For a Macbook Pro, I've set trackpad settings for Three Fingers to "Dragging":

enter image description here

However the tracking speed is too slow, and often it's impossible to drag for a larger distance due to the size of the physical trackpad.

How do we increase the tracking speed beyond the maximum allowed?


7 Answers 7


BetterTouchTool does that, and lets you add application specific gestures as well!

In BetterTouchTool, open Preferences. In the left bar under Advanced Settings choose either Trackpad or Magic Mouse. There is a slider that adjusts the tracking speed.

I don't think I could use a mac without it, at this point. I have my browser-tab-management and finder shortcuts mapped to multitouch gestures.

  • 5
    It is under Basic Settings > Magic Mouse > Set mouse speed. It is amazing!
    – phyatt
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 5:55
  • Perfect, perfect tool. Like you, I can't use my mac without it. Thanks :). Love it
    – Giau Huynh
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 2:09
  • 1
    FYI, BetterTouchTool does not work in Sierra for this purpose (BTT now has a warning next to this option). The answer from @user495470 worked for me - "defaults write -g com.apple.trackpad.scaling -float 5.0" (or for mouse: "defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 5.0").
    – Freewalker
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 13:28
  • @LukeWilliams - Apple seems dead-set on ruining Mac OS. Bring back snow leopard!
    – Fake Name
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 19:24
  • 1
    no longer valid
    – Luk Aron
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 7:55

The value of the preference is stored in ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist and can be changed with something like defaults write -g com.apple.trackpad.scaling -float 5.0. The normal maximum value is currently 3.0. Applying the changes requires logging out and back in.

  • 32
    For those who come here searching for mouse speed up (as me) change the above command/property to com.apple.mouse.scaling. So defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 5.0 is what you're looking for.
    – Lucas
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    I found the file but how did you guys read the content of the file? It contains strange strings.
    – Code42
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 3:18
  • 1
    @Lucas Would you mind putting your comment as an answer? That way your information isn't lost if your comment is accidentally removed. I came here looking for a way to increase mouse speed and I'm sure others have too. I'll upvote you! Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 3:01
  • 2
    @Dr_Hope You're not actually supposed to open the file, but you can modify it using the command mentioned in the answer. Open your Terminal app and enter this command: defaults write -g com.apple.trackpad.scaling -float 5.0 Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:27
  • 4
    the value 5.0 isn't speeding up my macbook pro trackpad. 3.0 seems to be the maximum, any greater value have no speed gain. I'm curious to know if BetterTouchTool can actually make the internal trackpad move faster. If it can, there must be another terminal command that can do it too.
    – Yoric
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 10:50

For those who come here searching for mouse speed up (as me), change the command/property mentioned on the answer of @user495470 to com.apple.mouse.scaling.


defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 5.0

is what you're looking for.

Here is @Kodos Johnson :)

  • 11
    And be sure to logout or reboot for it to take effect.
    – johnthagen
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 12:06
  • 3
    defaults read -g com.apple.mouse.scaling was helpful for me to see first that mine is set at 3. Unfortunately neither defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 5.0` nor defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 7.0 seemed to have any effect, even logging out and back in after each. So I'm still looking for a solution because the max mouse tracking speed is intolerably slow for a 42.5" monitor.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 19:26
  • does not seem to work on Catalina, same outcome as described by @Ryan. Lucas: what version of MacOS were you using where this worked for you?
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:31
  • @Z4-tier Here is what worked for me: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/365655/…
    – Ryan
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 1:05
  • 4
    @Ryan - 5.0 did not have an effect for me. But 10.0 worked. Be sure to log out and log back in. defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 10.0
    – B Seven
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 16:44

Mouse Curves is a preference pane that allows you to customize the tracking speed of the mouse and trackpad.



Ordinary trackpad-dragging can be done in segments, the same way mouse-dragging can be done in limited space, by lifting & repositioning {the mouse; your fingers} and making another swipe. In your prefpane, enable one-finger click and drag, and you won't even need to press down.


As mentioned before, the file is in ~/Library/Preferences/.

But preferences will be found in more than one file.

.GlobalPreferences.plist com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse.plist com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist

Note that .GlobalPreferences.plist is invisible.

Mouse speed is called scaling in .GlobalPreferences.plist.

Setting scaling past 3 with defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling 5 has no effect immediately and may require a logout.

file://~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse.plist file://~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist file://~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist


If you turn inertial scrolling on, you can, once you've started a drag gesture, keep two fingers steady and flick with the other one to inertially "drag" the window around your screen(s).

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