What to Do If Your Mouse Doesn't Work

What do you do when your mouse doesn't work? If it's furry, you should definitely take it to the vet. If it's a computer mouse, and most likely it is, there could be any number of problems. Let's take a look at some common tips for solving mouse problems.

Consider the mouse you have.
The nature of the computer mouse problem depends on the kind of mouse you have. You most likely have one of two mice: one that utilizes a roller ball, or one that uses an optical laser for movement. The roller ball mice are older and prone to more problems. Most specifically, over time the ball collects a bunch of lint from the mouse pad, and that lint gets stuck on the inside. So, if you have a roller mouse, pop the ball out, clean the inside and then check to see if it works before you do anything else. If you have the other computer mouse design, they won't get clogged, but the laser might have trouble reading your movements. If it does, just make sure your mouse is passing over a smooth, flat surface.

Check your computer.
If your mouse still doesn't work, try rebooting your computer. This is the go-to move for nearly any computer problem. Sometimes problems occur in device drivers that can be cleared with a simple reboot. If your mouse still doesn't work after the reboot, try unplugging it from your computer and plugging it back in. If you have another mouse handy, swap mice to see if the problem is mouse- or computer-specific. If you find the problem is with your mouse, it's probably easier to just buy another mouse than waste time trying to fix it.

Reinstall the mouse software.
If the problem is on the computer end, try removing the mouse software by going to the Control Panel in Windows. You can access this by hitting the Windows key on your keyboard. Find the icon labeled Mouse or Mouse and Keyboard. From this tab, uninstall the mouse. Next unplug it from the computer, and reboot. Plug the mouse back in when Windows has loaded, and your computer should install the mouse software. If you are using a Mac, you may need to download the latest software update for your mouse to work.

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