Computer mice have a dots-per-second indicator, often referred to as DPI. It is used to test your mouse's sensitivity, enabling you to adjust your mouse cursor's speed by adjusting how many pixels per second it moves.
Understanding your DPI is particularly useful when playing video games or using software where you want to be precise when placing your cursor. It also makes it much easier to use widescreen monitors and multiple displays.
Throughout this article, we will present how your mouse DPI can be checked and changed on Windows 10.
What is the mouse DPI?
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. It's a measurement used to show how many pixels your mouse can move when you move it one inch. For example, if your mouse has 1600 DPI, then moving it exactly one inch (2.54 cm) will move the cursor 1600 pixels on your screen.
The higher your DPI is, the more sensitive your mouse is. For example, modern gaming mice have DPIs up to 20000. This may seem unpleasant, however, many people using large or multiple displays love being able to move the cursor faster.
Tip: All of the methods in this article can be performed by anybody, as our guides are easy to follow and don’t require any previous Windows 10 experience. If you know anyone who’s experiencing issues with their system, don’t forget to recommend us!
While most people aren’t concerned about DPI, it’s something important for those who play video games. Especially in First Person Shooter (FPS) titles, many theorize about the perfect DPI setting to aim precisely.
Below are several ways for you to change your mouse DPI, then check your current DPI to always remember what setting works the best.
How to change your mouse DPI in Windows 10
Many people want to modify their current DPI setting to achieve higher or lower sensitivity. You can gain more comfort and operate your device better. Having perfect sensitivity allows you to get things done better and enjoy your gaming experience even more.
The process of changing your DPI varies based on the type of mouse you own. Office mice usually have no more than two buttons — the left and right mouse buttons, — whereas dedicated gaming mice have somewhere between 4 and 8 buttons.
Here’s what you can do to change your DPI.
Method 1: Change mouse sensitivity in the Settings app
This method mostly applies to mice with no dedicated DPI button. Luckily, the Windows 10 developers didn’t forget about people who use simpler computer mice and gave everyone the option to easily adjust their mouse sensitivity.
Note: While you won’t know the exact number right away, you can use the methods described in the next section to determine your new DPI.
Using the Settings application, you can easily change your DPI.
- Click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left of your screen to bring up the Start menu, then choose “Settings.” You can also use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut.
- Click on the “Devices” tile.
- Switch to the “Mouse” tab using the left-side panel.
- Click on the “Additional mouse options” link, located at the bottom of the page or in the right-side panel.
- Switch to the “Pointer Options” tab using the header menu of the Mouse Properties window.
- Adjust the speed of your mouse with the slider under ‘Motion.’ Moving the slider head to the left will make your mouse slower while moving it to the right will increase its speed.
- We recommend turning off the “Enhance pointer precision” setting, as it’s capable of messing up your DPI.
- Click the OK button. You should immediately see the change in mouse speed.
Method 2: Adjust sensitivity in the video game itself
Many video games allow you to adjust your sensitivity in-game. This allows you to use one general DPI for operating your system normally, then set up different sensitivity settings for different games.
While the setting is located in different menus for each game, you can generally follow these steps to find where you can change your in-game mouse sensitivity.
- Launch the game you want to change your sensitivity in and wait for it to load entirely.
- Locate the menu that says either “Options” or “Settings,” usually available from the title screen.
- You should be able to locate a menu that says “Controls.” If this menu is missing, chances are that you can’t directly adjust the mouse sensitivity from the game you opened.
- Look for the mouse sensitivity slider and adjust it until you feel comfortable with the speed.
Method 3: Use the DPI changer button on your mouse
Most gaming mice have a button dedicated to changing your DPI on-the-fly. No matter what application you’re using, you can adjust your DPI between various presets, which may or may not be customizable depending on your mouse.
The DPI button is usually located below the scrolling wheel. It’s relatively small compared to the other buttons, and sometimes even has the word “DPI” written on it as well.
By pressing the button once, you can cycle through the preset DPI settings that gradually get higher and higher. Some mice may offer two buttons to increase or decrease the DPI instead of cycling.
Unsure of which button is responsible for your DPI? We recommend searching for the box your mouse came in, which usually has visual labels for each button on your mouse. You can also hop online and start looking for your model on the manufacturer’s website.
How to check your mouse DPI
At the moment of writing, there’s no dedicated Windows 10 application for checking your DPI that comes with the system itself. This is an issue, as many people would love to get a clear and simple understanding of their mouse DPI.
Don’t feel discouraged though — there are many other ways to check what DPI you’re rolling with. Simply follow our instructions below to identify and make changes to your mouse DPI.
Method 1: Check the manufacturer’s specifications
This method mostly applies to branded mice. Most major brands list their products on a website, complete with a set of specifications and images. This is mostly used to get customers interested, however, it can help those who’ve already purchased the product as well.
In this example, we’ll be looking at the Razer Mamba Elite mouse and find out its DPI. This process is similar for every mouse, however, some manufacturers don’t have a website or technical information about their products.
- Head over to the manufacturer’s website. In our case, we navigated to the official Razer website.
- Use the built-in search engine to find your mouse model.
- Locate the technical specifications and check the DPI count written on the website.
If you can’t find your mouse on the manufacturer website, we suggest getting in touch with customer support. Many brands offer support through e-mail or the phone.
Method 2: Use Microsoft Paint
This might seem like a silly way to determine your DPI, however, it works near perfectly. Since MS Paint comes with the ability to see the pixel your cursor is at, you’re able to do a little experiment to find a somewhat accurate measurement of your DPI.
- Open MS Paint by searching for it in your taskbar or your list of applications.
- Set your zoom level to 100%.
- Select any brush tool and place your cursor to the far left of the screen. In the bottom-left, the first number should show 0.
- Hold the left mouse button and move your mouse around 2-3 inches. Without moving your mouse, look at the first number in the bottom-left and note it down.
- Repeat this process multiple times, then find the average of each measurement. This is your DPI.
Method 3: Install the correct mouse drivers
Most branded computer mice come with the manufacturer’s own driver software. This allows you to completely customize how the hardware behaves, even if it has extra buttons and features.
Installing the right mouse driver may give you the option to check your DPI. Again, we’ll be using a branded Trust GXT 177 Rivan RGB Gaming Mouse for this example.
- Head over to the manufacturer’s website. In our case, we navigated to the official Trust website.
- Use the search engine to find your product.
- Look for a section to download the driver software, then choose your operating system.
- Install the driver and launch the software. You should be able to locate a section dedicated to DPI settings, allowing you to see the DPI of your mouse.
Note: Keep in mind that not every manufacturer and mouse has a dedicated driver software. However, it’s worth checking in case you want to make personalized changes.
We hope this article was able to assist you when changing your mouse DPI. Keep in mind that DPI is flexible — you don’t have to stick to one setting, make sure to dedicate different options for different activities.
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