How to Enable a Mouse for a Laptop

Updated March 23, 2017

Without the ability to drag and drop and point and click, a laptop computer is merely a desk ornament. Most laptops are manufactured with a built-in mouse in the form of a touchpad. If the touchpad fails or if you just prefer working with a mouse, it is easy to enable a mouse for use with your laptop.

Purchase a mouse that is compatible with your laptop. You can find compatibility information on the manufacturer's website. If the mouse is wireless, make sure that the USB receiver is included, or purchase it separately. The mouse will not function without the receiver.

Insert the batteries in the mouse if you are installing a wireless mouse. The battery compartment is generally located on the bottom of the mouse.

Connect the USB mouse to the USB port on the computer. If you are using a wireless mouse, connect the USB wireless receiver to the USB port.

Turn the computer off and then on again if you are enabling a standard mouse with a wire. This will instruct the computer to run the "new hardware" wizard, which will walk you through the installation of the mouse, and your mouse will be enabled.

Turn the wireless mouse over, and locate a small indentation with a button. You may need to use the tip of a pencil or pen to depress this button. Simultaneously press the button on the mouse and the small button on the USB receiver. This will initiate communication between the mouse and the receiver. Hold the buttons down for about 5 to 10 seconds until the light on the mouse comes on.

Test the connection by moving the mouse. If the cursor moves, you have successfully enabled the mouse. If not, check that you have the batteries installed. Try pressing the buttons independently of one another. Press the button on the receiver until the light blinks and release it. Press the button on the bottom of the mouse until the light on the mouse is lit. This should enable your wireless mouse.

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About the Author

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at,,, RE/,,, and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.