Mouse acting erratically or is not moving properly

Computer Mouse There are lots of reasons why a computer mouse may not move properly or act erratically. Below is a full list of all the reasons as well as our recommended fixes.

The mouse is not clean

Optical mechanical mouse (mouse with a ball) may be acting erratic because the mouse is not clean. See our computer cleaning page for steps on cleaning these type of mice.

Optical portion of mouse is blocked

Bottom of optical-mechanical and optical computer mouseUsers who have an optical mouse (LED or laser) may have erratic behavior because a portion of the optical eye is blocked. Most commonly this is caused by a hair. If you have not already cleaned the mouse turn it over and make sure is nothing blocking the hole. We typically turn the mouse over and blow in the hole to make sure no hairs are in the hole causing problems. Even one hair can cause havoc with the sensor.

Bad surface

Although most mice work on any surface, if you are having problems with the cursor being moved we suggest trying a different mouse pad, book, piece of paper, or any other surface. For example, many optical mice are notorious for not working on glass tables and putting a piece a paper under the mouse can identify that problem.

Moisture or other substance on finger

Users who are using a touchpad may experience erratic behavior because of moisture or other material on the finger such as a lotion.

Disconnect other external input devices

It may not be the mouse that is causing your problem, if you have other input devices such as another external mouse, graphics tablet, or keypad. Try disconnecting these devices to make sure they are not the cause of your problem.

Update drivers and uninstall older drivers

Because the drivers control how the mouse interfaces with the operating system if the drivers have problems the mouse is not going to work properly. Make sure you have the latest drivers from your mouse manufacturer.

We also recommend going into Add or Remove Programs and uninstall all previous installations of previous mouse drivers that have been installed on the computer. This is important when moving between mouse manufacturers such as going from a Logitech mouse to a Microsoft mouse.

The mouse has been cleaned and still has problems

If you have cleaned the mouse and continue to encounter problems and this mouse has worked in the past the mouse is likely defective. One additional test that can be done to help determine if this is the case or not is to connect the mouse to another computer. Otherwise, we suggest replacing the mouse.

Additional information