Mouse acceleration is pretty straightforward. The setting is meant to boost your mouse. It will move faster, but also provide a higher performance when used for certain applications. Many gamers, for example, rely on mouse acceleration for active games. Some workers will also use it, not to mention those who simply want better results from their mice – especially when they invest in top notch mice.
Now, while lots of people are happy with the settings, many others would like to know how to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac. You might need to find out more about it before making a decision – you have to know what it is, how it helps and when things could go wrong. Once you have all these covered, you can finally learn how to get rid of it.
From many points of view, Mac OS X is almost perfect. But then, just like any other operating system, it has some flaws. The way it transmits motion into pointer activity could be seen as a flaw by some. This is why switching from a different operating system will take a while to get used to – the motion feels a bit unnatural until you get used to it.
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What is mouse acceleration?
So, what is mouse acceleration in the first place anyway? Most Mac users are not ever aware of it, so they never bother about it. The mouse motion might feel a bit weird when they switch from one system to another, but they get used to it anyway.
Simply put, a basic mouse driver will analyze the movement of your mouse. Based on what the sensitivity settings are like, the cursor will move accordingly over your screen – speed, distance and so on. This is the default setting for most systems.
Mouse acceleration goes on top of this basic operational principle. You may not notice it if you barely use the mouse. But generally speaking, as the mouse is moved over a particular point, the cursor goes proportionally faster and further.
The setting could be based on a certain boundary – it kicks in when you move beyond the border. It could also be based on a certain speed – you move fast and the acceleration kicks in. Everything in this setting is directly proportional with your mouse movement though.
Why would you disable mouse acceleration on Mac?
In theory, Mac mouse acceleration like Windows is a good thing that aims to provide better screen value for your actual movements. However, is mouse acceleration good for gaming? If you are after a gaming mouse, you get used to certain movements and sensitivity standards. Unless you play a slow burner, an intense game will get you to move your mouse frenetically.
At this point, you will inevitably trigger the mouse acceleration without even trying. Someone shots you, you turn around quickly, but the acceleration kicks in and you move too far – you would have to turn back a little to see the enemy. By the time you do all these, your game is over – you have been killed. When it comes to office work, the issue is not that bad because your movements are slower.
Imagine Minecraft mouse acceleration on Mac versus office work acceleration – a pretty big difference, right?
Many users – especially the new ones – are not necessarily used to this setting, hence the attempt to learn how to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac. The main issue refers to losing precision, particularly when drawing or using the cursor in similar applications – most importantly, in games.
You will, indeed, get used to this setting. But then, movements under acceleration are never really anticipated. They will usually take you by surprise. It is one thing to feel a natural movement and a different thing to feel an enhanced one – even if you are aware of it, you lack precision.
Based on what you use the computer for, you can ignore the feature as you get used to it or you can learn how to turn off mouse acceleration Mac trackpad. Interested in getting rid of it? Here are the three most common ways to do it.
Is there a disable mouse acceleration app for Mac?
There are plenty of softwares out there that can enhance the features of your mouse and give you access to the mouse acceleration feature. But then, why would you install third party software or pay for it? Instead, you can rely on an alternative script to any Mac disable mouse acceleration app.
The script is known as killmouseaccel and was written by a famous user and developer. It can disable the mouse acceleration feature while it is on, while a simple reboot can bring it back on if you want it for other applications.
Get the script for free and go to your terminal to make it executable before running it. There are three commands to perform one at a time:
curl -O http://ktwit.net/code/killmouseaccel chmod +x killmouseaccel ./killmouseaccel mouse
Your problem is solved now. To go back, reach to the system preferences, find the mouse and go to the tracking slider. You might need to reboot the unit.
How to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac
Learning how to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac trackpad with defaults is just as simple. You basically need to put on a few commands in the terminal and the mouse acceleration will be killed while it is still running.
Open the terminal and type in the following command:
defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling -1
Once in, the setting will be changed. The first step is to move the mouse around and check – you will still notice it. This is why you need to log out after performing the command – sometimes, rebooting might sort it out.
To reverse the command and bring the mouse acceleration back on, you can perform the same command, yet you need to change the value at the end. The problem is that every mouse has a different value. This value depends on more factors, such as the version of Mac OS X you use and even the type of mouse. If you want to restore the setting, you need to bring back the initial value, which varies widely. Most commonly, it is set to 2 or 3, yet you can also find 0.125 or other low values.
To figure out the value you have by default, perform the following command before altering the setting:
defaults read .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling
This way, you will know what value to go back to. Anytime you change the value, you must log out for the settings to adjust.
Bonus: How to turn it off through preferences?
Preference panels to adjust this setting are quite common – most of them are free. They are usually designed by third parties – not even big companies, but advanced users with a good reputation in the community.
The problem is most of these panels will usually alter the actual setting. Practically, you can adjust it. You can add to its sensitivity or reduce it, based on your preferences. Some of them allow you to turn it off completely, but this is not a general rule.
There are more options out there – some of them are better rated than others. It does pay off researching your options on related forums and discussion boards – you need to trust the source and ensure it is not doing you any harm.
In the same category, you will also find third party software that can adjust or kill the mouse acceleration. Learning how to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac is mostly a matter of research. Such softwares may come from more reputable companies – some of them for free, while others for premium subscriptions.
Other than that, these preference panels are more commonly used to adjust the mouse acceleration. You will get a deep and well detailed control over the mouse. Precision is part of the game too. If you truly want to kill the setting, command line methods are faster and more efficient.
Bonus 2: Now You Can Turn It Off In Chrome
Chrome 88 introduced the Pointer Lock API that allows you to disable mouse acceleration. That means the same physical motion, slow or fast, results in the same rotation, providing a better gaming experience and higher accuracy.
As a short final conclusion, learning how to turn off mouse acceleration on Mac is not that difficult and you do have some options. Obviously, choosing the easiest way involves speed, convenience, and safety. From all the above-mentioned options, the default commands make the simplest choice.
While it is hard to count, more and more people turn to such solutions. Apple thought it could be a good idea – in theory, it is. In practice, it makes the mouse feel unrealistic and can seriously affect the precision as you work or play games.
Some people love it and others hate it. Disabling it completely may not necessarily be the best option, but adding some convenient options to get rid of it or adjust it would certainly help. The good news is at least you know why your mouse moves like that and you can actually get rid of it.