (300 dpi) so you can zoom in and see what I changed and replicate it yourself.

    I don’t know if theres a way to rig the Razer software to work with non-razer mice, but its something you might want to try if you like your current mouse but want to get things fixed. Of course you’ll have to tweak the settings since your mouse will be different even if it does work – but it’d give something similar to steermouse.

    Anyhow, This was a 100% perfect solution for me since I wanted a multi-button-comfortable-gaming-mouse and needed to fix acceleration at the same time.

    Check out the PDF and I hope it helps some of you, as I struggled with this for a long time!

    Click to access OSX%20Leopard%20Mouse%20Fix.pdf

  105. GooseCandy Says:

    Just use the MS intellipoint drivers.

    After trying a couple of third party apps and not being happy with the results I tried MS Intellimouse drivers and now it is perfect, smooth as silk, exactly like it is on my PC. Go here to get the OSX Intellipoint driver:

    • Fujilives Says:

      @GooseCandy – This may work for some mice, but for mine (the razer pro click) the intellipoint drivers did not work or change the way my mouse handled in OSX whatsoever. I had heard they did work for some mice, and yours confirms it, but I’ve tried on two separate macs with those drivers to no-avail now.

  106. Hessel Says:

    Hey, I am a recent switcher and I hate this mouse acceleration problem too!

    I’m considering buying a Kensington mouse because I have heard that the Kensington Mouse drivers also fix this problem???

    Can anyone conform this please????

    • Lorenzini Says:

      Yes, I just tested this and it’s true, the Kensington mouse drivers fix this problem.

      I don’t know if it’s required that you use a Kensington mouse with the drivers, however.

  107. gwideman Says:

    To save others some wasted time: Since I have a logitech mouse I thought I’d try the Logitech Control Center, as someone in previous comment suggested that it had mouse acceleration control. Wrong! (At least as of the version downloaded 2009-09-02) Incredibly, given the prominence of this problem, the only adjustment it has is a factor by which to MULTIPLY the speed of the mouse (times that set in the Apple control panel).

  108. gwideman Says:

    … and for completeness, just downloaded USB Overdrive and it does implement sensible mouse acceleration.

  109. bobwfritz Says:

    ControllerMate rocks! Use it – it’s the only thing out there that can simulate the Windows experience precisely.

  110. Chris's MacOS Newb Thread - Page 11 Says:

    […] One thing I'm having issues with right now (really it's my only nitpick, other than the position of the window buttons) is the mouse acceleration in OSX. It sucks. I am 500% faster and more accurate with my mouse in Windows because the acceleration in OSX is just fucking me all up – the mouse is just crazy inprecise. Mac OS X annoyances: What’s up with the mouse acceleration? Are about everything […]

  111. Cómo ajustar el desplazamiento del cursor en Mac OS X — EfektoMagazine Says:

    […] un mejor trabajo que Apple, al menos es lo que reporta la mayoría de los usuarios en los foros y blogs (con […]

  112. mikeu Says:

    I made the mouse behavior acceptable on a MacBook Pro 2009 (Snow Leopard) using a Logitech v550 as follows:

    (1) Install the “Logitech Control Center” software from

    (2) In Apple ==> System Preferences, select the *standard* mouse menu and set the speed as low as possible

    (3) In Apple ==>System Prefs ==> Logitech Control Center ==> General, set the tracking speed multiplier as high as possible

    (4) If the speed is not fast enough for you, bump up the standard mouse speed menu a notch

    The effects of the two menus seem to multiply each other. This seems to minimize the effect of the mac software and maximize the effects of the Logitech software. My mouse pretty much acts like it did on my PC, although the scroll wheel is still a little strange.

  113. thesilentman Says:

    Solution – MICROSOFT MOUSE – It really works for me! I bought the same one as author of this article (Microsoft Arc Mouse):

    Thank you so much!

  114. Ben Says:

    The tracking acceleration in OS X I have gotten use to and it’s simply an adjustment you have to make. The acceleration in OS X is much more steep than in Windows, where in Windows it doesn’t get as slow or as fast as OS X, the benefit in OS X means you can do better slow, precise movement and very fast movement with little physical mouse movement itself but because of the difference some mice have jittery tracking movement in OS X probably because of the DPI of the mouse and this is because of the tracking algorithm in OS X, and the translation of mouse movement to cursor movement on the screen. I had a Logitech laser mouse and the cursor movement was very jittery and imprecise due to tracking algorithm, but in Windows it was not jittery and fine to use. It was a case of purchasing a mouse that has, I guess, the correct DPI to function correctly with OS X’s tracking algorithm, and the Apple mouse (before called the Mighty mouse) works the best.

    If you have the Apple mouse the way to get use to the way tracking works in OS X is to understand that how fast you move the mouse means how fast the cursor moves on the screen, so if you want to move a long distance you move your mouse fast – if you want to move only a short distance, not as fast. As stupid as it sounds, you have to practice. Also, I’ve found that the way to move the Apple mouse for long distances, let’s say from the bottom to the top of the screen, you have to momentarily lift your thumb to allow for free movement of the mouse with your fingers on top of the mouse. After a while you get use to lifting your thumb for any seriously long movement. I realised this as I couldn’t figure out how I was moving from the bottom to top of the screen fine but not from top to bottom of the screen, but it was because I was doing the correct way going from bottom-to-top, but keeping my thumb on the mouse when moving the cursor from top-to-bottom, so not reaching the bottom of the screen.

    The tracking speed I’ve set that I find comfortable is the notch before the maximum setting but for those on iMac’s may want to choose the maximum setting. Of course, if you need it just a little bit faster you can Google and download an utility called MouseZoom which can extend past the maximum setting permitted in the Mouse settings. I’d recommend a setting between 2.3 and 3.0 in MouseZoom. 3.0 probably for 27″ iMac displays.

    Now you probably think it’s quite stupid for me to say all this because, after all why did Apple have to make a learning curve over how to use your mouse properly. But still, I actually prefer the way OS X tracking works as it’s much more precise and is always comfortable for me since I know how to use it properly now.

  115. Hessel Says:

    I agree with Ben. Although every time i use windows i get used to window’s mouse movement very quickly & when i go back to mac osx it takes a lot longer..

    still, having the right mouse works :)
    I’m using the microsoft bluetrack mobile mouse 4000 rightnow :)

    really recommend it! it’s super light & compact so it won’t hurt your wrist muscles nearly as much as using a heavy logitech mouse with Mac OSX.
    also, the dpi functions correctly with mac osx so i don’t get any unprecise movement :)

  116. Hank Says:

    I just installed a hackintosh (iAtkos v7) and the mouse is working great – the acceleration is identical to windows. It’s much better than previous OSX86 incarnations. I’m using a Gigabyte mouse with a logitech chipset but I installed no custom software. Now, I have to figure out how to make pages scroll one page at a time or to get linear smooth scrolling.

  117. scape Says:

    I cannot believe this thread is going on for 4 years. I just got a MBP and have a beloved nano vx mouse i use. it’s aweful in osx. what i settled on fixing it was imousefix to ‘turn off’ acceleration, setting logitech’s software (that i downloaded as well) put the multiplier at around 3.8, and I turned the OSX mouse speed down to the 3 bar in on the slow side, so maybe 25%? this is pretty acceptable, but I am now working on getting intellipoints software to work for my mouse, by editing the plist file as found in a reply further up by Chris.
    Question: where do I find out my mouse’s product id, vendor id?

  118. Jay Says:

    I have been having the same issue with an apple magic mouse (switched from a logitech bluetooth). I love the gesture capabilities but found the acceleration curve made it almost unusable. After submitting my concern to Apple, I went about trying to find a 3rd party fix. This pref pane app provided some relief of the problem: . However, what is needed is a way to modify the curve so that it fits an individuals’ particular way of operating the mouse. I hope this help someone until Apple comes out with a modification to their driver… 4yrs and counting?

  119. Ashley Tarver Says:

    I can’t believe Apple have the arrogance to continue FORCING mouse acceleration on its users. I got a Mac to explore iPhone development and on the one hand it’s tempting to ditch my Win7 computer, on the other I have mouse acceleration to contend with and the rest of Apples shit. Why don’t they just make it so users can switch it on/off?!!??!?!?!?

    Macs would be great if Apple weren’t such dicks.

  120. magnum_pi Says:

    I am trying to map raw mouse movements in mac os x to the corresponding pointer/cursor movement. I replicated the source code provided by IOHID drivers in IOHIPointing.cpp file ( The only relevant functions here are “SetupAcceleration” and “ScaleAxes”. I am sure that the acceleration curves being generated are exactly as they must be. However, when I scale the input values in the “ScaleAxes” function to get the corresponding pointer movement I do not get the expected output – correct and exact – but not what is expected. I suspect that the raw mouse movements are not input to “ScaleAxes” as soon as an interrupt arrives. Rather, I believe that the raw input to “ScaleAxes” is a cumulative raw movement accumulated over a certain fixed period of time. I wish to confirm is such is the nature of the underlying drivers, i.e., to provide a cumulative raw movement? The domain of my questions thus lies in the driver layers underneath the IOHIPointing driver.

  121. Robbie Green Says:

    It’s funny. The weird acceleration curve used to bother me quite a bit when I first went Mac, but now I don’t even notice it.

  122. Cody Wheeler Says:

    If you want to fix it, use this:


  123. Zuul Says:

    Ah, thanks for the tip Yay. Worked very well on my Magic Mouse.
    Just wish “Mouse Acceleration Preference Pane for Mac OS X” had more than 6 times the speed though. x10 would be nice.

  124. Vince Says:


    I am a new Mac user.

    I agree about the apple wired mouse. When used with quick flicks of the wrist its ok, but when you slow down to do detailed clicks, especially on the small ‘x’ (close and minimise buttons etc.) the mouse drags… feels like crap. I am very much used to using a mouse on a Windows format. I bought my Mac for graphic design use. I don’t have the design programs yet, but i can tell this mouse (wired apple mouse) isn’t going to do the job. I do like the scroll ball thats about it.

  125. sony vaio not able to load the OS Says:

    Hi, re: Mac OS X annoyances: Whats up with the mouse acceleration …. %ANCHOR_TEX%. I recently also had a fault on my laptop; sony vaio not able to load the OS, fortunately got it fixed last Monday at this place in harrow, easy to reach via the London Underground train. Get off at Harrow & Wealdstone station (on bakerloo line) and its ten minutes walk to the Laptop Repair Company. Good reliable service with warranty & affordable. Hope this helps.

  126. PawelSokolowski Says:

    I just bought MagicMouse, the acceleration curve made me search for a way to turn it off, here it is:
    Put the following line in the Terminal:

    defaults write .GlobalPreferences -1

    it works after restarting the system.
    Long live linear mouse movement !!!

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