The fix could be easy—and free. Here’s how to troubleshoot a mouse that just won’t work.

By Nora Horvath
Updated May 23, 2018
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Hand on computer mouse
Credit: Tetra Images/Getty Images

Unplug the mouse, turn it over, and inspect the light, says Derek Meister, a Geek Squad agent at Best Buy in Richfield, Minnesota. Most computer mice made in the past decade are optical mice, meaning they use an LED or laser light to track movement. If there seems to be dust or gunk on the underside, gently clean the area with canned air or a microfiber cloth. Avoid using liquids or chemicals, as these may damage the light further. Another culprit could be the table you’re using the mouse on. Reflective or glass surfaces can interfere with light tracking, so Meister suggests laying a piece of paper under the mouse. Still not working? It may be a hardware issue. Replace the mouse or bring it to a pro.