7 Ways to Fix a Frozen Laptop Mouse (on Windows 10)

A frozen laptop mouse is a frustrating situation. If you’ve managed to navigate yourself here using only your arrow keys and keyboard shortcuts, we commend you for coming to the right place to help you know how to unfreeze your mouse on laptop so you can get on with your life

Causes of a frozen mouse can be difficult to troubleshoot so working through the following fixes in order will hopefully eliminate all possible causes.

  1. Restart the laptop

  2. Enable trackpad with function keys

  3. End trackpad software

  4. Update trackpad driver

  5. Uninstall trackpad driver

  6. Run an SFC scan

  7. Inspect for physical damage

  8. Use an external mouse

If you’ve already tried a fix from the list above, skip that fix and try the others in order. The list is set up from the most likely cause of the issue (e.g. frozen/buggy software) to the most unlikely but plausible cause (e.g. physical damage to the trackpad like liquid damage).

Before you continue, check to make sure the issue is actually your mouse that has frozen. If your laptop has become unresponsive it can appear as though the mouse is frozen but you will not be able to navigate around the page with any keyboard keys either.

This can normally be resolved by a hard restart using your laptop’s power button. It’s not always advisable to restart your laptop in this way but it is a quick fix for a frozen screen masquerading as a frozen mouse. 

If you know for certain that your trackpad has frozen (obviously you would be able to tell the difference if you are still able to navigate to this page), then follow the steps below to work out what has caused the issue and resolve it using our fixes. 

All of these fixes are doable using your keyboard keys and we’ll walk you through how to use them.

How to Fix a Frozen Laptop Mouse 

Restart your laptop

“Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?” Ah, the oldest IT trick in the book. Much easier to do with a mouse, right? Here’s how to do it with keyboard commands:

Step 1: Press ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’

Step 2: Press ‘Alt + U’

Step 3: Press ‘R’

Restarting your laptop may simply reset any wonky software or driver bugs that may have been affecting your trackpad. It’s always a good starting point when something goes wrong. If the problem continues once the laptop has restarted, don’t worry! We won’t abandon you like the IT guy! Scroll (with arrow keys, of course) to the next fix.

Enable Trackpad with Function Keys

Step 1: Press and hold the ‘FN’ key and tap either the F5, F7, F8 or F9 keys

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This should reenable the trackpad if it was accidentally disabled. 

The range in function keys to tap is due to the difference in manufacturers’ function keys. Pressing these keys may result in enabling other features that aren’t your trackpad, so it is important to tap that function key again (to disable that function) if you don’t want it and it didn’t reenable your trackpad. 

For instance, my laptop’s (MSI brand) trackpad function key is F7 but if I were to tap the F5 key, I enable the eco battery mode on my laptop. In this instance, I would simply hold the FN key again and tap the F5 key to disable that function.

End Trackpad Software

Your trackpad software may be frozen or have crashed for some reason. Ending the task in task manager and then re-enabling the software may unfreeze your mouse.

Step 1: Press and hold ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’, use the arrow pads to select ‘Task Manager’, press ‘Enter’

Step 2: Locate your trackpad software with the arrow keys, note the name of the software exactly

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Step 3: Press ‘E’ to end task

Step 4: Press and hold the ‘Alt + F’ keys to open the File Menu in Task Manager

Step 5: Press the ‘N’ key

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Step 6: Type the trackpad software name exactly into the search line

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Step 7: Press ‘Enter’

Update Trackpad Driver

Trackpad drivers, like all drivers on your laptop, can go out of date and may need to be updated in order for you to unfreeze your mouse.

Step 1: Press the Windows key

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Step 2: Type ‘Mouse settings’ in the search bar, press ‘Enter’

Step 3: Use ‘Tab’ to navigate to ‘Additional mouse options’

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Step 4: Use ‘Ctrl + Shift + Tab’ to navigate to the ‘Hardware’ tab

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Step 5: Use the arrow keys to highlight your trackpad

Step 6: ‘Tab’ down to ‘Properties’, press ‘Enter’

Step 7: Use ‘Ctrl + Shift + Tab’ to navigate the tabs to ‘Drivers’

Step 8: Use ‘Tab’ to navigate down to ‘Update Driver’ if it is available to you, press ‘Enter’

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Step 9: Restart your laptop by pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’, then ‘Alt + U’, then ‘R’

Uninstall Trackpad Driver

Step 1: Press the Windows key

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Step 2: Type ‘Mouse settings’ in the search bar, press ‘Enter’

Step 3: Use ‘Tab’ to navigate to ‘Additional mouse options’

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Step 4: Use ‘Ctrl + Shift + Tab’ to navigate to the ‘Hardware’ tab

Step 5: Use the arrow keys to highlight your trackpad

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Step 6: ‘Tab’ down to ‘Properties’, press ‘Enter’

Step 7: Use ‘Ctrl + Shift + Tab’ to navigate the tabs to ‘Drivers’

Step 8: Use ‘Tab’ to navigate down to ‘Uninstall Device’ if it is available to you, press ‘Enter’

Step 9: Restart your laptop by pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’, then ‘Alt + U’, then ‘R’

Restarting your laptop after uninstalling the driver will reinstall a generic driver for your trackpad from your OS. This is often a go-to fix when drivers have become corrupted. Hopefully, this will have solved the issue.

Run an SFC Scan

The System File Checker or SFC is a Windows feature that scans your laptop for corrupted or missing system files and repairs them.

Step 1: Press the Windows key

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Step 2: Type ‘cmd’ in the search bar, press ‘Enter’

Step 3: When the command window opens, type ‘sfc /scannow’, press ‘Enter’

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Step 4: Restart your laptop when SFC has finished repairing any system files (this may take some time).

Inspect for Physical Damage

If you have spilled liquid onto your laptop trackpad by accident, you may have caused some physical damage to the trackpad that can only be fixed by having it replaced. You’ll need to take the laptop to a professional to have it fixed. It’s not advisable for you to try to fix the trackpad yourself, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Opening the laptop yourself may void the warranty on it.

If you can’t see any signs of physical damage but the problem has continued, it may be best to take your laptop to a professional anyways. They can look inside and locate any internal damage as well as replace the piece of hardware if needed.

Use an External Mouse

If the problem persists and you can’t get it to a professional right away, the best thing to do is to get an external mouse for your laptop. These come in lots of shapes and sizes and connect either via a microUSB or Bluetooth (if your laptop has that functionality). These mice have nothing to do with your built in trackpad so they will allow you to move the cursor about your screen.

Conclusion

Using keyboard commands to navigate your laptop can be cumbersome and tricky but with a little patience you can unfreeze your mouse with them. We hope your patience and diligence has paid off with these fixes. Let us know in the comments what fix worked for you.

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