How to connect and install a computer mouse

Updated: 06/16/2017 by Computer Hope

Computer MouseToday, almost all wired mice use USB as the interface to the computer. However, older computers may utilize PS/2 or serial ports. If your mouse is wireless, it can be communicating over Bluetooth, radio frequency (RF), or infrared (IR). To proceed, select your connection type from the list below and follow the instructions.

Connecting a wireless USB mouse

A wireless, or cordless, mouse has a small receiver that communicates with the mouse. The receiver connects to the computer via a USB port.

  1. Look for a USB port in the back or on the side of your computer and plug in the receiver.

Tip: If you are unsure what a USB port looks like, there is an example image in the next section.

  1. Once the wireless receiver is connected to the computer, Windows should automatically find and install the appropriate drivers as long as you're connected to the Internet.
  2. Make sure there are batteries in the mouse or that it has been charged.
  3. Next, verify that the mouse is turn on. Many wireless devices have an on and off switch on the bottom of them.

Note: If the mouse you want to change how any special buttons work, additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not functioning, check out our mouse troubleshooting section.

Connecting USB mouseConnecting a wired USB mouse

Connect the USB cable coming from the mouse to one of the USB ports (shown right) on the back or side of your computer. If you are using a USB port hub, connect the mouse cable to that.

After the mouse has been connected, the computer should automatically install the drivers and provide basic functionality. If the mouse you want to change how any special buttons work, additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not functioning, check out our mouse troubleshooting section.

Connecting a Bluetooth mouse

Bluetooth logoA Bluetooth mouse connects to a computer wirelessly using a Bluetooth signal. The computer must have Bluetooth built in or have a Bluetooth adapter connected to it.

To connect a Bluetooth mouse to your computer, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Bluetooth utility on your computer and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. The Bluetooth utility, if enabled, can usually be found in the Notification Area, with an icon that looks like the Bluetooth symbol above.
  2. Turn on the mouse if it has an On/Off switch. Check the Bluetooth utility to see if it detects the Bluetooth mouse.
  3. When the Bluetooth utility finds the Bluetooth mouse, select the mouse in the Bluetooth device list and click the Pair button.
  4. If successful, the mouse will be connected to the computer.

Tip: If the Bluetooth utility does not detect the Bluetooth mouse, check the bottom of the mouse or inside the battery compartment for a small button. If found, press the button, as it may be required for the mouse to be discoverable by the computer. If no button is found and the mouse came with a software installation disc, install the mouse software on the computer. After installing, check the Bluetooth utility to see if it detects the Bluetooth mouse.

Connecting a PS/2 mouse

Note: Before 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 cable coming from the mouse to the green-colored PS/2 port (shown right) on the back of the computer. 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 case (when viewed from the back).

After the mouse has been connected, the computer should automatically install the drivers and provide basic functionality. If the mouse you want to change how any special buttons work, additional software may need to be installed. If the mouse is not functioning, check out our mouse troubleshooting section.

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 either because it does not have a serial port, or the serial port is not working, consider using a serial to USB adapter.

CMOS setup

If you have an older computer (2005 or earlier) with a serial or USB mouse, it may be necessary to configure 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 with being detected, verify that the serial ports or COM ports are enabled and properly assigned in CMOS.

Older computers with USB

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

Troubleshooting

If your mouse is not working after following the steps above, additional troubleshooting may be required.

Additional information