Engage Optical Mouse Troubleshooting

Windows terminology ¶ 

This troubleshooting guide assumes that the user is using Windows (XP/Vista/7). Note that instructions may vary for Windows 8, Mac OS X, or Linux.

The "Start Menu" is a box on the bottom left of the user's screen that can be accessed by clicking the Windows or Start button.

The "Control Panel" is a window that links to many computer settings. It is usually accessed from the start menu. There should be a button on the right half of the start menu labelled "Control Panel". Alternatively, there may also be a button labelled "Devices and Printers" that is a shortcut for most mouse settings. Note that if you don't have a usable mouse, you can access the control panel by pressing Windows Key + R, typing "control" in the dialog box that opens, and pressing Enter or the "Ok" button.

How do I use my computer without a mouse ¶ 

A broken mouse can be a uniquely difficult challenge. If you don’t have a backup mouse that works, navigating the computer can be tricky. Fortunately, if your keyboard still works, you can still do almost everything you could do with a mouse. This article explains how you can do many actions without using a mouse, but here’s a brief list:

  • TAB: Allows you to move between various selectable items in your current program (switches between links on a webpage, for example). Note that SHIFT + TAB behaves the same way, but moves your selection in the opposite direction.
  • ARROWS and ENTER: When using the menu at the top of a program (File, Edit, Help, etc.), you can use the ARROW keys to select which menu item you want to use, then hit ENTER to use it.
  • ALT + TAB: Switches between programs that are running.
  • ENTER: Generally can be used to Left-Click the mouse.
  • SHIFT + F10: Can be used to Right-Click the mouse.
  • WINDOWS KEY or CTRL + ESC: Opens the Windows Start Menu.
  • ALT + F4: Closes the current program.
  • WINDOWS KEY + R: Allows launching various programs. Type "control" and hit ENTER to launch the Control Panel.

Mouse will not turn on ¶ 

When the computer is on, there is no light coming from the bottom of your mouse.

Plugged in incorrectly ¶ 

In the event of the mouse cursor not responding, make sure that your USB is connected to a usable USB port. Verify that the only mouse that is plugged into the computer is the one you are working with.

Mouse is on, but cursor is not moving ¶ 

You’ve verified that the mouse is on (for optical mice, there is a light on the bottom), but moving your physical mouse doesn’t move the cursor on your screen.

Using wrong surface (mouse pad) ¶ 

The mouse might be unresponsive because you have it on a clear or shiny surface. The mouse needs a surface that is able to reflect the outgoing beam from the LED back up to the sensor in the mouse. Textured surfaces are better, because they allow the mouse to recognize movement easier. Choose a mouse pad that is not shiny or transparent. You can temporarily use paper or a folder of some type to place underneath the mouse.

Mouse is dirty ¶ 

If the bottom of the mouse is unclean, dirt can interfere with the sensor. Use a moist towel or wipe to clean off the bottom, so the light has a clear path back to the sensor.

Computer settings are wrong ¶ 

Your mouse settings may be disarranged in some way. To fix this, go to your control panel (Start Menu or Windows Key -> Control Panel). Next, go to “Hardware and Sound” and look under “Devices and Printers” (note that “Devices and Printers” may be directly accessible from the computer’s Start Menu). Select the “Mouse” option. The settings will then pop up on your screen. Select “Default” and then exit out. This resets your mouse settings to the normal settings. If this does not work, then try restarting your computer. Unplug, then replug your mouse back into your computer after the restart process has finished.

Cursor jumps around ¶ 

During normal use, the mouse occasionally behaves irradically.

Using wrong surface (mouse pad) ¶ 

The mouse might be unresponsive because you have it on a clear or shiny surface. The mouse needs a surface that is able to reflect the outgoing beam from the LED back up to the sensor in the mouse. Textured surfaces are better, because they allow the mouse to recognize movement easier. Choose a mouse pad that is not shiny or transparent. You can temporarily use paper or a folder of some type to place underneath the mouse.

Mouse is dirty ¶ 

If the bottom of the mouse is unclean, dirt can interfere with the sensor. Use a moist towel or wipe to clean off the bottom, so the light has a clear path back to the sensor.

Buttons do not work ¶ 

You can click the mouse buttons, but nothing happens on the computer; OR, you are unable to click the mouse buttons.

Check for obstructions ¶ 

Ensure that there’s nothing blocking the buttons. Paper, crumbs, or food may be resisting the buttons or making them unable to properly click. Try blowing underneath the buttons, or use something small (like a paperclip) to remove larger obstructions. If you are unable to easily remove the obstruction, disassembling the mouse may be a viable option to check for any hidden blockages.

Computer settings are wrong ¶ 

Your mouse settings may be disarranged in some way. To fix this, go to your control panel (Start Menu or Windows Key -> Control Panel). Next, go to “Hardware and Sound” and look under “Devices and Printers” (note that “Devices and Printers” may be directly accessible from the computer’s Start Menu). Select the “Mouse” option. The settings will then pop up on your screen. Select “Default” and then exit out. This resets your mouse settings to the normal settings. If this does not work, then try restarting your computer. Unplug, then re-plug your mouse back into your computer after the restart process has finished.

Buttons may be worn ¶ 

If your mouse is old or has been in use for a while, the buttons may be worn down so much they are not effective. If so, you may be able to repair them by filing down the worn parts.

USB is frayed or broken ¶ 

Any USB mouse cable is prone to damage if you trip on it, close it in a door, or let your cat chew on it.

Remove the damaged wires ¶ 

If part of the cable itself is damaged, you can cut out the broken portion and solder together the internal wires.

Replace the damaged plug ¶ 

If the USB plug itself is damaged, you can cut off the plug and solder a new tip on.

11 Comments

My mouse will right click when not touching it and sometimes while scrolling a page, basically at random, . I replaced the mouse with a new one and still have the issue. Other then this being a nuisance, my optical mouse works fine. Any ideas?

Lawrence - Reply

when i move my mouse up, the cursor goes right, when i move it right, the cursor goes down. it has been rotated 90 degrees somehow. only the usb mouse does this (the track pad is fine). i have tried on multiple computers that had never used this mouse before and it had the same problem.

JMcLawrence99 - Reply

i'm having the exact same issue "when i move my mouse up, the cursor goes right, when i move it right, the cursor goes down. it has been rotated 90 degrees" did you happen to find out what was wrong with it?

ryan -

I tried everything with the mouse courser not moving, the buttons work fine and the touchpad works no problem even my steam controller works fine. I've tried cleaning the optic lens, the LED lens but I still have the problem.

matiseeric - Reply

Please help me...a day i was playing serious Sam on windows 10 then the game crashed and i made ctrl alt canc many times,then i disconnected the user and went back again to desktop...the mouse worked proprerly for a while then the cursor didnt moved more but the laser was on...i tried run on safe mod the pc but the mouse still worked and then stopped work...what should i do??? Please im so bored without PC help me

Alessio mi - Reply

When I move my brand new Optical USB mouse, The cursor does not move. I tried all the different options but nothing seemed to work.

Mister Elmo - Reply

Same happens to me Mister Elmo, try downloading this Microsoft mouse drivers and installing them, good luck :) https://www.microsoft.com/accessories/en...

airanmm2001 -

Watch This Fix!

Latest & Quick Method 2017

For Mouse Movements Not Happening But Clicks DOes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u2rEFJ3...

King Khan - Reply

What do i do? My LED Light is my mouse isn't working , but i hear shaking sounds near the sensor , PLEASE HALP!!!1

AJ - Reply

pls help me fix this in a game called msp (movie star planet) the mouse doesn't work on that game but it worked on another the reason why im telling u is beacuse i bought vispend alot of vip and it spend alot of money

emma - Reply

I still use the old mechanical mouse with the rubber ball at the bottom. I have used both kinds and really still like the old style mouse better.

Tim Kline - Reply

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