1. Home
  2. Windows

How to fix mouse lag on Windows 10

A mouse is a basic peripheral that goes with desktops and occasionally with laptops. It’s not expensive hardware unless you’re buying a particularly feature rich one that’s meant for gaming. The basic mouse you can buy, branded or off-brand, wired or wireless, will work perfectly fine. If you’re experiencing mouse lag on Windows 10, it’s likely a simple enough problem to solve and there are a few basic things you can do to fix mouse lag.

Basic diagnostics

Shut down your system, and boot it again. Check if lag is still present.

Connect the same mouse to a different system and see if the lag persists. If it does, it may be time to buy a new mouse. Try connecting a different mouse to your system and check if the lag is still there. If it is, the problem is with your system and not the mouse.

Exceptions

Before we start listing the various steps that will fix mouse lag, you should know that these fixes have some limitations;

  1. Try this only if your mouse is suddenly lagging. If it worked fine before and it’s a new problem, these steps are worth trying. If you’re using a brand new mouse, you can try these steps too but in that case you will have to entertain the possibility that your hardware is defective out of the box.
  2. These fixes apply to general lag that you experience throughout your OS. If the lag is specific to an app e.g. a game or Photoshop, or it’s specific to a website, then the problem isn’t with your mouse.
  3. These fixes do not apply to lag caused by the OS as there are too many variables there to pin point what might be the cause.

Fix mouse lag

Try each of the fixes below. Some may not apply if you have wired mouse while others may not apply if you have a wireless mouse. Skip those and try the rest. We’ve added additional instructions in case your mouse lag falls under the first exception listed above.

New batteries

This applies to a wireless mouse. It runs on batteries so the second it begins to lag, you should change the battery, or charge it if it is chargeable. If you have a brand new mouse and it came with batteries, swap them out for new ones. It is possible that the batteries aren’t very good.

On that same note, use good batteries that last longer. When you’re changing the battery, it’s a good idea to make sure the battery cavity is clean. Check the metal plating where the battery connects for rust or corrosion. It may be preventing the mouse from getting the power it needs and leading to lag. If the plates are corroded, you can try having them replaced but it might just be cheaper to buy a new mouse.

Clean it

A mouse needs to be cleaned regardless if it’s a wired mouse or a wireless mouse. Although rare, if you still have a mouse with a tracking ball in it, take it out and clean it. If your mouse does not have a tracking ball in it, you should clean its ‘feet’. Grease and dirt tend to build up on it and make tracking less smooth.

On that same note, clean the surface that you use the mouse on.

Check the USB port and dongle

A wired mouse and a wireless mouse connect to your system via USB ports. The first thing you should do is, check if the USB port is working. Connect a different device to it and if there’s problems with the device it’s probably because the USB port is has come loose.  Try changing the port you connected your mouse to and see if that fixes the lag. If that doesn’t fix the lag maybe it’s your USB dongle. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the dongle so if that’s the problem, you’re probably going to need to get a new mouse. ​

Check driver & mouse settings

Check if you’re running the correct driver for your mouse. If there’s been a recent update, rolling it back to the older version might fix the problem. If you’re running the generic Windows 10 drivers try installing the Synaptics drivers or whichever driver goes with your mouse model.

You can also try and change the speed with which the mouse cursor moves on your screen from the Settings app. Open the Settings app, go to the Devices group of settings and select the mouse tab. Select the additional mouse settings option. Go to the printer options tab. Here you can select the pointer speed. Try increasing it and see if the lag goes away.

Safe Mode

Open windows 10 in safe mode and then use your mouse. If the lag goes away it’s probably something that’s running on windows 10 that’s interfering with the mouse’s performance. Perhaps it’s a process that’s slowing it down. Disable any unnecessary apps that might be running, and audit the apps you’ve recently installed. In Task Manager, check if any process is eating up too much RAM and quit it.

Bluetooth

If your mouse connects via Bluetooth, make sure that it is working properly. Check if your other Bluetooth devices are also performing poorly. Check for Bluetooth driver updates and if there has been a recent update that coincided with the mouse lag, you may have to roll back to the older driver.

You should also check out our post on troubleshooting Bluetooth on Windows 10.​​

Leave a comment