How to fix the wheel on my mouse if it's not working

Updated: 03/07/2020 by Computer Hope
Computer Mouse

The mouse wheel or roller on the top of a wheel mouse can malfunction. Below is help for resolving this issue, as well as suggestions on what to do if troubleshooting doesn't help.

Microsoft Windows users

Adjust mouse wheel settings

If you're running any version of Microsoft Windows and are encountering issues with the mouse wheel, adjust the mouse settings through the Mouse Properties window. This window can be accessed by opening the Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Mouse.

Control Panel - Mouse option under Hardware and Sounds

Note

You must use the "Category" view in Control Panel to see the Hardware and Sound option.

In the Mouse Properties window, select the Wheel tab. Then, try adjusting the number of lines to scroll the mouse or try changing the mouse to scroll one page at a time. After this is adjusted, click Apply and then click OK. Verify this change helps correct your mouse issues.

Mouse properties - Wheel tab

If you're using a mouse not manufactured by Microsoft, you may also want to adjust the mouse settings through the software that came with it. For example, Logitech mice often have software separate from Windows that allows users to adjust their mouse settings. Often these programs are accessible by clicking a mouse icon in the Systray.

Update mouse drivers

If the suggestions above do not help resolve your issue or mouse software is not installed on your computer, we suggest trying to install the latest mouse drivers. See the input manufacturers section for a listing of links to mouse manufacturers.

Corrupt Windows system files

Mouse wheel issues can also be due to corrupt system files in Windows. To resolve this issue, a Windows repair is needed to replace the corrupted system files. We recommend you back up your files before running the Windows repair, to avoid losing any files.

Tip

You can also try restoring Windows to a previous point in time when the wheel functioned properly. See: How to restore Windows to an earlier copy.

Non-Windows users

If your computer has an operating system other than Microsoft Windows, we suggest trying to reinstall the software that came with the mouse. You can also try installing the latest mouse drivers for your operating system from the mouse manufacturer's website.

Clean the mouse

There are thin spaces on either side of the mouse wheel, and over time, dust and dirt can get in cause issues with the scrolling of the wheel. Try cleaning the mouse, especially around the wheel, using compressed air. You may be able to dislodge and remove some of the dust and dirt, improving the movement and functionality of the wheel.

Hardware issues

If, after following the above steps, you still are encountering issues, it's likely that the mouse is defective. As the repair costs are usually more than a new mouse, we suggest contacting the mouse manufacturer for a replacement, if it's still under warranty, or purchasing a new mouse.

Additional information