20 Things to Try When Your Mouse Keeps Freezing in Windows

Don't immediately throw an unresponsive mouse away, try these fixes first.

Mouse

If you’ve ever had to navigate Windows with the keyboard alone, you know it’s not easy. You may find yourself in such a situation if your mouse keeps freezing and forcing you to find alternative methods to operate your PC.

The most common reason why your mouse keeps freezing is that the mouse driver has become corrupted. Other reasons include outdated drivers and software, faulty hardware, or even viruses. Fortunately, there are some things you can try that might resolve the issue and enable you to get back to work as we shall explore below.

Note: The methods included in this article apply to Windows 10 and 11.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Use if Your Mouse Freezes

If your mouse isn’t working, there are keyboard shortcuts that can help you navigate around Windows as you try to figure out the problem. These shortcuts will help you open apps, scroll through documents, and more on your Windows 10/11.

Ctrl + TabUsed to move forward through tabs.
Ctrl + Alt + TabLets you cycle trough running applications (which are shown as tabs) in order using arrow keys.
Windows keyOpens the Windows Start Menu.
F5This key will refresh a page to the latest version.
Ctrl + Alt + DeleteBrings up “Task Manager” so you can end programs that are malfunctioning and causing issues with other applications. You can also shut down your computer using this shortcut
Alt + F4This shortcut opens the “File” menu of a program that has been minimized or closed but not shut down completely. You can also use it to close apps.
Ctrl + SSaves any pending work you may have before you restart your PC.
Ctrl + ZThis shortcut will undo your last action on any program.
Windows + LThis shortcut locks the screen so no one else can access your PC if you need to be away from your computer.
Windows + EThis shortcut opens the Windows Explorer window, which you can use to browse your files and folders on your computer.

You can also check out a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts that will prove to be helpful if you find yourself in such a predicament.

1. Check Cable Connection

Mouse Cable Connection
Image source: Shutterstock

This is the most basic step that you need to perform. If you are using a wired mouse, ensure that the cable is inserted securely into the USB port on your computer and the other end of the cable into your mouse. You may need to remove or adjust any other cables near your mouse so it has a clear path to communicate with your PC.

2. Change USB Ports

Mouse Change Usb Ports
Image source: Freepik

Sometimes, your USB ports may be acting up. Try using a different USB port or a different cable if possible. This applies to both wired mice and the USB dongle of a wireless mouse. If this doesn’t work, try plugging it into a different computer. If that still doesn’t work, then your mouse might have some sort of internal problem with it that needs to be replaced or repaired by a professional.

3. Change Batteries

Mouse Change Batteries
Image source: iStock

If your mouse is wireless, try changing the batteries. If you’ve used the mouse for a long time, the batteries might be running low. Try replacing them with fresh ones and see if that helps.

4. Check Mouse Distance

Mouse Bluetooth Distance
Image source: Pexels

If you’re using a Bluetooth mouse, make sure you’re within the recommended distance of the receiver. If you’re too far away, the connection may break and cause your mouse to stop responding.

5. Clean the Mouse and Mouse Pad

Mouse Cleaning
Image source: Freepik

Clean the surface of the mouse pad with a cloth and make sure that there is no dirt or dust stuck on it. Also, clean the surface of the mouse itself using a cloth. If there’s any dirt or dust on both surfaces then this could cause problems because it will affect how your cursor moves around.

6. Try a Different Mouse

Mouse Change Mouse
Image source: Pexels

If your mouse keeps freezing, try a different mouse on the same computer and see if it has the same issue. You may have a bad or faulty mouse. This step will help you rule out the possibility of a broken mouse that needs replacement.

7. Update Mouse Drivers

Your computer uses drivers to communicate with hardware devices such as printers and mice so they know how to work together properly. If one of these drivers becomes outdated, it could cause issues with how the device functions on your PC. Hardware manufacturers release updated drivers for their products which improve compatibility with Windows or resolve bugs with older hardware configurations.

  1. Press the Win + X shortcut keys and select “Device Manager” from the options that appear.
  2. Navigate to “Mice and other pointing devices.”
Mouse Mice And Other Pointing Devices
  1. Select your mouse, right-click and choose “Update Driver Software” from the drop-down menu.
Mouse Update Driver
  1. Click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”
Mouse Search For Drivers

If you are sure about the specific driver that needs to be updated, you can skip this step and go directly to your manufacturer’s website to see if there’s any available for download.

8. Uninstall and Reinstall Mouse Drivers

Sometimes, the problem with your mouse is caused by corrupt drivers. To fix this, uninstall the current driver and then reinstall it.

  1. Hit the Win + X keys to open the “Quick Access” menu and select “Device Manager.”
  2. Scroll down and select “Mice and other pointing devices.”
Mouse Mice And Other Pointing Devices
  1. Select your mouse, right-click and choose “Uninstall” from the drop-down menu.
Mouse Uninstall Driver
  1. Once you restart your PC, Windows will find the device and reinstall the latest driver for it.

9. Disable Additional Mouse Drivers

Sometimes, when you connect a new device to your computer, it will automatically install its own driver software – even if it doesn’t need one. This can cause conflicts with your existing mouse driver, which will result in your mouse freezing up when you try to use it.

  1. On your PC, hit the Win + X shortcut and open “Device Manager”.
  2. Navigate to “Mice and other pointing devices.”
Mouse Mice And Other Pointing Devices
  1. Right-click on the additional mouse and select “Properties”.
Mouse Additional Mouse Driver 1
  1. Select the “Driver” tab, click on “Disable” and finally press “OK”.
Mouse Disable Driver

Alternatively, you can also remove old and useless drivers to boost your PC’s performance.

10. Rollback to Previous Mouse Drivers

Sometimes, a bad driver update can cause problems. If your mouse is freezing in Windows, one of the first steps to try is rolling back to an earlier version of the driver that was working perfectly.

  1. On your PC, open “Device Manager” using the Win + X shortcut.
  2. Navigate to “Mice and other pointing devices.”
Mouse Mice And Other Pointing Devices
  1. Right-click on your mouse and select “Properties”.
Mouse Driver Properties
  1. Select the Driver tab, press on “Roll Back Driver” then click “OK”.
Mouse Roll Back Driver

11. Restart File Explorer

If your mouse keeps freezing in Windows, you may be able to fix the problem by restarting File Explorer. The mouse issue might be a consequence of a program becoming unresponsive. The File Explorer process can’t respond to other programs that are trying to access it, so nothing will happen for as long as the program remains in this state.

  1. Press the Win + X keys to open the “Quick Access” menu and select “Task Manager.”
  2. Locate Windows Explorer, right-click on it and select “Restart”.
Mouse Restart File Explorer

12. Turn off Power Saving for USB Ports

If your mouse keeps freezing, then it could be because of power-saving settings on your computer. When your PC is running low on power, it will shut down some features to save on power. To disable such features, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Device Manager” using the Win + X shortcut.
  2. Navigate to “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and expand by clicking on it
Mouse Universal Bus Controllers
  1. Right-click on “USB Root Hub” and select “Properties”.
Mouse Usb Root Properties
  1. Navigate to the “Power management” tab.
Mouse Power Management Tab
  1. Uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” box then click “OK” to finalize.
Mouse Power Management Tab Check Box

13. Disable Mouse Pointer Precision

While this may sound like a strange solution, disabling mouse pointer precision can help reduce mouse lag and freezing.

  1. Click on the Windows search icon and type “Control Panel” to open the app.
  1. Type mouse settings in the search bar and select “Change mouse settings.”
Mouse Mouse Settings 1
  1. Select the “Pointer Options” tab.
Mouse Pointer Options 1
  1. Uncheck the “Enhance pointer precision” box and click “OK” to save your changes.
Mouse Enhance Poiter Precision 1

14. Run Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

The troubleshooter for hardware and devices can detect if there are any issues with the hardware installed on your computer. Once it points out an issue, it will recommend solutions.

  1. On your PC, use the Windows search button to look for “Control Panel”.
  1. Search for “Troubleshooting” using the search box in the upper right corner and click the option to open it.
Mouse Troubleshooting
  1. Click on “Hardware and Sound.”
Mouse Hardware And Sound
  1. Select “Hardware and Devices.”
Mouse Hardware And Devices
  1. Click on the Next button.
Mouse Hardware And Devices Next
  1. Wait for the troubleshooter to finish detecting problems and apply the recommended solutions.
Mouse Detecting Problems

15. Scan for Malware

If your computer has been infected with a virus or other form of malware, it could be causing the freezing problem. Malware can also cause problems with other peripherals including keyboards and external hard drives. If possible, run an antivirus scan on your computer and make sure that it’s running the latest updates.

  1. Hit the Windows search button at the bottom.
  2. Type “Windows Security” in the search bar and click “Open”.
Mouse Windows Security
  1. Navigate to “Virus & threat protection”
Mouse Quick Scan
  1. Select “Quick scan” to check for any malware.

Sometimes, your antivirus software may also be the reason your mouse keeps freezing. It may be because it is scanning for viruses at an inappropriate time, such as when you’re using the computer. If this is the case, turning off automatic scanning might be a good idea.

16. Disable Fast Startup

If your mouse freezes when you start your computer, there’s a chance that this is caused by Window’s fast startup feature. This is an automatic feature that is designed to help your PC boot faster. While it’s great for speeding up boot times, it can also cause problems with your mouse and other peripherals.

  1. On your PC, open “Control Panel” as explained above.
  2. Click on “System and Security.”
Mouse System And Security
  1. Select “Power Options.”
Mouse Power Options
  1. Click on “Choose what the power buttons do.”
Mouse Change What Power Buttons Do
  1. Select “Change settings that are currently unavailable.”
Mouse Change Settings Curently Unavailable
  1. Scroll down and uncheck the “Turn on fast startup” box.
  2. Click “Save changes.”
Mouse Turn Off Fast Startup

17. Run SFC and DISM Commands

The System File Checker (SFC) command checks for missing or corrupt system files, which can cause problems with your PC, and replaces incorrect versions with correct ones. If that doesn’t work, try running DISM commands in the Command Prompt. DISM is used to scan corrupted and broken system files. It also installs new device drivers and other optional components.

  1. Hit the Windows search button.
  2. Type cmd in the search bar and select “Run as administrator.”
Mouse Command Prompt
  1. Enter the following command to run SFC:
sfc /scannow
Mouse Sfc Scannow
  1. Allow for the command to be executed then type in the next one to run DISM:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /ScanHealth
Mouse Dism Command

18. Uninstall Recently Added Apps

If your mouse is freezing, it could be a problem with an application you recently installed or updated. To troubleshoot this issue, uninstall all applications that you have installed recently. If this solves the problem, reinstall them one at a time until you find the culprit.

  1. Hit the Win + R keys to open the Run command.
  2. Type in “appwiz.cpl” in the dialog box to open “Programs and Features”.
Mouse Run Command
  1. Right-click on the app you want to uninstall then select Uninstall.
Mouse Uninstall App

19. Update Windows

Many times, updating Windows will solve the problem and get rid of any bugs that may be causing your computer to freeze up. Sometimes older versions of Windows may not be compatible with your mouse drivers causing the mouse to freeze. If you’re running Windows 11, check for updates and install them as necessary. If you’re running an older version of Windows, check Microsoft’s website for available updates and install them from there.

  1. Hit the Win key.
  2. Select “Windows Update.”
Mouse Windows Update
  1. Click on “Check for updates.”
Mouse Check Updates
  1. If there are any updates. Select “Download & install.”
Mouse Download And Install Updates

20. Restart Your PC

This is the most reliable way to get your computer running again. Normally, restarting will clear up a temporary software issue and get everything working again. If you have an older PC, it may not be able to handle too many programs running at once so you need a system restart.

Wrapping Up

If your mouse kept on freezing and was giving you trouble, you should now be able to proceed with no issues having tried one or more of our recommended solutions. While you are still here be sure to check out recommended fixes for mouse not working on macOS. Those who use laptops and face issues with the touchpad not working can also benefit from our dedicated guide.

Image credit: Pexels

Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa

I love to write about the latest in technology and how it can be used to solve problems. Crazy about all things Android, Windows and a lot more.

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