What to do when the mouse cursor freezes

When your mouse cursor freezes, your computer is rendered effectively useless. Your mouse is vitally important to the smooth functioning of your machine, even more so than some of the software installed on your hard drive. If it freezes up, you're not going to be doing much. Many things — including processor problems, driver display errors and incorrect registry entries — can cause mouse cursor freezes.


It may be something of a cliche, but try turning your computer off and then on again. Rebooting your operating system will allow your machine to perform essential tests and reload drivers. If your mouse cursor won't move, you'll need to press "Ctrl" and "Esc" to bring your Windows "Start" menu up. Then use your cursor arrows to shut your computer down before turning it back on again.


If you pull your mouse too hard or move it further than its cord will allow, it could become disconnected from your computer. Check the mouse port on the back or side of your machine. Your mouse lead will typically connect via a USB or PS/2 port. If your mouse connector has come loose, plug it back in and carry on working.

Mouse ball problems

A mechanical mouse, as opposed to an optical mouse, has a rubber ball inside it that picks up its movements. The ball is held in place with a plastic plate. This is not difficult to remove and sometimes comes away from the mouse of its own accord. If this happens, the ball can roll free. Make sure your ball is properly secured in the body of your mouse. A dirty mouse ball can also cause cursor freezing, so remove your pointer's ball and give it a good clean.

Other possible causes

Sometimes, a mouse cursor freezes only temporarily. This can occur when a computer's central processing unit is struggling to cope with user demand. Try waiting for a moment or two to see if the problem fixes itself or closing down a few programs. Your mouse freeze could also be caused by an outdated driver or the effects of malware, spyware or a virus. Update your drivers from your mouse manufacturer's website and run an anti-virus scan.

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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.