The Mac Magic Mouse with multi-touch is fantastic for many users, allowing you to swipe and scroll around through documents by touch alone, but some people may find that they accidentally trigger touch gestures or other scrolling behavior they don’t want. This happens more often than you might think, particularly for people who have come to the Mac from a platform without multitouch. Thus, some users may just want a Magic Mouse to work like a generic mouse, without any multitouch scrolling behavior, instead just moving the cursor on screen without any touch responsive multitouch gestures being activated.
While you can toggle some Magic Mouse settings and gestures off and on within the “Mouse” System Preferences, if you want to go further and turn off multitouch you’ll need to turn to the command line of Mac OS. With Terminal, you can disable multi-touch on the Magic Mouse, this will stop momentum scrolling, stop all horizontal scrolling, and stop all vertical scrolling capabilities too. Yes, that means the two-finger scroll in all directions.
This tutorial will show you who to disable multitouch on Magic Mouse, and also how to re-enable multitouch on a Magic Mouse again if you change your mind and want the scrolling abilities back again.
How to Turn Off Multitouch on a Mac Magic Mouse
Note this will prevent all multitouch scrolling capabilities from working on the Magic Mouse and from being activated at all, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Only issue these commands if you want no scrolling capabilities or multitouch capabilities on the Magic Mouse at all.
- Open the Terminal and enter the following commands into the terminal:
- Hit Return to execute the commands, each command must run separately for changes to take effect
- When finished running all six commands, reboot the Mac by going to the Apple menu and choosing “Restart”
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseMomentumScroll -bool NO;
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseHorizontalScroll -bool NO;
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseVerticalScroll -bool NO;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseMomentumScroll -bool NO;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseHorizontalScroll -bool NO;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseVerticalScroll -bool NO;
When the Mac boots back up, the Magic Mouse multitouch scrolling capabilities will be disabled and instead the mouse will behave more like a typical mouse without any multitouch.
Remember, other multitouch and Magic Mouse options are available to adjust within the Apple menu > System Preferences > Mouse control panel, and if you use a trackpad you can find similar capabilities in the Trackpad system preference panel too. This includes the ability to make adjustments to things like tap to click, a literal right-click, the many multi-touch gestures, three finger drag, and much more. While the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (and laptop trackpad) are different devices, many share the same gestures and features.
If you have any difficulty getting the commands to work with copy and paste, run them each independently, putting one by one each on their own command line, hitting return, and then issuing the next command.
How to Re-Enable Multitouch on Magic Mouse for Mac
Return to the Terminal app (found in /Applications/Utilities/) and enter the following commands, you will notice the only command difference is the “NO” boolean in the defaults string has been changed to YES:
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseMomentumScroll -bool YES;
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseHorizontalScroll -bool YES;
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse MouseVerticalScroll -bool YES;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseMomentumScroll -bool YES;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseHorizontalScroll -bool YES;
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouchMouse MouseVerticalScroll -bool YES;
Again execute each command and reboot the Mac to regain multitouch capabilities.
Separately, if you happened to have toggled on/off any other settings for Magic Mouse in the Mouse preference panel, don’t forget to go back to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Mouse section of your settings and adjust them again as well.
Another option is to use a third party app like BetterTouchTool or MagicPrefs, which allows you to disable and enable specific gestures and Magic Mouse abilities through a little control panel like Mac app too.
Have any other tips or insights for adjusting multitouch or a Magic Mouse to better work for you? Share with us in the comments below!