DATA DOCTORS

Looking for ways to change those erratic mouse fixes? Here are some ideas

Oct 14, 2023, 5:00 AM

mouse and phone sit in front of keyboard...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Q: What can cause my mouse pointer in Windows to freeze at random times and then suddenly start working again?

A: Erratic behavior from your mouse can be an indication of many things and all of them should be investigated as soon as possible. It could be hardware, software, or malware, which is why it needs to be addressed.

The type of mouse, such as a wireless or laptop touchpad, can also have specific causes.

Driver IssuesSmall pieces of computer code that control the mouse (a.k.a. drivers) can become corrupted or outdated if you have an older computer.

As this is one of the easier things to check, visit the support website for your brand of mouse to download and install the most recent driver.

If you have a laptop touchpad, you’ll want to visit the laptop manufacturer’s support website for the updated touchpad driver.

Wireless Mouse IssuesIf you’re using a wireless mouse, there are several items to check, starting with the battery level. If your mouse software doesn’t provide a battery level indicator, try changing to new batteries or plugging the mouse into power to recharge it.

Another way to see if the wireless mouse is the issue is by plugging in a wired mouse to see if things clear up.

If your mouse uses an external receiver that plugs into a USB port, try a different port.

You can also try using your wireless mouse on another computer to see if the problem follows the mouse.

The tracking surface your mouse is using can also cause erratic behavior, so try a different surface or a mouse pad.

Laptop Trackpad issuesDriver issues with laptops are very common, but if that doesn’t solve your problem, then it could be a sensitivity issue. If you find that you are inadvertently dragging another finger across the touchpad regularly, adjusting the sensitivity may help.

You’ll need to go to the Settings menu for your operating system and search for ‘touchpad sensitivity.

A dirty touchpad can also cause some tracking issues, so turn off your laptop and wipe the pad with a clean, soft cloth.

Operating System IssuesIf you haven’t performed any type of software maintenance on your computer in a long while, it’s possible that your computer is loading numerous unnecessary routines at startup, which is overloading the system.

Lots of programs attempt to slip items into your startup so they can pop up messages or track your usage, so a good cleanup at least once a year is a solid long-term strategy for this and many other common issues.

Malware IssuesAnother big cause we see with an overrun operating system is from malicious programs that have snuck their way into the computer.

If you notice that your hard drive indicator is constantly flashing or is solid when you aren’t doing anything, you’ll definitely want to run your security software’s scanner, or have it looked at by someone who has technical experience with the Windows operating systems.

It could be harmless but unneeded programs, or it could be something nefarious that will require you to change all your passwords, so don’t put off getting it resolved.

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Looking for ways to change those erratic mouse fixes? Here are some ideas