Whether you use a laptop or a desktop PC, you surely rely on your mouse or on your touchpad every day, as working with Windows essentially implies the use of one of these devices. Even when you use a tablet you can connect a mouse to it, if that makes things easier for you, so it is important to configure your mouse just the way you like it. Let's see how can you do this in Windows 10:
NOTE: The settings we’ll talk about in this article refer to most hardware, but some more advanced mice and touchpads have specialized drivers with many additional options. To configure those settings you will have to refer to your hardware's user manual.
Which are the basic mouse settings in Windows 10
To configure the basic features of your mouse or your touchpad, you need to access the Settings app. In order to do so, first open the Start Menu by clicking or tapping the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen. Next, click or tap on Settings to open the app.
Now, the Settings app opens up. Inside it, click or tap on Devices .
Now choose Mouse & touchpad from the column on the left, to access the mouse configuration settings.
The first setting, “Select your primary button” sets the button allocation. Click to open the list of options and choose between having your left or right mouse button set as primary. The default setting is left, but you might want to change it to right if you are left-handed.
The second option configures how scrolling with the mouse wheel works. Click to choose one of the available options: scroll Multiple lines at a time or scroll One screen at a time . The first is the default setting, which makes scrolling smoother and slower, while selecting the second one makes the mouse wheel scroll a whole screen of content at a time. The easiest way to see how these scrolling options work is to open a website, like Digital Citizen and check which scrolling method you prefer.
If you choose to scroll Multiple lines at a time , the scrollbar below becomes active: here you can set how many lines to scroll at a time. Simply click and drag the bar cursor to the left or to the right to decrease or increase the number of lines. The default setting is 3.
Next, you can set another scroll behaviour, referring to inactive windows, or windows in the background. If “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them” is set to On , you just need to move your mouse cursor over an inactive window, and the wheel will scroll its contents. If it's turned Off , you will first have to click (thus activate) the inactive windows before scrolling their contents. The default setting is On . Click or tap on it to change it.
If you work on a laptop, you will also get a last option, for touchpads only, that lets you choose an activation delay for touchpad clicks. The longer the delay, the longer it takes to be able to click with your touchpad after finishing typing. This is used to prevent accidental clicks with your palm during typing. You can choose between Long delay , Medium delay or Short delay , or you can turn it off by selecting No delay (always on) . The default setting is Medium delay .
Which are the advanced mouse settings in Windows 10
If you want to explore additional mouse settings, click the “Additional mouse options” link in the Mouse & touchpad settings window, under the Related settings section.
Now, the Mouse Properties window opens up with the first tab, Buttons being active.
The first thing you can do is change the primary mouse button - the same setting you had by selecting the primary mouse button in the Mouse & touchpad settings window. Here, you don't choose the primary button, but switch them by ticking the “Switch primary and secondary buttons” box, an important feature for left-handed people. The picture of a mouse on the right shows which button is currently the primary (which is colored in blue).
You can also set the “Double-click speed” : this sets how fast you have to press the primary mouse button two times in order to have it considered a double-click. Slower mouse users might want to lower this speed. You can test the selected option on the folder icon on the right.
ClickLock is the last feature on this tab: you can turn it on by ticking the “Turn on ClickLock” box.
When ClickLock is on, it can replace clicking and dragging: just click and hold your mouse button briefly, then release it. This "locks" the click and your mouse button will be considered pressed until you click again. Click the Settings button to configure ClickLock length.
Here you can set how long you need to hold down the mouse button before the click is "locked". Just drag the bar left or right to decrease or increase the required time. Apply the setting by clicking OK .
To access pointer options, click the Pointers tab on the top of the Mouse Properties window.
We have discussed the customization options for mouse pointers in an earlier article written for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. However, the process is the same in Windows 10 too: click here to read about it.
To customize pointer options, click the “Pointer Options” tab on top of the Mouse Properties window.
Here you can set how fast your mouse pointer will move on the screen, by clicking and dragging the “Select a pointer speed” bar: move it to the left or right to decrease or increase pointer speed. Ticking the “Enhance pointer precision” makes mouse clicks more precise, so we recommend leaving this box checked.
Enabling the “Snap To” setting by checking its box makes the mouse pointer automatically move to the default button (like OK , Yes , Save , etc.) in dialog boxes.
Checking the “Display pointer trails” box sets the mouse pointer to be followed by a trail of additional pointers. This makes the mouse pointer easier to follow on low-light screens. Move the bar to the left or right to decrease or increase the trail's length.
Checking the “Hide pointer while typing” is especially useful when you type longer texts in a word processor or email software, as the mouse cursor will disappear when you type, making text easier to read.
The “Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key” option can be useful on low-light monitors. This makes the CTRL key mark the mouse pointer's location with animated, radar-like circles.
To customize mouse wheel options, click the Wheel tab on the top of the Mouse Properties window.
The “Vertical Scrolling” options are the same you have seen in the Mouse & touchpad settings screen: you can choose how much content is scrolled at a time, and set the number of lines if the first option is chosen.
Under Horizontal Scrolling you can set how many characters to scroll horizontally when you tilt the mouse wheel. Note that this doesn't work on every kind of mouse, you will need one that supports horizontal scrolling.
To view mouse hardware options, click the Hardware tab on the top of the Mouse Properties window.
Here you can see all the mice and the touchpads connected to your computer, their manufacturer, what port they are plugged in and if the devices are working properly. Usually there is no need to access this page and the hardware properties are meant to be used only by advanced users.
In Windows 10, you can configure every little detail of how your mouse works. Compared to previous Windows versions, Windows 10 brings about the simplified and easy to access Settings app, where you can modify the basic settings, while at the same time you can access the more detailed Mouse Properties window, with more options and an interface familiar to users of previous Windows versions. If you have any questions regarding mouse settings, please let us know in the comments below.