Adjusting Mouse Click Sensitivity

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 26, 2018)

4

The "click" action for Donna's mouse seems very sensitive. In fact, for some links all she needs to do is hover over the link and Windows thinks she has clicked, even when she haven't. Donna wonders if there is a way to make the mouse less sensitive.

The mouse is a programmable piece of hardware whose behavior can be changed by modifying some settings within Windows. The primary controls that you are interested in are in the Mouse Properties dialog box:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hardware and Sound category.
  3. Click the Mouse link, under the Devices and Printers category. Windows displays the Mouse Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Pointer Options tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Pointer Options tab of the Mouse Properties dialog box.

You may need to play around with the settings in the dialog box a bit; the major thing to check is your pointer speed. There have been reports that if the speed is set too slow or too fast for your mouse, it can result in some erratic behavior—like that reported by Donna.

You may also want to look at the Buttons tab of the Mouse Properties dialog box. There is a setting there that allows you to specify how sensitive the mouse is when detecting single-click vs. double-click. This can also affect mouse performance.

Finally, there is one other thing to check if you have an older mouse that has a roller ball on the bottom: It may be dirty. Turn your system off, turn the mouse upside down, turn the ring around the ball to remove it, and look for any grunge that has built up inside the roller ball housing. Make sure you inspect the small wheels against which the ball rolls and the ball itself. They should all be free of dirt and dust.

 This tip (13387) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is four less than 5?

2020-11-27 19:22:38

Rick Johnson

@JJ
You are mostly right but the author did point to a "possible" setup reason for the ghost selections. It should have been mentioned to try a different mouse (if it wasn't).

"There have been reports that if the speed is set too slow or too fast for your mouse, it can result in some erratic behavior—like that reported"


2020-11-27 19:17:06

Rick Johnson

I cannot click down-up fast enough and I often cannot keep the mouse still during the click action.

Consider the difference between these two actions:
mouse left-click and hold to grab a screen element
vs.
mouse left-click (w/out hold) to select a screen element.

I frequently fail to single click an item because the mouse moves a pixel or two between the button-down and the button-up events. It is annoying (at times extremely so) and I would like to either increase the threshold of time between down-click and up-click that is considered a "hold", OR increase the distance the mouse moves between down-click and up-click before it is considered a "hold and move" action.


2019-05-17 19:40:30

JJ

The control panel shown adjusts the pointer sensitivity -- how fast the pointer moves -- and NOT the click sensitivity. Double click sensitivity adjusts how close in timing two clicks need to be to be considered a double click, NOT how easy it is to click. This article doesn't address click sensitivity AT ALL and is badly titled and does NOT solve the problem proposed in the first paragraph, which is "clicking too easily".AFAIK there is no setting in Windows for click sensitivity, although some drivers such as Wacom tablets may separately provide one. That said, if Windows does have such a setting buried somewhere, I'd love to see it because my mouse is misbehaving in just this way. :(


2018-03-26 13:04:30

Allan Poe

In my Windows 7 there is no Control Panel>Hardware and Sound category. Must use Mouse category.


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