Windows Drag Sensitivity Utility

UPDATE: Download the latest version from the main project page. There is also a version of this utility with a graphical interface that’s easier to use.

Inspired by an article by Raymond Chen about how to correctly change the Windows mouse drag sensitivity, I wrote a quick utility called dragsens. It’s a small command-line utility that will allow you to change the number of pixels the mouse has to travel before a drag operation is initiated. Just download and unzip the utility, then run it at the command line, supplying a single parameter that is the number of pixels for the mouse to travel.

If you’d like modify the utility, or examine its source, you may download the Visual Studio 2008 project. If you just want the utility itself, you may download a ZIP of the executable.

About the Utility

The utility is actually very simple. It accepts a single parameter, which is the number of pixels the mouse must travel with a button depressed before the motion registers as a drag action. Rather than separate out the width and height, I just set both to the same number since this is generally all that’s necessary.

It would be fairly simple to modify the application to set the width and height independently, if you so desired.

Change Log

Version 1.4

Add /D parameter to display new and updated sensitivity settings.

Version 1.3

Fixed so that the utility will once again run on Windows XP.

Version 1.2

Adds /X and /Y parameters to allow for changing the horizontal and vertical axes independently.

Version 1.1

Version resource and support for a “/?” parameter.

16 thoughts on “Windows Drag Sensitivity Utility

  1. Great work, and a huge help. Been trying to find a solution to this for a long time.

    Note that one can effectively disable Windows's native drag and drop completely by setting this threshold great than the display's resolution (e.g., 2000 for a 1920×1080 display).


  2. I looked all over the internet to no avail, until I found the solution here.
    Simple Elegant and more importantly It Works.

    Thanks a million.


    1. Did you open the command prompt prior to running dragsens? If you run the utility with no parameters from an already-open command prompt it will display some help text and exit, returning you to the prompt. If you just run the utility by itself, it will open a new command prompt and then immediately close it.

  3. Paul-

    This is a wonderful tool for us IT managers who know very limited programming! Thank you. Is there any way that you know of to embed this in a GPO?

    And, once this setting is applied, does it remain in place after logon/logoff and/or reboot?

    Lastly, is this setting computer based or user based? XP and Win7 clients.

    Thank you again!

    1. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! The comment got lost in the shuffle somehow. The setting should remain in place after logoff, as the call to SystemParametersInfo specifies the SPIF_UPDATEINIFILE flag so that the user profile is updated with the change.

      I’m afraid I don’t know how to make this part of a group policy; I suppose you could call it from a login script, but that seems clunky. I’m not much of an admin, though.

  4. Thank you. This is such an annoying problem – obviously not just for this IT person. I can’t thank you enough for this simple and very effective fix.

  5. This is the solution I’ve been looking for, Thank You.

    Any possibility of being able to modify the heigth and width seperately? I don’t know enough to modify it myself.

    1. It would be a pretty quick fix to add some parameters to change just the width or height. I probably won’t be able to get to it until this weekend (2012/07/14), but I’ll make the change and post an update when it’s done.

      1. Updated version does not run on Terminal Server – Windows 2003 Server R2. Gives an error – not a valid win32 application.

        Version 1.1 works just fine.

        Excellent utility!

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