Remap your mouse buttons on Windows

The Windows operating system does not provide you with options to configure the buttons of your mouse after your liking. While you can use a five or more button mouse without issues on the system, you are stuck with the default functionality that Windows makes available, which usually is left-, middle- and right-clicking for buttons one, three and two, and page up and down for buttons four and five. If you do not need the page up and down functionality and want to change it to something that you find more useful, you may realize that it is not really that easy to do that.

While you can install a heavy driver package that companies like Logitech, Razer or Microsoft provide you with, it may feel like overkill if you only want to re-map those two buttons and nothing else.

Enter X-Mouse Button Control, a lightweight program for the Windows operating system that you can use to map all mouse buttons and the mouse wheel. I reviewed the program in 2008 for the first time and it has come a long way since then justifying a new review. All you need to do is open the settings menu after installation to configure a profile.

remap mouse buttons

What is interesting in this regard is that you can create multiple profiles that you can switch between easily. This opens up options to create a profile for web surfing, one for coding, and another for working in Photoshop.

A click on the menu next to each mouse button or wheel option displays a long list of functions that you can map to the selected action. Options range from opening important programs such as the Control Panel or Windows Explorer over copying and pasting to switching profiles, running applications and simulating key strokes. The latter options provides you with the means to enter a custom key combination, for instance Ctrl-Shift-Esc, that you want to activate when you press the mouse button.

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A selection of commands are available, wait for instance to wait or hold to hold down a key for some time, which you can make use of to customize the command further. Once you are done hit apply to work with the new mouse functionality.

The program makes available additional functionality in its interface. The Scrolling and Navigation tab for instance provides you with access to modify change the default scroll method or invert scrolling, and the Settings button makes available a large list of options that you can modify. From swapping the 4th and 5th mouse button to configuring hotkeys to switch layers and modifiers to temporarily activate a different layer. The options are quite extensive and help you customize your mouse's behavior further. What I particularly like about the program is that it uses a couple of Megabytes of RAM when it is running in the background.

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The layers make it an interesting program as it provides you with options to customize the mouse buttons based on your activity on the computer. It is one of the new features that the author implemented into the program.

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Responses to Remap your mouse buttons on Windows

  1. thbb December 28, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    I've been using this for more than a month now. It's a real helper for macros stuff.

    Here's one I made to toggle on and off the custom style sheet for IE10:

    {HOLDMS}{ALT}xo{WAITMS}{ALT}E{WAITMS}{ALT}D{WAITMS}{RETURN}{WAITMS}{ESCAPE}

  2. Ray December 28, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the article about XBMC. I have been using the software for 2 years and really appreciate the extra functionality and low memory usage. It helps a lot when you switch between different programs.

    Great article!

  3. Lsazlo August 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Notice how even in 2013 this software still doesn't handle buttons 6 and 7. So it's not useful for me. :(

    • spoulin23 November 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Also looking for a 6 button alternative.........

      • Peter May 25, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

        me too(

  4. Samp1800 August 25, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    Its not working for me... Im trying to set the middle mouse button to be ctrl only in a certain program

  5. Nd683 March 23, 2015 at 3:04 am #

    Figure out how to do the ctrl to side button samp1800 it's been a while but if you see it write back

  6. Alex March 27, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    You can also try Key Manager:
    http://atnsoft.com/keymanager/

  7. thebird55 May 10, 2016 at 12:25 am #

    Does anyone know how to make X-Mouse work in Microsoft Edge? I have become dependant on X-Mouse, so it's frustrating on those few occasions when I have to use Edge.

  8. Wardcalis May 24, 2016 at 3:27 am #

    Doesn't work. I tried to remove the back and next functionality from the thumb buttons because I use them for specific things such as 'push to talk' in voice chat but it didn't change anything.

  9. dav June 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    can't bind a mouse button to ctrl...
    for example, with "{ctrl}{num+}", I get only "+"

    • Slothman June 27, 2017 at 6:42 am #

      Same here, unfortunately :(

  10. spencer April 1, 2017 at 2:43 am #

    This legit works

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