Why does the mouse pointer jump around the screen?

Fortunately for most cases, there is a simple solution to why your mouse pointer would jump around the screen.

//

My infrared Microsoft Intellimouse is being erratic. Doesn’t follow the direction of the hand movement and lags behind sometimes not moving. I have checked all settings and drivers as much as I know how.

Erratic mouse movement is a pain. You move one way, and the mouse jumps around the screen – often to some other random location.

In most cases the solution to a jumping mouse pointer is actually pretty simple.

Optical mice are great – I love ‘em. No more dirty mouse balls (and the jokes that go with them). Over time I’ve converted all of my mice to optical, both wired or wireless.

But what I’ve found with optical mice is that they are surprisingly sensitive to the surface they’re on. On a bad surface they’ll often behave exactly as you describe. They seem to not only stop responding, but occasionally misread movement and dart off in completely unexpected directions … like a mouse scurrying for cover.

The best surfaces for the mouse would be something with a slight texture, and a constant surface. Make sure there’s no high contrast text or images as well.

After not using mouse pads for a long time, I’ve found that they’re typically the best solution and very helpful in keeping my optical mice behaving.

There are 107 comments:

  1. George Kaufman Reply

    I’m using a e-machine with Windows XP and using a Logitech V-200 cordless opticalmouse. I like to play a lot of games and do jigsaw puzzles, when I click on a puzzle piece to drag it in to place it will take off and dance all over the screen, sometimes after I am no longer touching the mouse. I have replaced the mouse and changed mouse setting to no avail, drives me crazy when I’m working a puzzle or game. Fastgeorge!!!!!!!!!

  2. Matt Reply

    There’s a problem with the Microsoft Intellimouse (the cheap one you can find for around $10). I have one that does the same thing and it has nothing to do with the mousepad. The mouse is just a piece of junk.

  3. Ralph Toppins Reply

    I have just discovered that my optical mouse which was jumping all over the screen and sometimes off the edge started working ok, (knock on wood) when I purchaed a new solid black mouse pad. It failed when I used just the grainy surface of my desk or a mouse pad with graphics on it. I suppose it isn’t necessarily true any more that optical mice will work on most any surface as seemed to be the stated case when they were first introduced. Thanks Leo for the tip.

  4. Stephen Reply

    I had a similar problem with the pointer jumping around the screen without me touching the mouse.
    If you use a cheap wireless mouse/keyboard then watch the positioning of you mouse, keyboard and transiver as they may be open to interferance. I had interferance from an external usb hard drive. Watch mobile phones, monitors and power cables.
    All these should not cause a problem if they are in good working order and good quality
    hope this helps
    Stephen

  5. Nick Reply

    I was having an interesting time. I’m on a laptop at college, so I had the opportunity to borrow many different known good mice from other people, and even just use the touch pad, and still the mouse would jump around randomly, click at random, or just stop clicking for minutes at a time. Finally went into the device manager and deleted all of the mice drivers (there appeared to be an unexplainable, extra one present), then plugged in my mouse again and it works fine now. So for anyone who KNOWS it isn’t just the mousing surface or low batteries, I would endorse this course of action to rid you of your demonic possesion.

  6. Ervin Reply

    well.. I found that if you spread some.. (don’t know how you call it.. some kind of medicinal white pouder used for wounds.. found it in the house.. ) on the mouse pad.. and then dust off the exess away.. the mouse starts to behave :) well the mousepad isn’t that shiny now.. so it doesn’t reflect the laser in all the directions..

  7. chyanne barrasin Reply

    i have a laptop and my mouse seems to have a spring back on it, ie if i got down and let my finger off the pad it will spring back up to the top. The only thing i can think of is the heat from the hard drive which is just underneath it. Is this so??? Please any1 with knowledge of this problem email me

  8. Chris M Reply

    Discovered your site while googling for ‘erratic mice’ because I’ve just has the worst case of such I’ve ever seen. It seems to be caused by mousing over the high d.p.i. half-tone screen of a financial propectus I was using as a mouse-mat. Ripping the cover off and mousing on the text cured the problem. Don’t do this with just any old printed matter: only classy stuff doesn’t leave your mouse hand filty!

  9. Gordon Hudson Reply

    There is a problem with the OEM Microsoft Mouse (the cheap black one). They all jump around ocfcasionally regardless of the surface they are on. I just had to replace all ours in the office. If you have this problem with this mouse try a different mouse and it may well solve the problem.

  10. Steve Reply

    I had the same problem. Turns out that the cord, where it enters the mouse, had broken. The reason I think was the constant bending due to not keeping the mouse and cord in alignment. Mine was routed around and through a crowded desktop and then down to the computer which sat on the floor. Replaced the mouse and keeping the cord straight resolved my problem.

    Just offering this up as a possibility.

  11. mike Reply

    I am using Dell Inspiron 8200 and was using logitec optical mouse. never had any problems and all of a sudden mouse starts draggin to either top right corner or left bottom corner. I tried differnt mouse but was having the same problem. SO i unplugged the mouse and started using the touch pad but no LUCK. Anyonw with any suggestions?

  12. Fox Reply

    Cordless mouse jumping and eratic ? Check the batteries 1st, most times it is the origin of your problem. Next get ” Advanced WindowsCare V2 or similar program, since running this program I have no more “mouselag” Hope it helps you too !!

  13. Paul Vincent Reply

    Using Dell Inspiron 8200/ Logitec optical mouse. At random pointer goes to right top, or left bottom and disappears. Not able to control. Same with mouse unplugged and using touch pad. Mouse/pointer starts working after a while, time varies. Sometimes returns to erratic mode.

  14. Darren Rodway Reply

    I am using a keyboard and mouse set, the Microsoft Desktop Keyboard Elite and Intellimouse Explorer 2 to be exact.

    There have been time when my screen, whether I was viewing webpages or Word pages and the screen kept scrolling down to the last page and staying there. The scroll wheel refused to allow me to scroll back up, nor could I use the scroll bar at the side of the screen to get back up. The system said my mouse was fine and batteries were fine.

    Many F words later, plus a couple of C words, I picked up my keyboard to look at the serial number and the screen freaked out, I took the batteries out and tested them on a battery tester and all three were dead, I replaced these with brand new ones and the screen stopped being pyscho.

    Sometimes it is not alway the wireless mouse, but the f****ing keyboard.

    It seems that since I installed Service Pack 2, the on screen battery gauge for the wireless mouse and keyboard does not work with SP2.

  15. Ines Reply

    I have the same problem as Mike! I have a Dell Latitude D600 and the touchpad and mouse(optical) both behave erratically jumping to the top Righthand corner or bottom lefthand corner at any given time! It is driving me insane? I do not think it is a surface problem? Are there any other solutions? I would appreciate any help?!
    Thanks,

    Ines[Email Address Removed]

  16. Elaine Reply

    My iFeel Logitech mouse has worked great for years and suddenly started the jumping all over the screen thing. After reading these posts, I took a black textured flat receipt book and used it as a mouse pad. PROBLEM SOLVED! nO MORE JUMPING MOUSE PROBLEMS!

  17. Dan Reply

    The reason thet cursor jumps all around has to do with Microsoft products running in the background like Outlook. The problem is, the application Outlook springs to life to check for mail. No big deal, but they do not do a good job of saving the current cursor pointer. I believe Iternet Explorer does the samething. Microsoft is not very user friendly, I.E. if not written by us, screw the other application. When I am doing something important that requires good mouse cursor control, I turn off Outlook. When Outlook is active, even in the background, the mouse becomes very cumbersome. Sometimes it seems to go, then gets stuck. You can really see this effect if play one of the card games, like solitaire which was written by them. They do not do a good job in the message passing from app. to app. to restore the cursor back to its proper place. That is why it seems to jump around. Not the driver, not the hardware, just that master of virus software developer MicroSoft.

  18. Walt Reply

    My Dell optical mouse began jumping around erratically after my company gave us new, motivational mouse pads that contain the company logo and vision statement. It took me about two weeks to figure out the problem, and about two seconds to throw away the stupid mouse pad. My cubicle’s laminate counter top works just fine.

  19. Maggie Wilson Reply

    I just got a new desk with a pull out keyboard drawer that doesn’t allow enough room to use my regular mouse pad. I started using only the laminated top of the keyboard tray as a pad. Without my regular mouse pad, the mouse (wired, optical) began acting very strange – jumping around erratically – became almost useless. Drove me crazy! I knew I needed a mouse pad, but there was not enough room no matter what style I found. After reading the comments here, I got the idea to fold up a piece of plain white paper (sized to fit the small space available on the keyboard tray), and voila! the mouse immediately went right back to its old dependable self. I now believe it was “reading” the fake wood grain in my new laminated desk. Many thanks to the person who mentioned a blank piece of white paper!

  20. Roy Alto Reply

    I also have the same problem. I am using a genius mouse. It keeps on moving from one place to another when win xp boots up. It also opens up applications that I don’t need. Sometimes it tiles up windows that are open. It also restores windows n its own. What do I do to get rid of this problem?

  21. MAN Reply

    My new microsoft optical mouse suddenly jumps to cornors for 3-4 seconds on xp sp2 & then behaves normally.Have tried using different mouse pad but problem persists.I have e6550 processor and DGGfb motherboard.Please help me

  22. Griffy Reply

    Welp, I’ve now spent the evening researching this problem. It seems that it is very common and not specific to my “Generic Logitech Laser Mouse w/ PS/2 cord.” It is USB but came with the PS/2 port plug already in so I don’t have to take up my preciousss USBs. Anywho. I’ve been playing the Online MMO, Lord of the Rings Online. This features an ability to walk by pressing the right then left mouse buttons and ability to steer and scroll wheel the camera as well. However my mouse has started (for a month if not longer.) to do this jumping and causing my character to go into a 3000 degree spinning fit until I release my mouse buttons. (Really freaky when your character is trying to avoid falling off a cliff by just a few meters. phew) It’s also affecting The SIMS2 and my Internet Explorer web browsing.

    Upon my research, I’ve come across many posts about jumping mouse cursors, who have updated cordless mice drivers, who have uninstalled and reinstalled drivers, visited Microsoft’s website for drivers, bought completely new mice, changed some of the different settings in Control Panel, changed their USB mouse into a PS/2, and some folks even moved their Wacom tablets or wireless keyboards farther away to avoid odd interferences, changing to a more solid colored mouse pad non-glossy and just so many multiple ideas. And none of them seem to have come back saying that their mouse has stopped jumping, in fact one person kept coming back and still has the demon-possessed jumping mouse. (There was even some joking to call a priest, OY!)

    Personally I’ve adjusted my mouse settings in control panel, and it’s okay for now, but I am only typing and not gaming at the moment. I’ve gone through a few mousepads, and this problem was occuring before I got this new freebie glossy-ish one. It’s glossy though and I’m thinking a solid colored (felt?) mat would also improve performance if not help eliminate my mouse problem. My cords are always getting tangled onto of my desk (mouse, headset, keyboard, speakers) and I was not sure if maybe something snapped or broke in my mouse’s cord. No point to my post other than to say I’m glad I’m not alone with this curiousity and find it very annoying.

  23. Sparky77 Reply

    try using a single colored mouse pad, preferebly red or black. Irregular colors and contrasts tend to confuse the tracking sensors in some optical mice. I’ve reviewed the circtuitry and components in numerous mice that are reported to have this problem, and from my experience is a red mouse pad eliminates the problems.

  24. kal Reply

    I have the same problem, my mouse moves up to the corners of the screen quickly, which closes programs sometimes. I am using a mouse pad that has a jelly inside that is circular and is the world with ships floating around inside lol. No wonder my optical mouse does what it does. Lets hope using something solid sorts it out!!!

  25. AndyS Reply

    There is more to this than the surface the Optical mouse is sat on. At work both my machine and My colleagues mouse pointer will erratiaclly jump to another place. My mouse is optical, he still is using a conventional mouse with roller ball.

  26. bob Reply

    While some peoples problems seem to be fixed by these simple solutions it would seem my problem is much more complicated. My problem occurs when I move the mouse. For example, I move my mouse from left to right and it randomly jumps to the bottom or the top or the corner….you get the picture. I’ve tried everything i can think of… mouse pads, drivers, cleaning, and every sugestion mentioned here and I’ve even updated my bios. It would seeem that microsoft would have the solution to this problem but they aren’t giving the answers for free.

  27. Kathy Reply

    I am having the same problem with a floating mouse but mine is on my Dell laptop not desktop. I use a touchpad not an auxilary mouse and no mousepad. Any suggestions?

  28. Scott Reply

    I’ve had this problem too – my optical mouse is on a solid, consistent mousepad, but I’m wondering if other interference – such as my cellphone (very close to my mouse) is doing something. The cell actually makes other nearby speakers make weird noises at various times. I’m moving the cell away from the mouse to see if that helps, but I just wish I could prove what it is causing the “demon possessed” jumping mouse!

  29. Philip Rittscher Reply

    I have had this same problem for years over a number of computers (and mice). The mouse suddenly takes off, quickly in an upward direction usually leading to the top left, then spirals quickly around the screen to the right, then down and then inward to rest nearly in the middle of the screen. And it all happens way faster than my hand could move. I call it the psycho mouse.

    It has happened to several computers I have at home but has not happened at work. Could it be related to the fact my house is near a radio tower?

  30. sreejayaraman Reply

    should we remove batteries from cordles mouse and keyboard when not in use

  31. Leo A. Notenboom Reply

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    For day to day use, no. If you’re not going to use the
    device for many days or weeks, then sure. But even if you
    don’t it’ll probably just drain the battery slowly.

    Leo

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFHdwcXCMEe9B/8oqERAhodAJ9A5GfzaL/IFpjy0ezCCSf3+HiCtACfU8YM
    rXOXIKLXVH6Hs9XImltFzUQ=
    =RYYA
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

  32. jan Reply

    It’s not optical mouse problem. I’ve got old ball-mouse and the same problem. I’ve bought new optical mouse and the prblem still exists.

  33. Brendan F Reply

    Everyone in the office here has just received new mousemats with our own branding on it and 3 of us sitting beside each other have experienced erratic cursor movement straight away. The mat has a shiny plastic finish to it. My previous mat has a kind of textured cloth covering which worked fine.

    Someone else here mentioned cell phones interfering with mice, and I can confirm that this is also true. It affects my USB mouse if the phone is on top of the mouse cable on the desk. The cursor moves in a straight line upwards in small jittery movements when the phone rings, just like how you would hear the interference in a speaker.
    Makes you wonder what else a mobile phone could interfere with! (you really *should* turn them off on airplanes!)

  34. Homer Reply

    I just have it when the mouse jumps to left or right or bottom left or right corners. Sometimes it jumps between the corners, top bottom, left, or right. And when it jumps it presses mouse buttons. Most of the time it’s nothing, other times it’s a left click but its also done the right and the scroll button (which is annoying)

    I tried leaving the mouse disconnected over night the hooking the batteries up again and turning on the PC. I’ve tried using the mouse on the computer desk vinyl, even using my hand as a mouse pad :( I think I’m going back to the balls.

  35. Pam Holder Reply

    My laptop is only 3 months old and I am having problems with the cursor jumping all over when typing etc. and if I move it across the page it turns the type blue. I use the touchpad not a seperate mouse (same problem occurred with wireless mouse)

  36. Ben Reply

    I looked in my Device Manager on my computer. Under the “Mice and other pointing devices” I noticed that there was a mouse that I didn’t use so I uninstalled it and it fixed my problem.

    Note: If your mouse problem is really bad, here are some keyboard only instructions:

    1. Use the windows button + pause/break to go to System Properties.
    2. You should then be able to use TAB and the arrow keys to get to the hardware tab.
    3. While on the hardware tab, press TAB until the “device manager” button is highlighted and then press ENTER.
    4. In Device Manager, press TAB once and then use the arrow keys to navigate down to “Mice and other pointing devices”
    5. Press the right arrow to expand the tree.
    6. Highlight the unused mouse and then press Alt+A and then press U to uninstall the mouse you are not using.
    7. Press enter to confirm the uninstall.

    This is a crude method to do it but it worked for me. This may not solve everyone’s problem but it’s worth a try. Good luck!

  37. Chris H Reply

    This problem can happen if you restart the machine with RS-232 active communications (a serial cable plugged in that is transmitting data). The mouse will appear to jump around and click even after disconnecting / disabling the mouse. Once the communication source is disconnected the jumping will stop. This is due to Windows looking for a pointing device and finding data on the com port. Microsoft details how to fix this here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/131976.

    This is just one possible yet annyoing problem.

  38. Jim Droppo Reply

    I found out why my cursor started jumping around the screen… The person in the next office got a new portable computer with a wireless mouse — which my remote mouse sensor “sees” — and the cursor follows her movements… So far I have no solution.

  39. Leo Reply

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    That’s fascinating, thanks for the report!

    The only solutions I can think of are for one of you to go
    to a wired mouse, or for one of you to switch to a different
    wireless technology such as bluetooth.

    Leo

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFIPZNICMEe9B/8oqERAteyAJ97NoUirefa+JnUk4PsXL3ySKjhYQCgjtNi
    yNvV+Al7tPI5zcQddBd1zPw=
    =Xmbh
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

  40. John Chamberlain Reply

    Re wireless mouse interference – try resetting the mouse to receiver link while your neighbor is using their computer. This should result in it picking up a different channel. I had to do this with a wireless keyboard when my neighbor complained that she was getting my text (including passwords in plain text) on her screen! And she lives next door!

  41. Ravi Agrawal Reply

    One erratic problem which I faced with a laptop was that the mouse pad seemed to accept a double click instead of a single click no matter how slow I made the Windows double click setting in Contol Panel >> Mouse section. It was really irritating & I decided to reinstall the complete OS from scratch when I discovered the cause. Guess, The problem was that I was connected to an Online UPS. This UPS was giving Poor Quality Power Output which made the Laptop run smoothly but disturbed the Mouse. After getting the UPS out of the Power Circuit between the Laptop & Mains, normal working was restored. Lucky though, my laptop’s mouse pad did not fry.

    Secondly, Optical Mice do have a problem of the Mouse Pointer running in a Particular Direction. The most common cause being debris between the surface & optical sensor of the mouse.

  42. oleg Reply

    I had exactly the same problem with erratic mouse behavior and found out the problem thanks to one of the comments. My wireless keyboard was interfering with my laptop’s mouse (any mouse for that matter. even touchpad). As soon as I disconnected it, all problems went away.

  43. Roxanne Reply

    I have a wired Logitech Optical mouse and experience this erratic behavior every day. There is no cell phone sitting on the cord, and I use a solid black cloth mousepad from Staples. The behavior is insane and there is no driver specific to this mouse (Logitech says it doesn’t need one). Sometime the bouncing from place to place on the screen will go on for a full minute before I regain control of the mouse.

  44. shauan Reply

    i was having the same problem,i turned the wireless mouse over to take a better look at it and there was a dog hair stuck to the sensor

  45. Mary Kennedy Reply

    I have a SOLUTION to the jumping cursor problem. At least for my situation. From my research I discovered that the Logitech mouse is incompatible with some versions of XP. I then found a switch on my Logitech settings panel that allows me to select either SETPOINT, Logitech’s software, or the OS, to govern my mouse’s speed and acceleration. This setting makes all the difference in the world. If you have a logitech mouse, find the panel that lets you decide which system will govern the mouse’s SPEED AND ACCELERATION, and select OS, not Logitech’s Setpoint program. In my case, the dancing mouse left immediately upon making this change.

  46. Jesus Reply

    I have a Logitech G7 mouse that runs from exchangable rechargable batteries. When it started jumping around on the screen I fixed it by cleaning the metal contactpoints on the batteries. I used a small screwdriver to scrape off the dark brownish spots. Now it works. Cheers.

  47. Rob Davis Reply

    Another possibility is that someone is remotely snooping on your screen – and their mouse movements are actioned by your PC. Especially noticeable when they close (top right) a window, or go for the Windows start button (bottom left). Some snooping software is very sneaky and doesn’t show as a running process or service in Task Manager.

  48. joe Reply

    Hello…Twice in the last month, I have lost control of my wired mouse. The arrow just goes all over the page but does not click on anything (as if some had control of my pc) and I have no control until I reboot.
    Any ideas? I have Vista. Thanks…joe

  49. At Reply

    My wired mouse is causing the same, as soon as I try to point and click it jumps all over and move to the side. It came on a week ago,it feels like a virus/trojan or something causing it

  50. Matthew Reply

    My wired optical mouse works perfect, but last week I found a Trajan and a worm. and it was resending it self to other people though Windows Live Messenger. I Found out the Virus Takes control of the Mouse pointer to make changes in the computer settings and steels information like names addresses and credit card info I Crashed my Logon setting and the Desktop display. it got in as an MP3 file.

  51. tom Reply

    “Make sure there’s no high contrast text”
    … that was the sentence that really helped!!!

    Actually, to make sure the problem is not caused by the surface, I tried a newspaper. I thought, here there is enough “contrast borders” to follow the movements – and that was exactly the wrong way.

    Now, after successfully trying with a white paper, I realised, that my white painted surface got more and more black dots over the years, and so the problem became more and more.

  52. Leslie Lafrenais Reply

    my mouse just started jumping around. It is not only my optical mouse, but my touch pad on my laptop and also another I plug into my computer, seems that whatever mouse I put does the same thing. Is it my computer? I tried to see if it was dirty, but all three of them act the same way. can you help me?

  53. Eckardt Reply

    Hello, I have a HP laptop but my mouse jumps around on the screen when I hold my finger on the mouse pad. What can it be?

  54. Amelie Reply

    it’s nothing wrong with my mouse i don’t have one so don’t give me that I don’t have one (it’s in the computer) the MOUSE POINTER in f. upp! it likes the left corner.. i have no control of it sometimes… i have antivirus but everytime i sertch ther’s one virus that my computer can’s delite…andif it is that one WHAT DOI DOO HELP?!!

  55. Gabe Lawrence Reply

    Rob Davis said: “someone is remotely snooping on your screen…”

    With all due respect, that’s probably true for 1 in a zillion cases. But way-to-go for adding to the common user’s Internet paranoia (sorry, I can’t avoid sarcasm in cases like this).

    For those truly concerned though, ignore Rob Davis’ comment and know that, a cheap mouse (like every mouse that comes with new computers) will be prone to jumpy pointers. My rule of thumb…if it costs less than 15 – 20 dollars at Staples or Wal-mart (or if it came with your computer), it’s going to be jumpy.

  56. Ron Reply

    I took your suggestion and dumped my very shiny Elvis mouse pad; I am now using my wood grained desk top–voila! No more problems! This is a brand new computer, so after being unsuccessfull with the manufacturer I was fortunate to find your suggestion.

  57. Susan Reply

    My mouse is jumping around on my Acer laptop with Vista. A few months ago, I had different mouse options on Control Panel but now I don’t have those. (I had sensitivity, tapping, etc. but now I don’t: where did they go?)

  58. Andreas Reply

    my case probably similar to Amelie, i don’t have any external mouse attached to my tablepc, just the touchpad. and i am not even touching the pad.. i am just sitting here glaring at the screen, when the mouse start to jump around, it either like the bottom corner left or bottom corner right of the screen.. and not only jump, it also click (left click) on the spot..i have to move the task bar on the top of the screen so it won’t click on the START button.

    any clue? AV return no virus, the behavior is not persistent, sometime it just let go and sometimes it suddenly became very erratic.

  59. dennis Reply

    Please email me with a direction to fix this problem. My pointer or mouse wont stay latched to a page. Even with email I have to click back on the page to keep typing. I can be typing something then I found out there is nothing that I typed and have to re-click on the page. This happes with any think Im doing weather its a internet page or a word document. Please ehlp
    Thanks

  60. Ki11more Reply

    Often the cause is very simple. i haven’t used a mouse mat in years and have found that over time the surface the mouse is operating on has become more and more polished due to the teflon feet on the mouse and it is the shiny surface that is causing the optical mouse to mis-behave

  61. Paul Reply

    Dear Leo,
    Although most of the common solutions to mouse pointer and scroll jump were covered, many times the culprit is the driver that has been reinstalled every time you plug in a different or the same mouse in a USB adapter meaning the registry bcomes cluttered with many instances of the driver(s). Look it up and you will find the manual registry removal sequence at Microsoft for the registry. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321122
    Not everyone is hacked or using a reflective surface. I too was troubled with a jumping mouse and found the solution to the poor design of the mouse driver installation into the registry of Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista. Matter of fact this problem has plagues every microsoft laser mouse to hit the market. I could be wrong. Most mistakes I repeat a few times before I solved the mistery and I am not suggesting that the average computer person dwell into the registry.

    Paul

  62. HUDSON Reply

    CLEANING MY MOUSE PAD MADE A BIG IMPROVMENT .
    THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO.

  63. jeff Reply

    my mouse kept moving around.. i took my cell phone off table and it stopped must have been causing it

  64. henq Reply

    In my experice it can be a small hair or dust particle caught in the led’s hole at the botton of the mouse. Blow it away.
    But, why does the mouse driver accept these obvious data-errors? You *can not* possibly move the mouse 10 inches in 1 microsecond.
    The mouse driver shoud neglect these supersonic mousemovements imo, and dampen the accelerations. [If the driver 'knows' the weights of your hand mouse and the forces that generally are applied, (changes in) accelerations and speeds can be capped.]
    ~h

  65. Ron Reply

    In addition to the Surface issues and a hair or dust mote that the Led illuminates, I’ve also found that the USB connector can become corroded with a thin oxide layer that can quickly change resistance – sending the mouse into flight – even though you are not moving the connector or cord. The vibrations of the computer chassis from fans is sufficient to trigger this. I find it most often after a few years, with the seasonal changes from winter to summer or summer to winter. Unplugging and re-plugging several times cleans the connections for the next few years.

  66. teresa hill Reply

    My pointer on screen keeps jumping all over my page traveling mostly to the left. Help please. I feel as if I downloaded a virus when I ran the coupon maker for Oprahs free KFC coupons. Is that possible?

  67. Paul B Reply

    I found that cat hair on my mouse pad was the culprit. Even nearly invisible hairs will cause this problem.

  68. chris Reply

    you have been talking about why usb style mice jump around but what about the round ones with the green caps my seems to go every where even if im not toughing it i cleaned the ball in it and checked the wire any ideas why it isnt working?

  69. Jennifer Best Reply

    Please help. My mouse pointer jumps all over my screen. I’ve done all the suggestions and it won’t stop. It randomly clicks and opens my web browser, random photo folders and even my messenger service. I’ve unplugged it and tried to use the fingerpad on my laptop and it still jumps all over…it never stops. I’ve asked everyone I know to please assist because its a problem that just started about 2 weeks ago. My mouse is a laser pointer so its not an issue of “dirt” my mouse pad is clean and I don’t have any pets. I’ve disabled and reinstalled my driver and “rolled back” with problems still. Please help, I’ll pay anything! Thank you!

  70. John Reply

    I had a wireless mouse up until today. My mouse issues were when a new page was loading or I tried to click on certain links on certain web pages (not all web pages)the mouse jumped and I would be unable to get it to stay. Now I am wired again and it’s not jumping around when a page is being loaded, but is still doing the other things. I’ve cleaned my mouse pad with no improvements. I’ve even tried just using the desk top with no pad. All old mouse programs were deleted and all possible scans/cleaners were ran.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

  71. al Reply

    im thinking there could be some other underlying cause..( could be any of the already mentioned btw Jennifer best have you scanned with an online virus scanner to see if theres a resident malware/spyware/virus ? try trend home call ) anyway im thinking it would be useful if eveyone with problems stated their hardware manufacturer for both the pc/laptop & mouse & age of hardware. A recent pc i bought (3 years old 2nd hand unit-bit of a mistake really) anyway mines a DELL & have the same problems- now Ive been reading & Ive come to the conclusion that the capacitors maybe bad-even though visibly they look OK (I havent got a multimeter to check) but internally they couldve dried out- this bad capacitor problem is common on PC’s that get hot from a lot of usage- I wonder if its the same cause for laptops suffering from same problem..anyways I just stopped on my travels-regards & I hope to visit again someday :)

  72. reloader3 Reply

    I use a PS/2 IntelliMouse. Quivers like a little bird flapping. Have changed to Ligitech. Must restart the comp. Will be OK for an erratic amount of time. Then starts fluttering the arrow/hourglass. Will continue to flutter with mouse disconnected. Flutter locks down machine & I must go to Task Manager to shut down. HELP.

  73. Fillbe Reply

    Hi, I’ve recently bought the wireless optical desktop 1000 and had a similar problem (my mouse either spontaneously jumps or middle-clicks and starts scrolling around), I haven’t found a complete solution but I’m pretty sure what the problems are!
    I’m not an expert on mice, but I’ve worked with optical and radio gear before.
    One of the skipping problems is due to the mouse optical position mechanism – going over a surface that gives sharp changes in reflectance due to shininess, scratches or even color can cause a change in the signal and a jump occurs. Better mice probably have filters and things to compensate for this, but cheap ones will be, well, cheaper. I’ve covered the wood grain of my desk with a piece of paper and thrown away my zebra skin mouse mat and it seems happier. This only accounts for movement though, not the random clicking!

    The other problem is radio interference from the receiver. I know my Dell power supply and dvd unit chuck out EMF like nobody’s business, and sure enough if I put the receiver right by the computer the mouse becomes unusable. I’ve moved the receiver as far away from the computer and the stereo as I can and it does seem better, but not completely healed.

    so…is there anything else I can do?

  74. fksamp Reply

    pls i need your help i’m kind of new to this forum. i use a toshiba satellite pro L300 laptop with vists sp2. and my mouse pad malfuntions(jumps around) when i plug in the ac power. but i can use an external. i’ve tried formatting but it still persists. can please offer me any help. thanks i appreciate

  75. Lefty Reply

    My mouse was fine up until yesterday morning. It turns out that the mouse w/o batteries and w/o network hooked up, will move about as if someone were moving it, clicking here and there, resizing windows, and scrolling. Now I actually already resetted my I.P. address but that didn’t help.
    Done:
    (1)No Network (unplugged)>(No internet)
    (2)Microsoft infared optical mouse w/o batteries
    (3)Mouse precision checked and re-checked
    (4)Drivers Updated (blah, blah, blah)
    (5)Malware scan completed
    (6)Systemantic protection (full scan) completed
    (7)Restarted Computer
    (8)Resetted IP address
    Now I would say my AMD 3400 80Gb desktop has been compromised, but if someone were wired in they would not be able to use they’re program on my computer w/o being wired to the network! Also what’s being clicked on doesn’t make much sense!
    What information can you provide that’s not elementary!

  76. Brendan Reply

    Also the other problem could be RAM or Processor, because the mouse and keyboard need resorucess too…

    You could try go to taskmgr and set “csrss.exe” could solve it (They are 2 of these just put both high) this might fix it, unless its your mouse its self.

  77. Becca Reply

    Do you have a hand held mouse plugged into your laptop? If you do and your laptop mouse is on as well, it will cause erratic movement because you have two mice going at the same time. You will need to turn off either the hand held mouse or your laptop mouse, you cant use both. Hope this helps you issue.

  78. Vanik S. Eaddy Reply

    Why does my mouse scurry away and hide in the upper right or lower left of the screen?

  79. sam epperson Reply

    brand new mouse MS 6000 when typing especially the letter “y” my cursor jumps to another line or where ever. always higher than where ever I am typing. It does this in Word, online such as Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Does not matter where I am typing. Have Sony Vaio three years old, running Vista, Google Chrome. This started happening a few months ago drives me nuts!!! Of course I have been looking for an answer everywhere including yours Leo. Please help Thanks so much in advance.

  80. Joe Reply

    my pointer (w/o) mouse dances like it has a tick everytime I change internet page or click down on a page. why? how to fix please?

  81. Lorenzo Reply

    i’ve read many things about this mouse and mouse that but the truth is ALL MICROSOFT MOUSE JUMP AROUND THE MONITOR IN CIRCLES it leaps all around (the pointer or cursor) … but this is a problem only on i repeat ALL MICROSOFT MOUSE doesnt matter if its wired or wireless

    All Microsoft Mouse? It’s amazing then that millions of people use them every day without problem. Wow.

    Leo
    11-May-2010

  82. Gunn Reply

    Here’s the thing about mine though, it does the exact same thing when i use a mouse, drawing board or the touchpad on my HP laptop. I’ve also tried deactivating the touchpad and it still happens. Any idea what this might be? Do i need new drivers or something?

  83. Caroline Reply

    My mum’s mouse tracks diagonally across the screen all the time, really annoying, and I have tried updating drivers, etc, but all seems updated on that front. Her previous mouse did the same thing, so we think it’s something on the laptop? AVG found nothing. The cursor is gone completely now and the touchpad no longer works either. Right clicking either brings up a menu on the top right of the screen, and left clicking makes it disappear, but that’s all the functionality she has now.

  84. douglass smith Reply

    my mouse cursor keeps jumping into the corner of the screen .this was my mom’s use and she never had this problem so what is it

  85. Jack Reply

    OK I have got a bloody asinine problem with this HP mouse! I am running Windows 7 on an HP Pavilion PC which I only got a few months ago.

    I use four different browsers:

    IE9 (Beta)
    Opera 10.62
    Firefox 3.6.10
    Google Chrome 6.0.472.63

    My mouse worka OK on the first three but on Chrome it jumps all over the place and it only began doing this about two hours ago! Inside a dialogue box or a message block like this one it turns into a blinking ‘I’ however anywhere else on the screen it’s a blinking white arrow! Someone suggested I use a mousepad only I already do and have never not used one. My mouse is not wireless but it does have a red light on the bottom when you turn it over so I suppose it’s an ‘optical’ mouse? Anyway even when I am not using any browsers at all like when I am installing updates and stuff like that the mouse is perfect. Go over to Chrome and all pandemonium is set loose! Short of throwing it at the wall I have tried everything I can think of but all has been to no avail whatsoever. Can someone please help me out before I go baka nuts? Thanks as always and have a nice day-

  86. Keith G. Reply

    I Agree all Microsoft mouses do that.
    i have had 3 and all do exactly the same.
    Microsoft mouses leap around the screen.

    Actually my experience with Microsoft mice is just the opposite – I’ve never had a single mouse jumping problem. Typically it’s related to dirt, the wireless connection, or a software issue on the machine.

    Leo
    26-Oct-2010

  87. Armando Reply

    I use a Microsoft basic optical mouse. I found a setting that immediately fixed this problem for me in Windows 7. Go to Start, Control Panel, Mouse, and de-select or un-check the “Enable program-specific settings” option. Good luck, I hope it works for you too.

  88. Purelica Reply

    So here I am, battling with the same problem of the erratic mouse. However, I’ve just bought and got my laptop literally three days ago. After setting up the OS and ready to use the laptop, I noticed the mouse is not working so smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t move and other times it’s just moving everywhere; I have to try to swipe my finger on the mousepad so many times to be able to move it to where I want. I first thought because my finger is not moist enough, put on lotion, tried again, nothing. Then I thought maybe the sensitivity needs to be adjusted, did that, didn’t solve the problem. Checked the properties of the mouse and there’s only one present, checked the driver and it’s up to date. I’m not sure what else is there to use to diagnose. Is it because I got a cheap laptop? (2Go PC QW6)… I’m at my wit’s end with this mouse’s behavior. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

    If it’s brand new and under warranty I’d start by taking it back for service or replacement.

    Leo
    01-Nov-2010

  89. Deepak S. Reply

    I read some of the reponses above. I am using the optical mouse pad with slight rough surface. My pointer not only jumps but also gets stuck on items (some times) and moves around until I use ESC to drop it. I have Windows 7 OS.
    Any solution?

  90. Eric Reply

    Ok, and what happens if I disconnect the mouse, and then watch the pointer jump around on the screen with no mouse attached?

    I appear to have a software problem.

  91. Joe Reply

    I had the same problem driving me crazy. Then I realized I had a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard and had the USB plugin gizmo that operated them were right next to each other. I moved one to the front of the computer and one in the back thus separating them and voila! Everything works fine now.

  92. Susan Johnson Reply

    when I type, my mouse goes crazy and the letters jump back and appear somewhere else in the sentence- It’s driving me crazy-How can I fix this?

  93. Kringle Reply

    I was having the same problem with my mouse and followed the advice listed above about the moving the USB plug in from right beside another USB and so far so good—seems to have done the trick—-for once, an easy fix! Thanks!!

  94. Vip Reply

    I have a toshiba tablet. It has touch screen enabled. I have calibrated the touch screen to no avail. The cursor is fine when clicking on an icon. As I move to the right the cursor moves further from the point of contact with the screen. The cursor ends up being 2 to 3 inches to the left from where my finger is on the screen. Same scenario with the stylus pen or usb optical mouse. If i start from the left and move back to the right, the mouse cross hairs will align itself directly under the pen or touch like it should. But if i start to move to the left is slowly starts inching further and further from the center of the pen or finger. It seems like the calibration to the left of the screen is off by 2 to 3 inches to the left. The right side is dead on. I have looked at cursor options under control panel. Tried to calibrate the touch screen but still nothing. Not sure what to do at this time. Any help appreciated. Thank you.

  95. Eric Reply

    What if you have a matching set? keyboard and mouse. I have the new MS set 3000, and they are both jumping around. Some sort of interference?

  96. tom Reply

    I just unplugged the usb cable that was beside the mouse connection and the mouse still jumps around and hide and then shows up when I move it. :)

  97. Ken Chimarusti Reply

    Check the rubber pads on the bottom of the mouse that lift it above the surface. They tend to fall off and cause the optical mouse not to be at a 90 degree angle to the surface. I solved my problem by sticking several stacked post-it notes to the bottom of my mouse (6 sheets thick did the trick). It works fine now.

  98. Ryan Howe Reply

    I have a similar problem, but I tried my mouse on a different computer and it behaved fine. I also tried a different mouse on my computer and it did the same jumpy movement. I also found that it happens every so often. One minute it is fine, and the next, all jumpy. I also find that the text when I type is delayed the same time the mouse gets jumpy. Can anyone help me with this problem. Thanks

  99. Vi Reply

    I have the right mouse pad and a good mouse [Logitech], but the cursor won’t do what I want it to do. HELP!!

  100. Nilda Reply

    I bought a ACER from a pawn shop here’s the problem as you can see it skipped space,highlights the words while typing theword s cursor backtrack to a word it highlights it automatically while i type. i’m having difficulty typing this co,mment to you, can you help me with this problem i start school in october. it’s not the mouse.

  101. Nilda Reply

    I bought a ACER from a pawn shop here’s the problem as you can see it skipped space,highlights the words while typing theword s cursor backtrack to a word it highlights it automatically while i type. i’m having difficulty typing this co,mment to you, can you help me with this problem i start school in october. I really need HELP WITH THIS PROBLEM!!!!
    ANY SUGGESTIONS?

  102. Mark Jacobs Reply

    @Nilda
    The first thing I would try is plugging in an external keyboard. That usually works in those cases.

  103. Vera Reply

    I am having the same problem. The curser jumps around when I am typing a sentence and I finish up with gibberish. I am constantly editing and rewriting. HELP!

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article. Seriously. You'd be shocked at how many people make comments that prove they didn't.
  • Comment only on the article. If you have a new, unrelated question start with the search box at the top of the page.
  • Don't post personal information. Email addresses, phone numbers and such will be removed.

VERY IMPORTANT: because of a rise in comment spam that's making it through our filters any comments that do not add to the discussion - typically off topic or content-free comments - run a very high risk of being flagged as spam and removed.

If you have a new question unrelated to the article above, ask it on the Ask Leo! ask-a-question page.