Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
A mouse jumping around, especially on a laptop, is often the touchpad somehow being touched. There are a few other things to look for as well.
Hi Leo, I have what I'd describe as a 'migrating cursor' or 'insertion point' when using MS Word and also Windows Live Mail. I can be merrily typing away when suddenly the cursor jumps to a new location like on another line. I have Windows 7 and MS Office 2010. I wonder if the problem could be related to sensitivity of the mouse touch pad on the laptop, or could the problem be caused by something else? I always use a USB cordless mouse instead of the mouse pad.
In this excerpt from Answercast #37, I look at a laptop where the cursor jumps around. The first thing to look at is the touchpad.
Especially on a laptop, touchpads are often a cause of exactly the kinds of behavior you're seeing.
Very often, people don't realize that they have dragged, not necessarily a finger, but perhaps brushed against the touch pad with the palm of their hand, as they're typing other characters.
Sometimes, the touch pads are overly sensitive and they actually don't need to be touched at all for them to think that they have been.
In your mouse configuration (in Control Panel, in the Mouse section):
If you've got the correct drivers for your laptop's hardware installed;
You may be able to turn off the track pad or mouse pad completely.
That function is very dependent on the drivers that are provided with the system; not all actually allow you to do that. But, if you can, that may be the quickest and easiest solution to this problem.
Unfortunately, the only other solutions that I'm aware of get sort of ugly.
That's the kind of a thing... if you're like me, I get lazy and my hands are gonna droop.
If you never, ever use it, maybe even taping a piece of paper across it, or something to prevent it from ever being able to touched at all.
Now, you indicate you're using a wireless mouse.
I have to mention that occasionally there's interference on wireless mouse connections. Not necessarily for laptops since the receiver is typically very close to the mouse when you're using it. But it's something to be aware of at any rate.
Finally, I really don't know how prevalent it is these days, but for a long time:
Sometimes, when that happens, it's actually trying to listen to what you're saying and interpreting voice commands as things you want the system to do.
It's usually much more extreme than just moving the mouse pointer from one place to another so I don't think that's what's happening. But again, in the interest of being complete about the issue, it's something else to look at.
I do have an article on it. I don't remember the name of the article off the top of the head but we'll get a link to it in the notes for this podcast when it gets posted. (*See below)
But like I said, the common scenario that we're looking at here is usually:
Accidentally brushing the trackpad.
Finding a way to turn that off is usually the easiest and quickest way to
resolve the issue.
Next from Answercast 37 – Is it safe to open email that's in my junk mail folder?
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