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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed System
I've known some people for whom the fastest trackpad speed setting still seemed sluggish. You can manually change the setting to whatever you want by modifying the .GlobalPreferences.plist file, located in your user's Library/Preferences folder. Notice the dot before the name -- this means that the file is hidden in the Finder. The easiest way I know of to open it is to open Terminal and type:
open ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist
Once you've got the file open, changing the setting for to something higher will make the trackpad more responsive. For example, a setting of 5 is noticeably faster than the fastest setting available in System Preferences, and a setting of 20 would be uncontrollably fast. You can also change to alter the speed of mouse tracking.

The simplest way I knew of to commit these settings once I had altered and saved .GlobalPreferences.plist was to log out and log back in.

[robg adds: We talked about mouse scaling in this hint from late 2001, but we've never covered trackpad scaling. As with the previous hint, if you happen to use the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel to change the speed setting again, you'll have to re-do your edits to get your faster speed back.]
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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: chabig on Dec 30, '05 07:47:40AM
Or for the GUI inclined: MouseZoom. Personally, I think the prefpane is a lot easier than editing plists.

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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: PopMcGee on Dec 30, '05 09:01:44AM

Is there also a way to set the acceleration (the difference between the speed of a slowmoving mouse and the additional speed of a fastmoving mouse)?

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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: matsw on Dec 31, '05 02:32:09AM

You can also use this command instead of editing the plist:

$ defaults write -g 7

It takes effect as soon as you open and close the Mouse system pref

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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: macegruvy on Apr 23, '08 05:58:22PM

OK. I did this on 10.5.2 and for whatever reason, it's not applying the changes. I bump the speed up, save, restart, and upon initial load, the mouse is at the new speed, but shortly after, it reverts to the old speed.

Anyone have any suggestions? I tried Mouse Zoom as well, same thing.


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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: phifer8390 on Sep 13, '09 02:40:52PM

I hate to bring up an old topic like this but has the process changed in the newer versions of OS X? I have Snow Leopard and my config file is as follows...

bplist00fl^AppleLanguages_'"NSNavPanelFileListModeForOpenMode2\[††•V/Video_/Volumes/UNTITLED 1/Photos_/Incomplete TorrentsY/Torrents_~/Desktop/Music

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Increase trackpad (and mouse) tracking speed
Authored by: MrVern on Feb 04, '10 10:31:23PM

I'm a OS X newbie, so I am extremely proud of myself for having been able to figure this out. I have the Magic Mouse, and I really needed it to track a lot faster.

The newer versions of OS X use a binary format for the preference files. That's why when we look at them using the old method they are unreadable. I used the plutil command to convert the binary file to XML and back again after editing.

Here's how.
In the terminal window issue the command:
plutil -convert xml1 -e xml ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist

Edit the ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.xml file in your favorite editor. I used vi, but there must be another easier one.

Find the (in my case, mouse) section of the XML file that says:

Change the 3 to 20 and save the file.

To verify the file is not messed up, in the terminal window, issue the command:
plutil ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.xml

It should return the full path to the file and ": OK"; if not, figure out what you did wrong.

To convert the XML file back to the binary version issue this command in the terminal window:
plutil -convert binary1 -e plist ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.xml

I rebooted and now my mouse tracks all the way across the screen with just a little more than 4 inches movement of the mouse.

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