The computer cursor keeps jumping - what to do?

The keyboard and mouse combination is the perfect way to control a computer. Until we can control computers with thought. For such a simple device, the mouse causes some problems in Windows 10, far more than something so established in the tech world really should. A common problem is when the computer cursor keeps jumping. This is what we will face today.

When we say jump, we mean when the cursor randomly appears in different areas of the screen without you moving it. The cursor may stay in place for one minute and appear somewhere else the next. It can also jump too far when you move it, far above the speed you set it to. In any case, the mouse is a precision device and does not behave as such.

7 solutions to the problem with scrolling mouse wheel

Stop cursor jumping in Windows 10

There could be several reasons why your cursor is jumping. It could be a problem with the mouse, with the mouse driver, with the mouse settings, or even with malware. I'll start with the most likely suspects and work on each of the most common causes here.

I assume you've tried restarting your computer and the symptoms keep reappearing. I also assume that you haven't made any major changes to your computer that might be causing this problem.

Mouse problem

Your first point of reference is to check the mouse. If the cursor jumps after working correctly for years, it could be a hardware failure or a mouse error. Mice are cheap, so buy or borrow another mouse, plug it into your computer, let Windows 10 detect the change, and try again.

If the cursor stops jumping, the problem is with the mouse. If it still happens, it's not the mouse. You can continue to use your new mouse or replace it with the old one.

Update the mouse driver

Normal mice work perfectly with the default Windows driver. Gaming mice with special functions may require a specific driver to use these functions. In any case, check the driver and restore or reinstall it.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Device management.
  2. Now, in Mouse and other pointing devices, right-click and select Update Driver.
  3. Let Windows check for a new driver and install if it finds one.

Uninstall the mouse

  1. If there are no new drivers, you can try uninstalling the device. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above, but select Uninstall device instead of Update Driver.
  2.  Restart your computer and let Windows detect the mouse and reload the default drivers.

If you are using a gaming mouse with specific software, uninstall the driver and that software. Try the mouse again with the default Windows drivers. 

If the cursor does not jump, there may be a conflict with the driver. Check the manufacturer's website for updated drivers or troubleshoot separately.

Remove extra mouse in Device Manager

If you've been using your computer for a while and have added or removed hardware or software, you may find that you have more than one mouse installed in Device Manager. This is not that unusual, but it can cause instability. If you've seen more than one mouse in Mouse and other pointing devices, you should try to remove them.

  1. Identify the mouse you use, then right-click and select Disable device on the others that appear in the list.
  2. Repeat until you have only your mouse left in Device Manager.

If you disable the wrong one, use Ctrl + cursor keys to select Device Manager and scroll through the settings to enable the mouse again.

Change your mouse settings

There is a specific setting in the mouse setup screen that is known to cause the cursor to jump in some situations. That setting is pointer precision. It works flawlessly on some computers and can cause problems on others. Let's see if it's causing any problems with yours.

  1. Click the button right mouse button on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now select Devices and mouse.
  3. Then, select Additional mouse options from the centre.
  4. Then, select the Pointer Options tab and uncheck the box next to Improve pointer accuracy.
  5. Try the mouse again for a while.

Usually, this setting is dialed into the mouse, so it is much more accurate when in use. Stopping this feature will slightly change the responsiveness of the mouse, but you soon get used to and adjust.

Scan for malware

There are some viruses / malware that make cursor jump as a side effect of their nefarious activities. It's easy to fix with a full scan with an antivirus. Once the system is removed and restarted, the mouse should work perfectly again. Run regular scans and you won't have any problems.

Further Reading:

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  • How to download Roblox on Windows PC and join millions of users on the gaming platform
  • How to use a mouse with an iPad
  • How to fix the double-click problem on Windows 10
  • What to do if your Windows 10 computer becomes unresponsive
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