How To Fix a Mouse Lagging on a Windows PC or Mac

Almost everyone who uses a computer does so with a mouse and keyboard, but there are times when the former device malfunctions. Mouse lag is when the cursor moves slowly, resulting in a delayed response and actions, and doesn’t feel intuitive. The lag halts productivity and is highly annoying to work with.

How To Fix a Mouse Lagging on a Windows PC or Mac

Mouse lag can be the result of many problems, but there are clear solutions for them. Read on for all the details if you want to learn how to resolve the issue.

Fix Mouse Lag in Windows 11

Mouse lag in Windows 11 isn’t difficult to fix. The most common causes are broken drivers or Bluetooth mice being finicky. Nevertheless, it’s not always the device’s fault.

Update Mouse Drivers

Mouse drivers ensure that your mouse works properly. If they’re not updated, problems like lag can occur. Follow these instructions to renew them.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Pick “Device Manager.”
  3. Look for “Mice And Other Pointing Devices” and double-click it.
  4. Click on the “Driver” tab.
  5. Next, click “Update Driver.”
  6. Select “Search Automatically For Drivers.”
  7. If there are new ones, wait for them to install and restart your computer.

However, this method might not work. You may have to download the drivers made specifically for your mouse. Search for its drivers and follow these steps.

  1. Use your browser and look for your mouse’s model.
  2. Go to the manufacturer’s website.
  3. Download the correct driver.
  4. Follow the installation instructions.

If everything proceeds smoothly, the mouse lag will be gone.

Enable or Disable the Scroll Inactive Windows Option

This setting allows users to automatically scroll on inactive windows by merely hovering their cursor on the page. But it may introduce mouse lag depending on the computer. Having it on sometimes helps, but others find disabling it key to fixing mouse lag. Learn how to do so below.

  1. Right-click the Start button and select “Settings.”
  2. Go to “Bluetooth And Devices.”
  3. Scroll down and select “Mouse.”
  4. Toggle “Scroll Inactive Windows When Hovering Over Them” on or off several times.
  5. Test and see if the lag is still there.

Fix Mouse Lag in Games

While many of the solutions we’ll mention also fix mouse lag when playing video games, here are some steps that usually help the most. Turning the Game Bar off or disabling Mouse Acceleration when gaming can make things run smoother. Doing so conserves system resources.

To turn the Game Bar off, try these instructions.

  1. Click on the Start button and choose “Settings.”
  2. Go to the “Gaming” section.
  3. Toggle the option to open the Xbox Game Bar off.
  4. Go back to the Settings menu and head to “Apps.”
  5. Find the “Xbox Game Bar” listing and click the 3 dots.
  6. Select “Advanced Options.”
  7. Click on “Never” from the drop-down menu labeled “Background Apps Permissions.”
  8. Scroll down and pick “Terminate.”

The Game Bar is useful for some gamers, but it’s not always the best feature to keep active. Read the following steps to disable Mouse Acceleration.

  1. Open the Start Menu and click on “Settings.”
  2. Go to “Bluetooth & Devices.”
  3. Select “Mouse” from the list.
  4. Open “Additional Mouse Settings.”
  5. Uncheck “Enhance Pointer Precision.”
  6. Apply the settings and click “OK.”

Mouse Acceleration can clash with game settings or third-party mouse drivers. By disabling it, you can eliminate an unnecessary cog in the gaming “machine.”

Fix Mouse Lag in Windows 10

While the fixes for Windows 11 can also apply to Windows 10 with some slight differences, we’ll cover some new solutions for Windows 10 anyway.

Modify the PalmCheck Threshold

This is a Windows 10-only setting that sometimes makes trackpads lag. It’s only found on laptops or if you’re using an external trackpad.

  1. Right-click the Start menu.
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. Head to “Devices.”
  4. Click on “Touchpad” and “Settings” under “Synaptics Touchpad.”
  5. Move the slider under “PalmCheck” to the left as much as possible.

If it doesn’t remove the mouse lag, you’ll need to try something else.

Disable NVIDIA’s High Definition Audio or Realtek HD Audio Manager

NVIDIA’s High Definition Audio can cause problems for some users, and the same can be said for the Realtek HD Audio Manager. Some computers won’t have the former option, especially if it has an AMD CPU.

  1. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar.
  2. Open the Task Manager.
  3. Click on “Details.”
  4. Scroll down and look for one of these two processes and click on the app.
  5. Select “End Task.”

If your mouse is still lagging, it’s likely not the audio process’ fault. It would be best if you tried looking at the mouse instead.

Check the Mouse

These tips work across all devices and operating systems. While the exact steps may vary, it’s better to try them out in detail.

Users who prefer a Bluetooth mouse may experience lag if the mouse is too far from the computer or if there are objects causing interference. The only fix for this is moving closer and removing the obstacles so the signal can transmit to the computer without being blocked.

If your mouse is designed for USB 2.0, don’t plug it into a USB 3.0 port. It can cause problems like lag. Save the 3.0 port for newer devices, as they’ll benefit the most from the upgrade.

Every device will eventually fail, and sometimes it’s time to get a new mouse. While your current one may have served you well over the years, you want to play games or use the computer without mouse lag. Consider getting a higher-end model that lasts longer.

Fix Mouse Lag in Windows 7

Windows 7 is still surprisingly prevalent in recent years owing to its stability. However, mouse issues can still occur even on this legacy operating system.

Turn Fast Startup Off

Fast Startup is also sometimes referred to as Quick Boot or Fast Boot, and it’s an option designed to speed up boot times. But there are occasions where it causes more harm than good. Disabling it should eliminate some performance issues like mouse lag or freeze.

Windows 7 users must enter BIOS to disable Fast Startup. Because every computer is different, follow the exact steps for accessing BIOS.

When using the BIOS menu, take care not to modify settings you aren’t sure about. You may cause issues this way and need to enter BIOS again.

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Enter BIOS or you can access BIOS by clicking the “Control Panel” in the Start menu.
  3. Look for the Fast Startup option.
  4. Click “Disable all” button.
  5. Test your mouse after exiting the BIOS menu and letting the computer boot.

Move Your Wireless Router and Other Devices

Wireless mice transmit signals, and interference may occur if there are too many wireless devices in a room. In these cases, you can move your router to a different spot. The wireless mouse should have no objects or other signals between it and the dongle or computer.

On the same note, avoid having radios or other signals active when using a wireless mouse. Interference is highly possible but preventable.

Fix Mouse Lag on a Mac

Macs are generally reliable computers, but mouse lag can occur on them too. Check the tips below to learn how to get rid of it.

Turn Bluetooth On and Off Again

Bluetooth issues can be solved by turning Bluetooth off and on again. It’s only valid for wireless mice since wired mice don’t use Bluetooth at all.

  1. Click on the Bluetooth icon on top of your screen.
  2. Toggle Bluetooth off.
  3. Wait for a moment and turn it back on.
  4. Check if your mouse is still lagging.

Replace the Mouse’s Batteries

Low battery levels are a cause of mouse malfunctions. Remove the old batteries, replace them with new ones, and try connecting the mouse to your Mac again.

Fresh batteries are usually an excellent cure for strange mouse behavior and lag. You’ll want to monitor their power to keep the charge levels high at all times.

Consider Using a USB Dongle

There are cases of Macs experiencing malfunctioning Bluetooth connections, and one way to fix this is by getting a USB Bluetooth dongle. These devices tend to be more stable.

However, the reverse can also occur. If a dongle is broken, try connecting the mouse to the computer directly (with a cord) instead and see if the lag goes away.

Free Up RAM

An overloaded Mac can lag, meaning there are too many active processes operating simultaneously. You’ll want to free up your CPU and RAM by quitting programs. Here’s how it works.

  1. On your Mac, press Command + Alt + Escape to bring up the Mac Task Manager.
  2. Look for any apps that are consuming lots of resources.
  3. Select an app.
  4. Click on “Force Quit” to terminate them.

You may notice something similar when playing games. If your game settings are too high, you may experience frame drops, which is another result of lag. Your mouse and everything else will lag if your Mac has no resources to spare.

Fix Mouse Lag on MacBook on External Monitor

Mac users with an external monitor hooked up to their device may sometimes wonder why the external screen is slower than usual. The resolution may be the cause.

Here’s how to adjust the resolution.

  1. Open the System Preferences menu.
  2. Go to “Displays.”
  3. Click on “Scaled.”
  4. Change the resolution to something you prefer.

While in these settings, you can also adjust the refresh rate to ensure both screens have the same rate. That usually eliminates the lag. Other times, it’s a hardware issue.

If the HDMI cable or other devices are the culprits, you’ll need to replace or remove them. There’s no other way around this problem.

Smooth Operating

When using a computer, there should be no mouse lag whatsoever, as it will interfere with productivity. While the reason may not be evident initially, trying the solutions one by one should solve the issue. Sometimes, disconnecting and reconnecting the mouse is enough.

What other solutions do you know of? Which was the most helpful one for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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