Windows updates, new games, or other faulty applications or configurations can make your mouse randomly stop working. If your mouse randomly stops working, you have to retrace your steps before the problem arose.
A mouse stops working randomly for various reasons, and if you are not sure why it suddenly happens, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let us illustrate some of the most common reasons wired or USB/ wireless mice stop working and how to fix them!
Why does your mouse randomly stop working?
A mouse stops responding, usually due to high CPU usage or because of a faulty connection. However, this is not always the case. Here are the most common reasons why your mouse randomly stops working:
1. Low battery
Let’s begin with the most common issues. Your mouse stop working randomly if your batteries are out of power.
Similarly, a battery that isn’t placed correctly can result in the same issue. This sometimes happens if you drop your mouse.
2. The mouse is switched off
Some wireless mice have an on/off option on them. If your mouse intermittently stops working, then it might be because you are switching it on and off through drastic movements.
The surface you are using your mouse on could be the issue in this case.
3. Faulty USB port
If your wireless mouse randomly stops working, then it might be due to a faulty USB port connection.
Similarly, your mouse USB might have been damaged, and it can’t transmit the proper signals to your PC.
4. Unpaired devices
Your mouse might not connect through a dongle, and thus you might need to manually connect it through the Bluetooth menu.
If your mouse hasn’t been paired to your computer, it won’t work, or it will randomly stop working if there are other issues with the signal.
5. Outdated mouse driver
The wrong mouse drivers might make your mouse randomly stop working on your PC.
At the same time, an outdated mouse driver can cause the same issue. Updates are crucial since they ensure the proper function of all of your connected devices.
6. Not installing available updates
Even if you have your mouse driver up-to-date, that doesn’t mean that it will function properly. Other OS updates are crucial to the proper functioning of all of your connected devices.
Similarly, you might have faulty updates on your PC that may cause your mouse to stop responding.
7. Dirty surface/optic sensor
If your mouse stops responding, it might be due to accumulated debris on the optical sensor. Dust can cover the optical sensor and block the needed signals that enable your mouse to function correctly.
At the same time, certain surfaces can render your mouse useless. Dirty surfaces or surfaces that aren’t flat will make it hard for you to use your mouse properly.
Specular reflective surfaces such as polished stone or transparent surfaces like glass might make your mouse randomly stop working.
8. Realtek HD audio manager bug
A common issue for Windows 10 users that causes mouse freezing and even the cursor to randomly disappear is related to the Realtek HD audio manager. This device bug can make your mouse randomly stop working in some instances.
9. Faulty applications
Similar to the Realtek HD Audio Manager, other faulty apps might interfere with your mouse and make it stop working. It isn’t clear how these things interact.
However, you have to analyze the most recent installed apps on your PC and see if they correlate with your mouse issues.
10. A damaged or old mouse
Your mouse might be damaged if it randomly stops working. These tools are usually quite durable; however, it might take just a more complex fall, and then the problems start to appear.
Similarly, a wired mouse might have some wire damage. This is especially true if you have house pets that might chew on the cable.
Another common reason why your wireless mouse randomly stops working is due to old age or usage. The average median lifespan of an optical mouse is between 5 to 10 years.
11. Faulty mouse settings
Specific mouse settings can make your mouse randomly stop working.
If you are using specific settings, or if other people use your PC/laptop, then the mouse settings might be responsible for the glitches that you suffer.
12. Malware Infection
Certain malware that infects your PC/laptop can take control of your mouse.
Viruses can make your mouse randomly stop working, or they can make your PC work so slow that it may cause your mouse to stop working randomly.
13. Old OS or computer/laptop
In some instances, an old OS or even an older computer/laptop might be responsible for mouse issues. For example, if you use an old computer/laptop and an old OS, certain apps, especially video games, might be too much for your device.
As the CPU usage goes higher and higher, it might cause your mouse to randomly stop working. If your mouse is stuttering in games, here are ten ways to fix it.
How to fix a mouse that randomly stops working
Nothing is more frustrating than a mouse that randomly stops working. This is especially true when you have work to do or even when you are enjoying yourself while playing video games. Fortunately, in most cases, it’s easy to fix this issue.
Here are some of the best tips on how to fix a mouse that randomly stops working.
1. Use new batteries
Maybe your USB mouse stops working because it ran out of juice. Check the batteries on your mouse and see if they are properly placed as well.
If you use a rechargeable mouse, give it some rest and let it recharge.
If this isn’t the issue, check to see if there is any internal damage to where the batteries are seated. Sometimes, small parts might detach themselves due to fall impacts.
2. Try different surfaces
The wrong type of surface might make your mouse randomly stop working. The best mouse surfaces are generally opaque and diffusely reflective surfaces, such as paper. Try using your mouse on different surfaces and see if the problem persists.
If your mouse stops responding, then that surface isn’t good. Consider using a mousepad instead of random surfaces.
3. Change USB port
When your mouse intermittently stops working, it might be related to the USB port. Try to connect it to a different USB port and see if the problem persists.
Your mouse dongle might also be faulty: it’s that small piece that you use to connect your mouse to the PC/laptop.
If you suspect that your mouse dongle is faulty, you can order a replacement one for your mouse. Simply search your mouse model online and for dongle parts.
Also, if your mouse has a switch, make sure it is turned on and that the surface you are using your mouse on doesn’t interfere with the switch.
4. Check pairing devices
Some mouses don’t connect with a dongle to your PC. In this case, you should manually connect your mouse through the Bluetooth menu. Some mice have a Bluetooth pairing button. Hold the button pressed and bring your mouse closer to the PC.
Another way to solve this is by entering the Bluetooth Menu and accessing the Add Bluetooth or other device option. After you connect, try to monitor your mouse signal and see if it continues to randomly stop working.
If it does, then you need to pay attention to the following tip.
5. Install mouse updates
Mouse updates are essential, even when it comes to Bluetooth connections. To check if your mouse driver is up-to-date or if any updates are available, go to Start>Device Manager>Mice and other pointing devices.
Spread the list and click your mouse driver. Then, click on Update driver or uninstall your mouse driver and restart your PC. Windows will automatically install your mouse driver with the latest update.
You can also manually download any mouse updates from the manufacturer’s website.
6. Install all OS updates
Sometimes, system updates, even those unrelated to your mouse, might cause your mouse to randomly stop working. In this case, make sure all of your software is up-to-date. Go to Start>Settings>Update & Security, and check to see if there are any available updates.
If you are using a Mac, go to System Preferences> Software Updates and scan for any available updates.
7. Run the mouse troubleshoot
Troubleshooters can solve most problems. If your mouse stops responding frequently, press Windows Key + I, and go to Updates & Security>Troubleshoot.
Beneath Hardware and Devices, select Run the troubleshooter.
8. Change Mouse Settings
If you use certain mouse settings, then they might make your mouse randomly stop working. Similarly, if other people use your PC, then they might have changed some settings. The best thing to do is go to your mouse settings and set them back to default.
Go to Control Panel>Hardware & Sound>Mouse>Pointer Options tab, and check all settings, including the Enhance pointer precision box. Tick it off if you suspect it to be the cause of your problems.
Check each and every setting if you don’t want to restore them to default.
9. Clean the mouse
A dirty mouse will eventually stop working randomly. To clean it, you will need:
- a pure contact cleaner
- ear stick
- canned air tube or plastic toothpick
Apply the pure contact cleaner to the top of the ear stick.
Use the stick to clean the sensor window area. With a canned air tube, you can get some deeper mouse cleaning, but make sure to use short bursts. A plastic toothpick can also be used to clean your mouse.
Once you are done with the cleaning, check to see if your mouse continues to randomly stop working.
10. Uninstall recent apps
To understand why your mouse stops working randomly, you have to retrace your steps. Think of everything you did before the problem occurred.
If you installed some recent apps on your PC/laptop, consider removing them to see if the problem persists.
Certain faulty apps can interfere with your mouse, making it glitch from time to time, or worse. Go to Start>Settings>Apps, and uninstall the most recently added apps on your PC/laptop. Restart your device and check if your mouse is working properly.
11. Perform an antivirus checkup
Certain malware or viruses can cause your mouse to stop responding. Use a good antivirus to perform some checks on your device and see if any issues are found.
After you get rid of the corrupted files, reboot your PC, and see if the problem still persists.
12. Buy a new mouse or computer
In some instances, a mouse can be too damaged or is simply used up, and you might need to completely replace it with a new one.
However, if you suspect that your old OS system or computer is responsible for your mouse problems, then you need to replace them.
Video games and other apps have significantly advanced, and they consume computer resources like never before. If you want to enjoy the latest games and software, make sure you have a good enough PC beforehand, or you might end up facing issues such as an unresponsive mouse.