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Mouse Troubleshooting in Windows 8

What do you do when your mouse just doesn't work right in Windows 8 or when you think you're double-clicking, but your mouse thinks you're single-clicking?

Your mouse just doesn't work right

Sometimes, the mouse doesn't work at all; other times, the mouse pointer hops across the screen like a flea. Here are a few fixes to try:

  • If no mouse arrow is on the screen after you start Windows, make sure that the mouse's tail is plugged snugly into the computer's USB port. (If you have an older mouse with a round PS/2 port instead of a rectangular USB port, you need to restart your PC to bring the newly plugged-in mouse back to life.)

  • To restart your PC when the mouse doesn't work, press these keys from either the Start screen or the desktop: Press the Windows key and I key simultaneously to fetch the Charms bar's Settings menu. Then press your keyboard’s arrow keys to highlight the Power button near the bottom of the Settings pane. Press Enter to fetch the Power menu, then tap your Up Arrow key to highlight Restart. Press the Enter key to restart your computer.

  • If you own a cordless mouse, the little guy probably needs new batteries.

  • A mouse pointer can jump around onscreen erratically when the mouse's innards become dirty. Clean the mouse's under parts with a moist rag, making sure to remove any debris.

  • If the mouse was working fine but the buttons seem to be reversed, you've probably changed the right- or left-handed button configuration setting in the Control Panel. Open the desktop Control Panel's Mouse settings area and take a look at the setting for Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons. Lefties want it turned on; righties don't.

Your double-clicks are now single clicks

In an effort to make things easier, Windows lets people choose whether a single click or a double-click should open a file or folder.

But if you're not satisfied with the click method Windows currently uses, here's how to change it:

  1. Open any folder from the desktop.

  2. Click the View tab on the folder's Ribbon menu and then click the Options button.

    The Folder Options window appears.

  3. In the Click Items As Follows section, choose your click preference: single click or double-click.

  4. Click OK to save your preferences.

Don't like to follow steps? In Step 2, just click the Restore Defaults button in the Folder Options window, and Windows brings back double-clicking and other standard folder behaviors.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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