When I click my mouse, it sometimes double-clicks

Updated: 06/02/2020 by Computer Hope
Illustration: Unintentional double click.

You may notice that sometimes your mouse will "double-click" an icon or in general, even though you only pressed the mouse button once. Review the details for each of the main causes of this issue by clicking the links below.

Double-click speed set too low

The most common culprit of the double-clicking issue is the double-click speed setting for your mouse is set too low. If set very low and you click the mouse button once, then click it again shortly after that, the mouse may interpret that as a double-click instead. To adjust the double-click setting, follow the steps below for your version of Windows.

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Press the Windows key, type mouse settings, and press Enter.
  2. In the Settings window, under Related settings, click the Additional mouse options link.
  3. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Buttons tab, if not already selected.
  4. On the Buttons tab, adjust the slider for the Double-click speed option, then press OK.

Mouse properties

  1. Test out the double-click speed adjustment to see if that helps resolve the double-clicking issue. Repeat the steps above, if needed, to adjust the setting again.

Windows 7 and earlier

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click or double-click the Mouse or Mouse Settings icon.
  3. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Buttons tab, if not already selected.
  4. On the Buttons tab, adjust the slider for the Double-click speed option, then press OK.

Mouse properties

  1. Test out the double-click speed adjustment to see if that helps resolve the double-clicking issue. Repeat the steps above, if needed, to adjust the setting again.

Corrupt system files

Text garbage

In the Windows operating system, if system files become corrupt, it can cause problems with various hardware or software functionality. Whether or not a mouse single or double clicks can be impacted by corrupt Windows system files.

If you know the day the problem started happening with your mouse, you can try activating a restore point to take Windows back to a date before the problem started happening. Doing so can fix the corrupt system files and restore proper functionality to your mouse.

Dirty mouse

Compressed air can

If dust and dirt is clogging up the mouse buttons, it can cause them to stick. A sticky mouse button could result in a double-click action, even if you clicked the mouse button only once. Additionally, if liquid is spilled on or around the mouse, it can cause the mouse buttons to be sticky, resulting in accidental double-click actions.

You can often clear out dust and dirt from around and under the mouse buttons by using compressed air to blow it out. Unfortunately, spilled liquid is more difficult, if not impossible, to clean out from under and around the mouse buttons. If the liquid is water, you can try letting the mouse dry out to see if that clears up the issue. If the liquid is something other than water, even after drying out, it often leaves behind a sticky residue that is very hard to clean out. For these cases, we recommend you replace the mouse.

Wireless signal interference

Wireless

If you are using a wireless mouse, the double-clicking issue may be caused by interference of the mouse's wireless signal to the wireless receiver. If the wireless signal is disrupted by interference, it can cause the computer to receive incorrect signals or misinterpret signals from the mouse. Common types of interference include the following.

  • EMI (electromagnetic inteference) from the computer speakers.
  • Electrical interference from a computer monitor.
  • RFI (radio frequency interference) from a wireless network router or cordless phone.

To avoid EMI or electrical interference, try to position the mouse's wireless receiver away from a computer speaker or monitor. Even moving the receiver a few inches away can sometimes resolve the issue.

To greatly reduce or eliminate RFI, make sure the mouse's wireless receiver is not directly in line between the computer and wireless router. If there is a cordless phone near the computer, move the cordless phone's base several feet or more away from the computer.

Defective mouse

Another possible cause for the double-clicking problem is a malfunctioning mouse. It might have a defective circuit board or tension spring in it, causing it to incorrectly recognize a single click as a double-click action. If this is the case, the best resolution is to purchase a new mouse. It is not worth having a mouse fixed, as a new basic mouse is inexpensive.

If you have a more expensive mouse, like a gaming or multi-button programmable mouse, you can check if the mouse is under warranty and see about getting it repaired.

Additional information