I changed the mouse sensitivity/acceleration settings in System Settings\Mouse and Touch Pad. How do I restore these settings back to their default values?


What I've found is that deleting the gconf mouse folder resets everything to defaults. The slider bars don't change, must be cached somewhere in gnome.

  1. Using the terminal:

    Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), perform the following command:

    rm -fr ~/.gconf/desktop/gnome/peripherals/mouse

  2. From Nautilus:

    Press Ctrl+L

    Paste or type ~/.gconf/desktop/gnome/peripherals

    Open context menu (right click of mouse)

    Select the option Move to Trash

  • 1
    Does this work with 12.10? – Kit Roed Mar 20 '13 at 0:47

In Ubuntu 12.10 per-user mouse settings (and others too) are managed by settings daemon, and their configuration is stored in dconf database. To restore the default settings you want to set the values new users have on those fields = -1 (or resetting them).

Steps to set default per-user settings, using dconf-editor (low-level graphical tool):

  1. Launch dconf-editor. If not installed, install using sudo apt-get install dconf-editor.
  2. Browse/choose directory (on the left side) to /org/gnome/settings-daemon/peripherals/mouse.
  3. Change values of motion-acceleration and motion-trheshold to -1.

Steps to set default per-user settings, using dconf (low-level terminal/console tool):

  1. Check if it's there (run dconf help). If not, install using sudo apt-get install dconf.
  2. Run in terminal dconf reset /org/gnome/settings-daemon/peripherals/mouse/motion-acceleration
  3. Run in terminal dconf reset /org/gnome/settings-daemon/peripherals/mouse/motion-threshold

Steps to set default per-user settings, using gsettings (high-level terminal/console tool):

  1. Check if it's there (run gsettings help). If not, install using sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-bin.
  2. Run in terminal gsettings reset org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse motion-acceleration
  3. Run in terminal gsettings reset org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse motion-threshold
  • Was able to find the values, but changing them didn't make a difference for my mouse. – mlissner May 3 '13 at 16:24
  • Did you change them only in System Settings? – mrówa May 3 '13 at 22:16
  • No, these settings didn't appear in my system settings for some reason. Hence trying this method... – mlissner May 3 '13 at 23:05
  • This worked for me. Sadly whenever I enter the mouse settings applet again, they move back to the minimum values. – Matthew Sharpe Feb 19 '14 at 18:52
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    Ubuntu 16.04 has changed it to "/org/gnome/desktop/peripherals/mouse/speed". (I was able to identify this by using the "dconf watch /" command, and then changing the setting in the settings page to see where it was stored.) – Macil Feb 5 '17 at 7:13

While this doesn't directly answer your question. I found that the sliders to the left most position did not feel like the defaults at all after messing with them. After some research I found out the following information to fine tune how the mouse works which may be helpful to some other visiting this page.

It looks like there is a rather complex set of tuning functions available for setting the mouse behavior. You can see all the settings here. The most important ones are the Acceleration Profile and Constant Deceleration. Here's what I found works for me, and how I set the values.

First we want to see what the properties are:

xinput list             # Displays connected devices (Find ID of your mouse)
xinput list-props <ID>  # Displays properties of device

Next, I put my desired settings inside a script called fixmouse.sh. I had to tinker a bit before I found these preferred values.

xinput set-prop 'Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse' 'Device Accel Profile' 2
xinput set-prop 'Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse' 'Device Accel Constant Deceleration' 2

Run the script and your mouse settings will take affect immediately. Your mileage may vary. Play with the different profiles and values for deceleration. The higher the Deceleration, the slower the mouse moves. It might also be a good idea to drop the initial values from xinput list-props to another script called unfixmouse.sh while you are tinkering.

  • Thanks, PKKid. I'd upvote for this if I had enough rep, it's nice to have a bit more detail and control than the GUI provides. – Michael Cotterall Apr 30 '12 at 17:38

The default value for both is leftmost - Acceleration is slowest and the Sensitivity is lowest.

enter image description here

  • I don't think this is quite true. I believe that the sliders were by default to the left most position when I first opened the app. However, I have also messed with these bars, and now putting them back to the left most position makes my mouse feel god awful slow (which wan't the case after I first installed; 12.04). I can't even get my mouse across the screen anymore without lifting my mouse. – PKKid Apr 30 '12 at 4:01
  • I have the same experience @PKKid. I've tried the accepted solution to no avail. I don't mind the speed/acceleration I've set the mouse too, but for some reason whenever moving from my right monitor to my left if I'm not going painfully slow my pointer ends up completely to the left side of my left monitor. – powerj1984 Sep 24 '12 at 22:16

Ubuntu 18.04 and above

  1. Install the dconf Editor application
    • To install from the Ubuntu Store, search for dconf Editor
    • To install from the command line, run sudo apt install dconf-editor
  2. Open dconf Editor
  3. Navigate to /org/gnome/desktop/peripherals/mouse
  4. Right-click on speed
  5. Click Set to default



[Note: I have Ubuntu 14.04 and this technique worked for me]

I used tpconfig (no GUI) to reset my touchpad which got screwed up because I tried to tweak settings in "gpointing-device-settings" which is a GUI btw.

you can do a

sudo apt-get gpointing-device-settings 

and play with mouse/touchpad settings but mind you there is no option to reset to factory.

Or, please google for "tpconfig" to get more info on it. to install it, you can do a:

sudo apt-get tpconfig

there is an option:

sudo tpconfig --device=DEVICE 

you can set a different device here, so please do some research on that.

  • 1
    You should try to provide a complete answer without "do some research" or "use google". – guntbert Nov 7 '14 at 21:20
  • roger that guntbert. this is my first ever post. – Rakesh Nov 8 '14 at 6:56

Ubuntu 18.04 and above

From terminal:

gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.mouse speed

Pointer speed for mice. Accepted values are in the [-1..1] range (from unaccelerated to fast). A value of 0 is the system default.

Here how to backup/restore the custom setup.

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