How to Unlock a Frozen Mouse on a Laptop

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Troubleshooting a mouse that won’t budge. When your mouse doesn’t move, it’s hard to know if the issue is a frozen application, your laptop touchpad, or just a frozen computer. This behavior can appear in the following ways:

–> The computer screen freezes without any cursor, or the cursor doesn’t move.
–> The mouse cursor stays still even when you swipe the touchpad or move the external mouse.
–> You click the cursor on buttons or links, and nothing happens.

Cause of a Frozen Mouse on a Laptop

You may think the mouse cursor not moving is obviously a problem with the mouse or touchpad, but that’s only one possibility and not always the case.

Other causes include the computer partially crashing, one app consuming all of the CPU resources, the mouse driver crashing, or the application you’re using freezing.

The troubleshooting steps below will help you isolate the problem and unlock a frozen mouse on a laptop.

How to Fix a Frozen Mouse on a Laptop

This issue applies to all editions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, including 32-bit and 64-bit versions of these operating systems.

–> Usually, one way to fix any issue like this is to try restarting your computer. However, when the computer is not responding, this isn’t easy. Try a few methods to shut down a frozen computer, including a hard start.

–> If the mouse freezes again after a restart, there could be a driver or application issue. Boot the computer into safe mode, then uninstall any recent applications you might have installed recently. Restart the computer again once you’re done.

–> Update your mouse driver. If your computer is still freezing, you may need to do this in safe mode as well. If the automatic driver search doesn’t work, you may need to download the driver from the mouse manufacturer’s website. If it’s your trackpad that isn’t working, you should be able to get the driver from the computer manufacturer’s website. Restart the computer again once the driver is updated.

–> Troubleshoot your external mouse. If the cursor still isn’t responding when you move your mouse, there could be hardware issues. If you’re using an external mouse with your laptop, then walk through steps to troubleshoot an external mouse that isn’t working. If it’s only the scroll wheel that seems stuck, there are different troubleshooting steps to fix mouse scroll issues.

–> Double-tap your touchpad. On many laptops such as HP Notebooks, double-tapping the touchpad is one way to enable or disable the touchpad. This setting is often turned on by default, so accidentally double-tapping can disable the touchpad. Double-tap it again to turn it back on.

–> Troubleshoot your laptop touchpad. If it’s the laptop trackpad that isn’t working, you’ll need to troubleshoot the touchpad specifically. And don’t forget that giving your laptop a good physical cleaning can often clear up stick touchpad issues due to dirt particles.

–> Check that the touchpad isn’t disabled. Users sometimes accidentally turn off their laptop trackpad, which will cause the cursor to freeze. You could also accidentally disable the keyboard. If the laptop and touchpad share one driver, the touchpad will stop working as well. Each laptop manufacturer has keyboard shortcuts that will disable the trackpad. Some keyboards have a function key with a trackpad’s image that will turn it on or off. Search the manufacturer’s website to learn those shortcuts so you can avoid them.

–> Enable your mouse in the Device Manager. You can access this by opening the Device Manager and look for Mice and other pointing devices. Look for an exclamation mark, which can indicate a disabled or failed mouse driver. The device manager is also where you would go to disable hardware like a mouse or trackpad.

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