Believe it or not, there was a time when personal computers did not include a mouse--there was simply no use for it back then. Today, however, it is an entirely different story. It is quite common to see an external mouse plugged into a laptop computer today. But, of course, with all of this use comes plenty of wear and tear, to the point where your laptop mouse cursor may start to jump or skip around the screen.
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Clean Your Touchpad or External Laptop Mouse
If the cursor of your mouse is jumping or skipping around the screen of your laptop, the first thing you should do is wipe down the touchpad with a damp washcloth. If you are using an external laptop mouse, you will want to make sure to clean that, as well.
An external laptop mouse with a rolling ball will need to be cleaned on a regular basis by using peroxide or rubbing alcohol, rubbing the ball down with a damp washcloth afterwards and then letting it dry. Even optical external laptop mice need to be cleaned once in a while, but not nearly as often. Simply wiping the bottom of your optical mouse with a damp washcloth will suffice in cleaning that, but you will want to make sure that any visible dirt is removed.
Clean Your Workstation
If you are using an external laptop mouse that is set directly on your work desk or any other type of surface, then it is probably rolling over dust and dirt particles constantly. Wipe your desk down with a damp washcloth every day before use, particularly the area where your mouse is. Any scratches that may be in the surface of your desk may also be to blame for a jumping or skipping mouse cursor.
Use A Mouse Pad With Your External Laptop Mouse
If your external laptop mouse is an older model with a rolling ball inside, a mouse pad is a must for your workstation. On the other hand, people with optical mice think they do not need them. However, some optical mice may have problems on certain surfaces, including skipping or jumping around on your screen. Using a mouse pad with your optical mouse may fix this problem.
Adjust the Settings of Your Mouse
Many times your jumping mouse cursor can be fixed easily by changing the mouse settings on your computer. Go to the Control Panel in your laptop computer and click on the "Mouse" icon; you can change a variety of settings including the sensitivity and speed of your touchpad and the speed of your external mouse.
Update Your Drivers
Another good idea when trying to solve a jumping or skipping mouse cursor is to make sure your mouse drivers are up-to-date. To do this, go to your mouse manufacturer's website and search for newer, updated drivers and install them on your laptop computer.
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