How to connect and install a computer mouse

Computer MouseToday, almost all wired mice use USB as the interface to the computer. Older computers may use PS/2 or Serial as an interface to the computer. If your mouse is wireless, it can be communicating over Bluetooth, radio frequency (RF), or infrared (IR).

Below are the steps on how to connect each of these types of computer mice.

Connecting a Wireless mouse
Connecting a USB mouse
Connecting a PS/2 mouse
Connecting a serial mouse

Connecting a Wireless mouse

A wireless, or cordless, mouse has a receiver device that receives signals from the mouse and sends signals to the mouse. The receiver connects to the computer using a PS/2 or USB port (today always USB).

Once the wireless receiver is connected to the computer make sure there are batteries in the mouse or that it has been charged.

Next, verify that the mouse is turn on. Many wireless devices have an on and off switch on the bottom of them.

After following the above steps, the computer should detect the basic functionality of the mouse. If the mouse has any special buttons or you want to change how the buttons work additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not functioning other mouse troubleshooting may be necessary.

Connecting USB mouseConnecting a USB mouse

Connect the USB mouse to one of the USB ports on the back or front of your computer. If you are using a USB port hub, connect the mouse to a USB port on the hub.

After following the above steps, the computer should detect the mouse and offer basic functionality. If the mouse has any special buttons or you want to change how the buttons work additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not working additional mouse troubleshooting may be necessary.

Connecting a PS/2 mouse

Note: When connecting or disconnecting the PS/2 mouse, make sure the computer is turned off.

Pictures of computer green and purple PS/2 ports.Connect the mouse to the PS/2 port on the back of the computer. If you're using a USB mouse, skip to the next section.

When looking at the back of the computer, you'll notice two PS/2 ports next to each other. Verify you're connecting the mouse to the teal or green port, as shown in the picture below. If your PS/2 ports are not color coded, the mouse port will be the one furthest away from the left edge of the computer (when looking at it from the back). If the ports are vertical and not horizontal, as shown below, the mouse port could be either port, depending on the case and motherboard. Look for a small symbol next to the port to identify which one is the mouse port.

After following the above steps, the computer should detect the basic functionality of the mouse. If the mouse has any special buttons or you want to change how the buttons work additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not working additional mouse troubleshooting may be necessary.

Connecting a serial mouse

Note: When connecting or disconnecting a serial mouse, make sure the computer is turned off.

Serial portConnect the mouse to the serial port on the back of the computer. If you have more than one serial port on the computer, we recommend connecting the mouse to the first port. Once connected, depending on your computer setup, you may need to configure the mouse COM ports in CMOS setup.

Today, because most computers no longer have serial ports and most serial mice are specialized you need to install the software included with the mouse or from the mouse manufacturers website.

Tip: If you are having problems connecting a serial mouse to a computer because it does not have a serial port or the serial port is not working. Consider using a Serial to USB connector and connecting the mouse to that connector and then to a USB port on the computer.

Install software and drivers

Today, all computers and operating systems are capable of detecting the basic functions of a mouse. After the mouse is connected to the computer the default software should work for most users. If your mouse has additional buttons or features that are not working or you want to change how the buttons work you may need to install the software that came with the mouse or visit the mouse manufacturer website and download the latest software.

Setup in CMOS setup

If you have an older computer (2005 or earlier) with a serial or USB mouse, it may be necessary to setup the ports in CMOS setup. If you have a newer computer, this section can be skipped.

Older computers with serial mice

If the mouse you are using is a serial mouse and it's having issues being detected, verify that the serial ports or COM ports are enabled and assigned properly in CMOS.

Older computers with USB

If the mouse is a USB mouse, make sure USB is enabled and if available, also ensure that the USB legacy support is enabled. The USB legacy support allows the mouse to work in legacy mode, for example, DOS.

Troubleshooting

If your mouse is not working after following the above steps for connecting the mouse to the computer additional troubleshooting steps may need to be followed.

Additional information