Windows 10 gives you a variety of mouse customization options, giving you more control over how your cursor behaves. We’ll walk you through the available options and how they affect your pointer in this guide and how to change mouse settings?
Before we begin, it’s worth noting that the mouse settings in Windows 10 are still split between the Control Panel and the Settings app. The Mouse page in the Settings app is currently very basic, with only one option not available in the Control Panel.
Primary mouse button and scroll wheel
To begin, open the app (using the Win+I keyboard shortcut), select the “Devices” category, and then select the “Mouse” page from the menu.
The page allows you to change the primary mouse button and customize the scroll wheel’s operation. You can use the mouse wheel to scroll through lines or entire screens (just like the Page Up/Page Down buttons), and you can specify how many lines or screens to scroll at once.
The only mouse setting not available in the Control Panel is the last toggle button on the page, “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them.” This was a brand-new feature in Windows 10. It allows you to scroll the contents of any window on your desktop by hovering over it and using the mouse wheel, according to the description. You don’t have to switch focus to the window first, which resolves a long-standing issue with previous Windows versions. Most of the time, you’ll want to keep it enabled.
The Control Panel is where you’ll find the rest of Windows’ mouse settings. The “Additional mouse options” link to the right of the Mouse settings page will take you there. This will open the “Mouse Properties” popup, which hasn’t changed much over the years as Windows has evolved.
This screen’s first tab offers three options. The first is a copy of the Settings app, and it allows you to change the primary mouse button. The second lets you change when double-clicks are registered – if Windows isn’t detecting when you double-click or is making false positive matches, you can finetune how long a double-click has to last using the slider and test area.
The page’s final option controls ClickLock, a rarely used accessibility feature. When it’s turned on, you won’t have to keep your mouse button pressed down when clicking or dragging. Instead, you press and hold the button for a few seconds, which initiates the selection. You can then let go of the button, move the mouse to finish your selection, and then press it again to confirm the action. It’s primarily for people who have trouble holding down the mouse button for long periods of time.
You can change the appearance of your cursor on the second tab of the Mouse Properties dialog. You can choose from the themes that are already installed on your device, or you can upload your own images to use for various cursor states.
Pointer speed and sensitivity
The Pointer Options tab is more directly related to the operation of your mouse. The first set of options has to do with how your cursor moves. You can adjust the speed at which the cursor moves, allowing you to lower or raise the mouse’s effective sensitivity.
There’s also a checkbox called “Enhance pointer precision,” which adjusts the effective sensitivity based on how fast you move the mouse. When you’re selecting a small button slowly, Windows adjusts the sensitivity on the fly to keep the cursor motion precise. If you’re using a gaming or professional mouse, keep in mind that the pointer speed and precision options may conflict with your mouse’s DPI and sensitivity settings.
The Pointer Options tab’s second section controls “Snap To,” an accessibility feature that moves your cursor automatically as new popups appear on your screen. You won’t have to move your mouse to press “OK” because your cursor will automatically “snap to” the default button in each popup.
Finding the cursor
Finally, you can control when the cursor should be hidden in the “Visibility” section. The “Hide pointer while typing” checkbox can be used to disable automatic cursor hiding while typing.
If you have trouble following your cursor, you can use the “Display pointer trails” option to show pointer trails that track your mouse across the screen. “Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key” – a self-explanatory checkbox that can come in handy when you’ve misplaced your mouse – is the final usability tweak.
That’s all there is to the mouse settings in Windows. We won’t go over the other Mouse Properties tabs because Wheel is covered in the Settings page, and Hardware contains technical information about your mouse. Depending on your device, you may see additional tabs in Mouse Properties; for example, many laptop touchpad drivers include additional pages here that allow you to customize their operation.