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A frozen cursor is common with wireless mice. But there are a few steps that you can take to help diagnose the problem.

I'm using Windows 7, 64 bit. This problem occurs with any app. Once every couple of months or so, at random, my mouse cursor freezes. I use the keyboard to save, close, and reboot my desktop computer. This is very annoying. How do I fix this?

In this excerpt from Answercast #19, I take a look at the most common problems that can happen with a computer mouse, particularly wireless mice.

Mouse freezes

Several things come to mind. Assuming that the computer itself continues to operate properly without the mouse, then we obviously know that it's a mouse-related problem.

Mouse battery

The very first thing that comes to mind is your mouse battery. If it's a wireless mouse, this is the kind of thing that I totally expect to happen when the battery in a mouse is getting low. Now, since you didn't mention that and since you didn't mention anything about replacing the battery, my suspicion is that, perhaps, you're seeing something else.

Interference

The other big thing that tends to impact wireless mice is interference: radio interference along the same frequencies that the mouse happens to be using.

I don't have a great solution for this because it's really difficult sometimes to identify the cause of the interference. It could be something as simple your microwave. It could be something as simple as a radio in the other room. It could be something in your neighbor's TV set. It's really difficult to say.

Troubleshooting mouse problems

One thing I might suggest is to try a different mouse. I'm going to suggest two different approaches to that.

  • The obvious one is to use a wired mouse.

If you can get by with a wired mouse and this problem completely goes away, then there's a good chance you've identified it as a radio interference kind of a thing.

The other approach: mice (actually, mice and keyboards) are available using a couple of different sets of radio frequencies.

  • What I would try to do is identify, somehow, the frequency range that's being used by your current mouse.

You'll have to look in the documentation. You may even have to go back to the manufacturer's website to see if they make this information available somewhere. Then, armed with that information, I would go out and I would look for a mouse that uses a different spectrum, a different frequency range to connect.

Give that a try. That then would potentially avoid the interference that you might be seeing on the original frequency set. It may make the problem go away.

Ultimately, wired is your safest bet, but there's some alternatives for you.

Article C5365 - May 21, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
Linda
May 21, 2012 11:55 PM

Since I have Windows 7 home premium, my wireless mouse freezes, mainly soon after loading. By using Ctrl+Alt+Delete I free the mouse, click cancel, & the mouse works again. Better than a re-start.

Josh
May 22, 2012 8:56 AM

I prefer USB peripherals rather than wireless mainly because it's more reliable and no need to worry about batteries, however, it can restrict mobility but my desktop doesn't go anywhere anyway. Certainly as a gamer, I know what I prefer to use.

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