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Troubleshooting Mouse Problems

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Android, Hardware & Peripherals, iOS, Mac OS, Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

When your mouse gives you problems, every task on your PC becomes harder. But I’ve got some troubleshooting tips to get that little bugger squeaking again. First, check the mouse for debris by flipping over and blowing (or using compressed air) into any holes or crevices to remove debris. Next, check the surface underneath the mouse. It should be clean and even. Remove any crumbs or dust, so your mouse won’t get clogged and experience malfunctions (see our previous “Jumping Mouse Pointer” tip here). Avoid a glossy surface that can confuse your mouse. Even a piece of paper is better than nothing.

Wireless and wired (USB) mice fluctuate in quality by brand, operating system, etc.

If you have a wireless mouse not working, then check the batteries first. Next check your distance between the computer and mouse, which usually should not be more than about two feet away to ensure a strong signal.

If you have a Bluetooth mouse, make sure to check that your Bluetooth connection is on. (If your mouse is wireless, but didn’t come with a receiver, it is probably Bluetooth.)

If you have a wired mouse, then reconnect to a different port (if available) or disconnect and reconnect (mouse is usually the green colored port).  Also, try blowing in the port or blowing it out with canned air. You can also try to connect the wired mouse to another computer. Next, try to disconnect other devices that might cause interference and troubleshoot from there. Some electronic devices (e.g. lights, fans, etc.) might also interfere with the signal.

If you have good batteries in your laptop mouse and/or the touchpad is working fine and still have malfunctions, then you can press Alt, Shift and NumLock to turn the touchpad on or off so you can troubleshoot the mouse on its own.

Still  experiencing mouse issues with the mouse? Try a restart to safe mode. (On PC, simultaneously press Ctrl, Alt, and Delete button twice; On iOS, simultaneously press and hold Command and R keys) your computer. Check  the mouse functionality. If it works in safe mode, then check for a software or driver issue. Run a file/corruption check on your computer to clear it before installing any driver software or other needed software (Refer to the mouse’s manufacturer manual/website or try the Mousinfo diagnostic tool (IntelliPoint software) at Still not working? Then you might have a defective motherboard or other hardware component and would need to take your computer to an authorized repair shop.

Access “Device Manager” (if you’re on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, then their Device Central program does not apply here), which can be done through the Start menu or by typing “devmgmt.msc” in the Windows Run box field (accessed by pressing Win+R), for the mouse (mice) option. Troubleshoot each mouse or remove all by selecting each. You can also right-click a selected mouse (if multiple) then select Properties to access the Driver tab where you can update drivers. You might able to restore to a previous point, which is usually a detailed procedure.

Replace the mouse as a last resort and you will be back to accurate computing in no time.

~ Michael Siebenaler

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