How to fix mouse and touchpad problems in Windows

Get your mouse and touchpad working again in Windows

Are you having problems with the laptop touchpad and mouse not working in Windows? Does the touchpad mouse move by itself? Does the mouse freeze or the mouse buttons not work? Help is here.

Solve touchpad and mouse problems in Windows. Fix the Synaptics ClickPad and mouse

Unless you are lucky enough to have a touch-screen display, the mouse and/or touchpad will be in constant use on your PC and it becomes very irritating when it does not work as it should do.

It is especially annoying when you need to get something done, such as for work, and the PC isn’t responding as it should to the touchpad or mouse.

Touchpad and mouse problems are common and there are a variety of problems and several possible solutions. The most common ones are covered here and you might not need all of the fixes, so just work your way through them until you find one that works.

Some people never switch off their computer and it runs 24/7. If you do this, restart the computer and see if it fixes the fault. The #1 tip for anything that is not working is to switch off, wait 10 seconds and then switch back on. It cures many faults!

This article is mostly about Windows 10, but Windows 7 is pretty much the same and many of the solutions will work.

Hardware problems

Sooner or later the mouse and touchpad will wear out. A mouse will wear out the quickest and this is partly because it is pushed around the desk which might be rough, have dust, food crumbs and drink spills, and so on. Buttons are clicked hundreds of times a day and wear out, and so on. Physical wear and tear takes its toll.

A touchpad is not usually used as much and just gets gentle swipes and taps of the finger. It will wear out eventually, but it often lasts the life of the computer.

If the mouse is several years old, it might be worth replacing it with a new one.

If it is a wireless mouse, replace the battery with a fresh one. If there is a USB wireless adapter, change the USB socket and try a different one. Also do this with a wired mouse too. All USB sockets should be the same, but sometimes there are differences, so try them all.

Check for Windows updates

The problem with the touchpad or mouse might be a common one that has been fixed in a Windows update or a driver update.

  • Press Windows+I to open the Settings app in Windows 10.
  • Click Update & security followed by Windows Update on the left.
  • Click Check for updates. They sometimes fix problems.

Check for driver updates

Right click the Start button and select Control Panel.

  • Select Small icons view if necessary and click Device Manager.
  • Expand Mice and other pointing devices.
  • Right click each item - mouse and touchpad - and select Update Driver Software.

Update drivers in Windows using Device Manager

The mouse and touchpad should not be affected by other drivers, but sometimes it is. It might be worth repeating this with the items in the Display adapters and Audio inputs and outputs sections in Device Manager. Expand them, right click the entries and update the driver.

Expand Human Interface Devices and repeat the process. Work through all the items, right clicking and selecting Update Driver Software.

Microsoft supplies drivers for most components in the computer, but they are not always the latest versions. A driver update utility might find newer touchpad and mouse drivers.

Try Driver Booster from iobit.com but be careful not to accidentally install unwanted extras, like trials for other software. Only update the mouse and touchpad (such as Synaptics ClickPad) drivers. Ignore the other drivers.

Use a troubleshooter

Windows troubleshooters are designed to fix problems with Windows. They don’t always work, but sometimes they do and so they are worth trying.

  • Open the Control Panel and click Troubleshooting.
  • Click View all on the left.
  • Click Hardware and Devices.
  • Follow the instructions to test for and fix faults.

Check the settings

Could the settings be wrong? Possibly. They can be checked in the Settings app and Control Panel.

  • Press Windows+I to open Settings and click Devices.
  • If you have a Bluetooth mouse, select Bluetooth and make sure it is turned on.
  • Right handed people should set the primary button to Left. Left handers might prefer Right.
  • Set the Touchpad to Medium delay, but it might be worth trying the other options too.
  • Click Additional mouse options to open Mouse in the Control Panel.
  • On the Buttons tab, select Right-handed or Left-handed as you prefer.
  • Set Double Click Speed to mid way between Slow and Fast.
  • Turn off ClickLock.

On the Pointer options tab drag the slider under Select a pointer speed. The mouse sensitivity can be different to the touchpad sensitivity and speeding up or slowing down the pointer might be required if you are using one or the other. The result is immediate, so move the slider and try the mouse.

On the Wheel tab, set the scrolling speed to 3. Large numbers might be awkward and cause big jumps in whatever app is scrolling, such as a web browser.

Touchpad settings

Select the ClickPad Settings tab. There is an option to disable the internal pointing device (touchpad) when an external USB pointing device is attached (USB or wireless mouse). Clear the tick box if you use the mouse and touchpad at the same time, but tick it if you have problems. Just try the opposite to whatever it is currently set to and see if it is better.

Synaptic ClickPad settings in the Control Panel in Windows

Click ClickPad Settings. The Synaptics ClickPad is a common touchpad and here you can enable various taps, swipes and gestures to use with the touchpad.

Explore each section and tick the gestures you want to use.

Synaptics ClickPad settings in the Control Panel in Windows

Hopefully, the mouse and touchpad are working just the way you want them to.


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