The mouse acceleration on Mac OS X is driving me nuts. It may work for touchpads but nothing beats the Windows' acceleration curves. Is there a way to modify the behaviour on OS X? I tried getting a Microsoft mouse driver for OS X but it didn't work since my mouse is not from Microsoft.

8 Answers 8


Take a look at Mouse Acceleration Preference Pane.

  • 4
    Nice to see a free Mac app. Also tried steermouse but didn't find an ideal program for this to be honest. I think Apple really should copy the MS Windows acceleration algorithm. Jul 21, 2009 at 19:18
  • 1
    Although I'm a new Mac user, I've read that it was more like Windows in OS 9 and earlier. For some reason they thought it would be helpful to have this bizarre scheme in OS X. Still, we are talking about a company that thinks the Mighty Mouse is a good idea - even most Mac fanatics hate that!
    – U62
    Aug 25, 2009 at 14:44
  • This now works with Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard.
    – Tom Kidd
    Feb 25, 2010 at 6:04
  • 1
    Yes, it works on Snow Leapard - without acceleration, defeating the purpose of the program. -1 for wasting my time. May 7, 2011 at 2:15
  • 2
    I know this is an old post. But this App doesn't work anymore in Big Sur Dec 10, 2020 at 4:24

Another new option is SmoothMouse. Its work on Mountain Lion and supports the Magic Mouse. Some folks are quite happy with it (discussion). I'm personally still deciding (but already think its better than standard OSX).

  • Just installed it, and having bought a few other options, I think I finally found my solution in this free application. Its Windows mouse curve emulation works great, and after firing up Quake3 arena on mac, I made some jumps I was not able to make until now. One additional note is that it apparently also corrects the mouse lag in OS X... and all this as of OS X 10.8
    – Marius
    Aug 23, 2013 at 1:57
  • Just confirming that it is works fine in10.10
    – alexeit
    May 4, 2015 at 2:37
  • Very good utility - unfortunately conflicts with Karabiner which is more important (for me) - it would be possible for the authors to fix that issue though
    – cwd
    May 9, 2015 at 11:34
  • On mac when you move the mouse slower, the speed is not constant, it bugs me a lot, this one was what I was looking for, thanks!
    – miguelmpn
    Mar 28, 2016 at 21:49
  • 2
    SmoothMouse is now discontinued from macOS Sierra onward. Given that Apple fixed mouse lag a year ago, the author recommends using ControllerMate to set a custom acceleration curve. Unfortunately they don't provide a config containing such a curve.
    – JamesGecko
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:53

To turn off mouse acceleration entirely, run the following in the terminal:

defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling -1

This made it feel pretty Windows-y to me. Love Apple's trackpads, but the mouse settings are full of fail.

To turn mouse acceleration back on, change anything in the mouse preference pane, or run the command again with 1 instead of -1.

  • I think this is ok if you only have a one, smaller display. With multiple big displays you really need some sort of acceleration.
    – studgeek
    Jul 7, 2012 at 23:42
  • oh god, thank you lord! I wasn't even sure I needed it but my dear God, this is a huge difference.
    – Blub
    Oct 13, 2014 at 6:05
  • Oh, thank you very much!!! That weird acceleration was driving me crazy...
    – BrunoJCM
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:11
  • I liked defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling 9 the best for the Magic Mouse 2 Dec 6, 2017 at 19:38

Try ControllerMate.

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is the most unusable program I've used in my life. The interface is so bloated (it looks almost like Photoshop), that I never was able to open the acceleration settings. -1 for wasting my time. May 7, 2011 at 2:16
  • Link does not work any more.
    – T3rm1
    Mar 4, 2020 at 20:38

I may sound extreme, but I connect my mouse to a small, quiet, Windows laptop and use synergy with the mac as a client. This works well for me.

None, and I repeat, none (I've tried all of them) of the available OS X mouse mods out there actually get your mouse to behave like it does on Windows. They just get you a little closer. Furthermore, regardless of the acceleration curve, OS X has a defect that causes many mice to make erratic jumping movements (apparently this is fixed in OSX Lion...) and no available software (except for OSX Lion) addresses it.

Synergy is not a great solution, but it is a solution. In particular you should not run it over wifi and instead use as direct of an ethernet connection as possible to reduce the latency. Also a bummer is that sometimes my cursor disappears, and I have to switch apps with cmd+tab in order to restore it.

As much as a perfectionist as Steve Jobs was, the cursor tracking on OS X unfortunately eluded his attention. The only solution is to actually use Windows, hence synergy.

  • 1
    +1 on the perfectionist note. MS wins this one. Oct 30, 2011 at 1:44
  • A very creative approach :).
    – studgeek
    Dec 13, 2012 at 20:51

Try SteerMouse

Don't be put off by the slightly naff website, this is the best one I've found available for Lion. You can download a trial - definitely worth a purchase though.

Just set the tracking speed to 0 and set the sensitivity to whatever feels normal for your mouse.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I've been using this for some time now, however, it does not emulate Windows mouse curve. SmoothMouse (as already mentioned in this thread) does a better job. But this application does have some handy button remapping.
    – Marius
    Aug 23, 2013 at 2:01

The command line version of mousefix/iMouseFix continues to work for me on 10.8 (also worked on 10.7 and 10.6) with the Apple MagicMouse and MacBook trackpad (some of the other suggested solutions don't work for the MagicMouse).

I can quickly move the mouse between displays, but also do fine work with a setting of 3.5 on 10.8 and 8 on 10.6.

To use download mousefix.tbz2 from http://code.google.com/p/mousefix-10-6/downloads/list. Then run it on the command line:

mousefix 8

Once you have the right setting, just added it to your ~/.profile as they suggest in the README

FYI, The binary download is mousefix.tbz2 at http://code.google.com/p/mousefix-10-6/downloads/list.


Update for Mojave and up:

This appears to be working for me in 10.15.7

Copy files into place

/Library/PreferencePanes/Microsoft Mouse.prefPane

Add NSAppleEventsUsageDescription key to:


To these file:

/Library/PreferencePanes/Microsoft Mouse.prefPane/Contents/Resources/MicrosoftMouseHelper.app/Contents/Info.plist
/Library/PreferencePanes/Microsoft Mouse.prefPane/Contents/Info.plist (not sure this is needed or works)

Fix permissions:

sudo chown -R root:wheel /Library/PreferencePanes/Microsoft\ Mouse.prefPane
sudo chown -R root:wheel /Library/Extensions/MicrosoftMouse.kext
sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions

Add this to startup:

/Library/PreferencePanes/Microsoft\ Mouse.prefPane/Contents/Resources/MicrosoftMouseHelper.app


Load kexts if needed (verify running in System Profiler, Extensions; I did not need to do this):

sudo kextload /Library/Extensions/MicrosoftMouse.kext
sudo kextload /Library/Extensions/MicrosoftMouse.kext/Contents/Plugins/MicrosoftMouseUSB.kext

Seems the prefpane errors when launched and shows mouse not plugged in but still allows controls to be manipulated and settings appear not to take effect immediately.

See also:

If you have a Microsoft Mouse, you can use IntelliPoint acceleration, which is like Windows.

After disabling SIP, you can still install and use Microsoft IntelliPoint v305 on MacOS 10.13.6. You may need to restart after installing the driver, for a total of 3 restarts (1 to disable SIP, 1 to get back into MacOS, 1 after driver is installed).

I find that you also need to activate the Microsoft Mouse preference pane after the computer restarts.

You can do this with an AppleScript, built as a .app, set to run at login:

tell application "System Preferences"
    set the current pane to pane id "com.microsoft.microsoftmouse"
    delay 1
    if application "System Preferences" is running then
        tell application "System Preferences" to quit
    end if
end tell

MacOS updates or clearing PRAM may interfere with the driver. You can tell if it's working by verifiying it shows a picture of your mouse instead of a picture of a USB cable being inserted.

If the driver fails to show the image of the mouse, you may have to:

  1. Disable SIP
  2. Reinstall the driver
  • Installer no longer works in Big Sur.
    – vaughan
    Jan 10, 2021 at 23:46
  • @vaughan it doesn't work in Catalina either =( USB overdrive seems to do a good job.
    – Charlie
    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:58
  • I had installed it before I upgraded and I have found that you just need to copy the kext into the Extensions dir and it works fine.
    – vaughan
    Jan 24, 2021 at 21:57
  • @vaughan which kext? From where to where specifically?
    – Charlie
    Jan 25, 2021 at 2:46
  • /sbin/kextload /Library/Extensions/MicrosoftMouse.kext. You can probably find it in the installer bundle. Otherwise, just install an earlier version of macOS on a VM and take it from there.
    – vaughan
    Jan 25, 2021 at 18:23

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