Optical Mouse Problems

We received a call from a couple of customers saying that they were having problems with their Optical Mouse. One mouse was a wireless mouse that had stopped working and the other was a USB (Universal Serial Bus) cabled Optical mouse that was “acting weird”.


Optical mice have replaced the old roller ball mice and rely on emitted light and an optical pickup device to enable the mouse to rely where their position is on the monitor screen. Like any device, things can go wrong.

Upon arrival at the first customer, we discovered that the mouse had simply run out of batteries. Yes, these wireless mice need batteries to power them, as they need to transmit their signal to the receiver which will be plugged into one of your computer’s USB sockets. After replacing the two AA batteries, the mouse was returned to normal operation.

We then visited the second customer to discover a couple of problems. Firstly the customer was trying to use their mouse on a glass table. These Optical mice need to be put on an opaque surface. It can be a tablecloth or piece of paper, but never a glass or mirrored surface. Secondly we discovered that there were a couple of hairs that were lodged inside the recess at the underbelly of the mouse. These rogue hairs interfered with the ability of the mouse to properly detect the light that was being emitted. Once the hairs were blown out of the cavity, normal mouse service was restored.

To end this article, I would also want to advise that if your mouse still won’t emit any light, there are some mice that have a sliding switch or on/off button on the underbelly, which may have accidentally been turned off. Our computer mouse at home goes into power saving sleep mode. Our model of mouse doesn’t have a switch; but the light is activated by clicking one of the mouse buttons.