Mouse not being detected or working in Windows

Computer MouseThere may be several issues which can cause your mouse to not work properly with Microsoft Windows. This document contains the more common solutions that should be followed for best results.

Tip: You can use your keyboard to navigate in Windows or connect a different mouse that does work to access areas of Windows mentioned on this page.

Note: If you are having trouble with a touchpad mouse on a laptop, see our laptop touchpad not working page.

Computer frozen

Using the Num Lock key

Make sure the computer is not frozen by pressing the Num Lock key on the keyboard. When Num Lock is pressed repeatedly, the Num Lock indicator LED on your keyboard should turn on and off. If this indicator does not change, your computer is frozen; meaning all hardware on the computer (including the mouse) will not work. Reboot the computer to resolve this issue. If you don't have an indicator light, proceed to the next part of this section.

Keyboard doesn't have Num Lock indicator light

If your keyboard does not include the LED described in the previous section, anywhere in Windows, press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys at the same time. This action should bring up a blue Windows options screen (you may leave this menu by pressing the Esc key). If you are not taken to the blue screen within a few seconds, your computer is frozen. Reboot your machine to resolve this issue.

Mouse conflict

If any new hardware has been recently installed on the computer, remove it to help verify the new hardware is not causing a conflict with your existing mouse.

Not connected properly

USB mouse

If you are using a USB mouse, disconnect the mouse cable and then reconnect to a different USB port. If the mouse is connected to a USB hub, unplug the mouse cable and the connect it to a USB port on the back of the computer.

Pictures of computer green and purple PS/2 ports.PS/2 mouse

If you are using a mouse with a PS/2 connection, check the back of the computer to verify that it is plugged into the PS/2 mouse port and not the PS/2 keyboard. If the mouse has worked properly in the past (I.E. this is not a new mouse), turn off the computer, then disconnect and reconnect the mouse.

Note: A PS/2 mouse should not be disconnected and reconnected while a computer is turned on.

Tip: If the computer's keyboard is working, you can shutdown Windows properly by pressing the Windows key, and then using the arrow keys to move to the shut down option on the Start Menu.

Wireless mouse

  1. Make sure the mouse is receiving power by checking for some indication of power (usually a light). If your mouse has a power switch, it is often located on the bottom side.
  2. If the mouse does not appear to be on, replace the batteries.
  3. Make sure the wireless receiver is within range and is not blocked by another object.
  4. Disconnect the wireless USB adapter and try plugging it into a different port.

Mouse software or driver conflict

Boot into Windows Safe Mode. If the mouse is working in Safe Mode, there is likely a driver or software conflict. To fix this problem, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Windows Device Manager.
  2. Expand the mouse (mice) option in Device Manager by clicking the + symbol.
  3. Remove all mice listed by highlighting each device and then pressing the delete key on the keyboard.

If the mouse still does not work in Normal Windows, follow the basic troubleshooting steps for your version of Windows.

Outdated or missing mouse driver

Check if a driver has been installed for the mouse. You can check in the Device Manager for this. While Windows may have a standard or default driver for the mouse, installing a driver for your specific mouse may fix the issue. You can check our driver list page to find links to some of the more popular manufacturers' websites to download a driver for the mouse.

If a driver is installed for the mouse, it is recommended that you check if there is an updated driver for the mouse. Updating the driver may fix issues with a non-functioning mouse.

Hardware issues

Bad Port

If the previous solutions did not solve the problem, try another mouse. If that mouse works, try the mouse that is not working with another computer. If multiple mice do not work, the problem is with the mouse port. If you are using the PS/2 or USB port on the back of the computer, the motherboard is likely bad and needs to be replaced.

Bad Mouse

If the mouse does not work with more than one computer, the mouse is bad and should be replaced. If you are using a wired mouse, check the mouse wire. If the wire has been partially cut or is frayed, this is likely the cause of the mouse not working. Replace the mouse if this is the case.

Corrupt operating system files

If all of the above solutions do not resolve the issue, there is a possibility of corrupt system files in the operating system. You may need to run an operating system repair using the system installation disc.

Another option, and possibly less drastic, is to activate a restore point in the operating system prior to when the mouse stopped working. This restore point can restore the corrupt system files to a working state and resolve the issue.

Additional information