Wednesday, September 28

The computer cursor keeps jumping: what to do

For computers, the keyboard and mouse combination is the perfect way to control it. Until we can control computers with pure thought anyway. For such a simple device, the mouse causes quite a few problems in Windows 10, far more than something so established really should. A common problem is when the computer cursor keeps jumping. That is what we are going to address today.

When we say jump, we mean when the cursor randomly appears in different areas of the screen without you moving it. The cursor could stay in place one minute and appear somewhere else entirely the next. It can also jump too much when you move it, well above the speed you’ve set it to. Either way, the mouse is a precision device and doesn’t act like one.

Stop cursor jumping in Windows 10

There can be several reasons why the cursor jumps. It could be a problem with the mouse, the mouse driver, the mouse settings, or even malware. I’ll start with the most likely suspects and go through each of the most common causes here.

I will assume that you have tried to restart your computer and the symptoms still appear. I’ll also assume that you haven’t made any major changes to your computer that might be causing this to happen.

mouse problem

Your first point of call is to check the mouse. If the cursor jumps after working properly for a long time, it could be a hardware error or a mouse failure. Mice are cheap, so buy or borrow another mouse, plug it into your computer, let Windows 10 detect the change, and try again.

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If the cursor stops jumping, the problem is with the mouse. If it still happens, it’s not the mouse. You can continue to use your new mouse or replace it with the old one.

Update the mouse driver

Normal mice work perfectly fine with the default Windows driver. Gaming mice with special features may require a specific driver to use those features. Either way, check the driver and remove or reinstall it.

  1. Right click on the Start button and select Device administrator.
  2. now down Mouse and other pointing devices, right-click and select update driver.
  3. Let Windows search for a new driver and install it if it finds one.

Uninstall the mouse

  1. If there is no new driver, you can try to uninstall the device. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above, but select uninstall device instead of update driver. Windows Device Manager
  2. Reboot your computer and let Windows discover the mouse again and reload the default drivers.

If you use a gaming mouse with specific software, uninstall the driver and that software. Try the mouse again with the default Windows drivers. If the cursor doesn’t jump, there could be a driver conflict. Check for updated drivers on the manufacturer’s website or troubleshoot separately.

Remove extra mice in Device Manager

If you’ve used your computer for a while and have added or removed hardware or software, you may have more than one mouse installed in Device Manager. This is not that unusual, but it can cause instabilities. If you saw more than one mouse in Mouse and other pointing devices, you should try to remove them.

  1. Identify the mouse you are using and then right click and select disable device about the others that appear on your list. Windows 2 Device Manager
  2. Repeat until you only have your actual mouse left in Device Manager.
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If you disable the wrong one, use Ctrl + cursor keys to select Device Manager and scroll through the settings to enable the mouse once again.

Change your mouse settings

There is a specific setting in the mouse settings screen that is known to cause the cursor to jump in some situations. That setting is the pointer precision. It works perfectly fine on some computers and may cause problems on others. Let’s see if it’s causing problems with yours.

  1. Right click on the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now select devices and mouse.
  3. Then select Additional mouse options From the center
  4. Then select the Pointer Options Tab and uncheck the box next to Improve the accuracy of the pointer.
  5. Try your mouse again for a while.

Typically, this setting dials into your mouse, so it’s much more accurate when in use. Stopping this feature will slightly alter your mouse’s responsiveness, but you’ll soon get used to it and adjust.

Scan for malware

There are some pieces of malware that make the cursor jump as a side effect of their nefarious tasks. That’s easy to address with a full antivirus and malware scan. Once removed and rebooted, the mouse should work fine again. Do regular scans and it should never happen.

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