How to move the mouse cursor with the keyboard in Windows

Updated: 12/09/2018 by Computer Hope

Computer keyboardMicrosoft Windows has a feature called Mouse Keys that lets you move the mouse pointer, pixel by pixel, by pressing the arrow keys on your numeric keypad. Mouse Keys is an "Ease of Use" feature, helping users who cannot operate a mouse. Other users may find Mouse Keys useful if their mouse breaks, or runs out of batteries, for example.

How to enable/disable Mouse Keys

Keyboard shortcut

In all versions of Windows, you can toggle Mouse Keys on and off with a keyboard shortcut.

  1. Press Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock on your keyboard at the same time to get a dialog box similar to the example shown below.

Windows Mouse Keys

  1. When the window appears, press Spacebar or Enter to choose Yes.
  2. Repeat this process to turn Mouse Keys off.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can toggle Mouse Keys in your Ease of Access settings. If your mouse isn't working, use the Tab key and Spacebar to navigate through menus.

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. In the box that appears, type Ease of Access mouse settings and press Enter.
  3. In the Mouse Keys section, toggle the switch under Use numeric pad to move mouse around the screen to On.
  4. Press Alt+F4 to exit this menu.

Or:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type ms-settings: and press Enter. (Don't forget the colon : after ms-settings).

Screenshot: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box, then type ms-settings: and press Enter.

  1. In your Settings window, the text cursor is already in the search box. Type "mouse keys." Press the down arrow on your keyboard to select the first suggestion, Control the mouse pointer with the keyboard.

Screenshot: in the Settings text box, type Mouse Keys, then press the down arrow and Enter to accept the top suggestion.

  1. Press Enter. The Ease of Use settings for your mouse is opened.

Screenshot: In the Settings window, the button is toggled off. The black box around the button means that you can toggle it On if you press Space.

  1. The black box indicates that your keyboard controls the on/off button labeled Turn on Mouse Keys to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer. Press Space to toggle the button to the On position.

Screenshot: When Mouse Keys is toggled on, additional options are available.

  1. Mouse Keys are now enabled, but by default, they will only work if Num Lock is turned on. Press the Num Lock key on your keyboard to toggle Num Lock on and off.

Picture: Numlock keyboard indicator light off, and on.

You will hear a high pitched beep when you turn on Num Lock. This sound lets you know that your numeric keyboard is controlling your mouse pointer. Press 8, 4, 6, and 2 (up, left, right, down) on your numeric keypad, and the mouse pointer moves one pixel in that direction.

Tip: If you are using a laptop, Num Lock is usually toggled by pressing Fn + Num Lock. Typically, a laptop's numeric keypad shares keys with other numbers and letters on the keyboard, such as 7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l. When Num Lock is on, these keys produce a number when pressed. See your laptop's manual for information specific to your laptop.

To stop using Mouse Keys, press Num Lock to disable your numeric keypad. To permanently disable Mouse Keys, repeat steps 1–4, and toggle the Mouse Keys button to Off.

Windows 8

If the shortcut key combination listed above did not work, you may enable or disable Mouse Keys, using the following steps. If your mouse isn't working, use the Tab key and Spacebar to navigate through menus.

  1. With nothing selected, type the word "Mouse" anywhere on the Start Screen.
  2. Arrow down to Ease of Access mouse settings and press Enter.
  3. Toggle the switch under Mouse Keys to On.
  4. Press Alt+F4 to exit this menu.

Windows XP, Vista and 7

If the shortcut key combination listed above did not work, you may enable or disable Mouse Keys using the following steps. If your mouse isn't working, use the Tab key and Spacebar to navigate through menus.

  1. While viewing the desktop, press the Windows key or click Start in the lower-left corner.
  2. Select Control Panel from the list on the right side.
  3. In the Control Panel, open Ease of Access.
  4. Under Ease of Access Center, select Change how your mouse works.
  5. Check the check box next to Turn on Mouse Keys.
  6. Select Apply then OK.

Tip: If you want to change the cursor's movement speed or other settings, select Set up Mouse Keys.

How to use Mouse Keys

The following table shows each of the keys on the Numeric Keypad and how they interact with the mouse cursor. Make sure you're only using the Keypad to execute these actions.

Desired Action Key Combination
Move up and to the left Press 7
Move up Press 8
Move up and to the right Press 9
Move left Press 4
Move right Press 6
Move down and to the left Press 1
Move down Press 2
Move down and to the right Press 3
Select the left mouse button Press /
Select both of the mouse buttons Press *
Select the right mouse button Press -
Click With the left button selected, press 5
Right-click With the right button selected, press 5
Double-click With the left button selected, press +
Drag an item Point to the item, and then press 0
Drop the item you are dragging Press . (period)

Additional information