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How to change the DPI on a Mouse?

by Linda D. Yelverton

Have you ever thought about what can be the best output that one can receive from the mouse? Have you tried attempting it? Most of us rarely do this research.

It is always important that you acknowledge the different options available in your appliances and use it to the optimum levels. This can help us in many ways from financial factors to professional improvements.

The operating efficiency of the mouse can be enabled by setting the right options especially while playing games and working on heavier applications. How can this be done?  What does DPI mean? Let us explore.

Mouse DPI

DPI actually means Dots Per Inch. Mouse DPI is a standard measurement of the sensitivity of a mouse. To be more precise, it is the extent of speed in which the mouse functions. It determines how fast the mouse could move on the screen.

Fundamentally, sensitivity determines the centimeters that the mouse can move at one instant of time. If the mouse sensitivity is set at the higher end, we need not work much on our hands. We will have to just make minor moves to click at the accurate position. Further, let us understand how to change the Mouse DPI.

macbook with mouse

Changing Mouse DPI settings

The Mouse DPI can be changed almost instantly by altering the pointer speed in the Mouse Settings. The pointer speed proportionally increases with the increase in Mouse DPI. There are two methods which basically depend on the hardware and software type; Mouse Settings in the System and “On – the – fly” button switch on the Mouse itself. Let us explore a little in detail.

How to increase mouse DPI?

Mouse properties and settings vary in Windows and Mac software systems. Let us check both separately.

  • Mouse DPI settings in Windows
  • Open Control Panel on your computer and choose “Mouse”. This will open the Mouse properties.
  • Click the Pointer Options tab.
  • In the Motion segment, you can set the pointer speed by dragging the slide forward and backward.

If you are planning to use the mouse for gaming purposes, then uncheck the “Enhance pointer precision” option. It tends to move the mouse in different lengths corresponding to how quickly you keep moving the mouse. This distracts a lot while playing and so not recommended.

Once, you have set the right speed point check the movement of the mouse and then click on “OK” and “Apply” to save the changes made. If you feel the changes are not appropriate at certain places, you can any time change the settings again.

Mouse properties in MacBook

  • Click and open the Apple Menu in your MacBook.
  • Search and select the System Preferences option.
  • There are two variants after this step.
    • On the Desktop, choose the Mouse option and change the pointer speed as you prefer.
    • On the laptop, look for Trackpad option and select the tab “Point and Click”. Here you can change the slide to increase or decrease the speed positions.

Further, check if the settings work fine for you and exit the window to save the changes accordingly.

DPI on – the – fly button

If your mouse has an on – the – fly switch, then you can instantly change the Mouse DPI as and when required. It is generally located on top of the mouse and towards the downward direction. Slide or press the button to make changes to your Mouse DPI. The moment you touch that button, you can see a notification on your screen that will display the changes you make.

This option is basically used by photographers and stylists while editing images. The switch over on the mouse becomes handy when you want to make quick changes as you work on the photographs. The reflections of the sensitivity can be seen as you edit the photos and while making very minute changes precisely. When the pointer speed increases, you need to apply less effort with your hands as the Mouse keeps moving faster.


For gaming purposes, it is good to set the DPI in the range 400 – 800. We should not take it for granted and increase the pointer speed to the maximum. It can have very bad consequences and ultimately damage the system within. Always try fixing the pointer speed at an optimal level to let the system perform consistently.

Accelerating the Mouse unnecessarily can get difficult over a period of time. On the general setting, the cursor moves a predefined distance for every similar distance you move on the mouse. There is good coordination and it is recommended to keep this consistency always for any applications.

It is apt for gaming applications as well. On accelerating the mouse settings, the cursor is bound to move a specific distance multiplied compared to the movement we show in our mouse. For example, if we move one centimeter, the cursor has to move ten times more. This is unnecessary and can have bad implications if used any number of times.

It can actually limit how precisely you can move artificially. You will be driven to move the cursor down below a certain limit to achieve the right accuracy as far as precision is considered. Also at high DPI, the cursor might fly across the entire screen without your control.

However, certain professions demand increased DPI settings just like the photography field. Also, a high DPI may be required when the size of the monitor is pretty much large. In these cases, it is important to technically analyze the system and the nature of work and find the optimum adjustment levels and fix it accordingly so that the Mouse and associated parts stay for a longer lifetime.

You may not know the consequences as and when you use. The repercussions of heavy stress may collapse the system when we are in extreme need. Mouse functionalities are very important without which you can never use a computer. Research and explore the best favorable DPI setting..!!

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