After two months of working correctly, I am experiencing an strange and very annoying problem. My mouse pointer is moving on its own. If I move the mouse to the left, as soon as I stop the movement, the pointer runs again to the far right. This makes the mouse totally unusable.

The mouse device is an optical USB mouse.

It is not a problem with the mouse itself. I have tried with another mouse, same problem. (both mice are OK, I have tried both mice on my laptop, both worked perfectly)

Have tried different surfaces, too. Same problem.

System is Windows XP Pro SP3. Computer is a desktop PC two months old.

I suspected it could be a problem with the mouse driver. But both mice are from different brand, so I suppose they use different drivers.

Related Question: Why is my mouse pointer twitching?

  • 3
    I've seen this on a variety of XP systems, too - with different kinds of mice (optical, laser, and ball)
    – warren
    Nov 1, 2009 at 21:22
  • Good question/answer! I am experiencing this same problem for months on 2 workstations and one laptop. They are all Dell computers, using Windows XP SP3.
    – r0ca
    Feb 11, 2010 at 13:23
  • I have a Dell 600 Latitude laptop. I have owned this laptop for many years. The pointer will either go to the lower left or the upper right and you are hopeless to get it to point at anything. This started with the touch pad only. I tried a dozen or so mice corded and wireless. It may help for a while but soon it will repeat the problem. I thought I solved the problem when I replaced the battery. I discovered that if I pressed the keyboard in certain areas that it would travel to the other location or sometimes start working. It was suggested that the wires that go to the small touch device (w
    – user138005
    Jun 4, 2012 at 14:50

6 Answers 6


What surface are they on? Cheap optical mice can really be thrown off on some surfaces.

  • Tried two different black surfaces, over the desk and on a mouse pad. Exactly the same problem.
    – PA.
    Nov 1, 2009 at 21:09
  • I get this with my Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical USB. Nov 1, 2009 at 21:14
  • let superuser community know if you fix it the same way I did.
    – PA.
    Nov 1, 2009 at 21:17

I have solved the problem. I am explaining what I did, for the record. Hope this helps someone else. I don't know exactly what step did solve the problem, anyway, here is the complete things I did.

I first changed different settings in mouse control panel. I set a lower pointer speed and disabled the enhanced pointer precision setting. And I disa bled the device.

I restarted the PC.

After restarting, I enabled the device back.

Now the mouse works correctly. Although its speed is a little lower.

  • 5
    Try returning the pointer speed to normal and see if the problem returns. Nov 2, 2009 at 1:40
  • I did, thanks for the suggestion. Now it works perfectly and at may preferred (fast) speed.
    – PA.
    Nov 2, 2009 at 17:08

This will be a solution for only a very few. About a year ago I bought a wireless optical mouse. Once again (I had one before) after a few months I had trouble with it, so I said, "@#*#%@^"; I've had it with wireless. I'll get a corded optical mouse, and did so.

Well, my corded mouse after about a year started acting up. The mouse pointer would dance a little jig whenever I stopped moving it. At intervals of about a second or so it would have a quiet spell before it started dancing again. I tried every answer listed above. No luck.

Then I noticed that there was a device that looked like a flash drive right next to the USB port I was using for the mouse and it was flashing at about the same frequency that my mouse was jigging. I pulled it out; it wasn't a flash drive; it was the receiver for my wireless optical mouse that I neglected to remove when I tossed the wireless mouse. My mouse pointer is now rock steady.

I know this is a very unique solution but it might help some of you.


Make sure there's no dust bunnies blocking the laser's point of exit from the mouse! This happens to me all the time.

  • not my case. I tried with two different USB optical mice. Both failed exactly the same way. And both were working perfectly in my laptop. On the very same surface.
    – PA.
    Nov 2, 2009 at 17:09

I came to our computer club and set up, then found that the mouse was erratic, always working its way to the top left of the screen. Very irritating.

I didn't have the problem at home, so I knew it wasn't the mouse OR other hardware OR software! The problem was simply the kind of mat I was using, a sort of plastic pad.


I had a similar problem. See Microsoft Optical mouse - cursor moves.

I selected the answer which had to do with a dark background, and it seemed to work

However, just this week I had to replace my mouse also as it failed completely.

I believe there were 2 proper answers: Black background and : failing mouse

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