You’re in the middle of important work when your mouse and keyboard suddenly stop working. What do you do? Panic? Scream? Have a drink?

Don’t call in a technician yet. You can take a few basic steps to fix the problem on your own. In this post, we’ll share some tricks to get your mouse and keyboard working again.

Table of Contents

    Reboot Your Computer

    Have you tried restarting the computer? Sometimes, users get so overwhelmed when faced with computer issues that they forget the most basic troubleshooting step. Take a minute to reboot your PC before doing anything else.

    If your mouse isn’t working, you can perform a restart from the Quick Link menu using your keyboard.

    Press the Windows key + X, use your keyboard arrow keys to navigate to Shut down or sign out > Restart, and press Enter.

    "Restart" option in Windows Quick Link menu

    You could also restart your PC from the Shut Down window. Press the Windows key + D to show your desktop, then press Alt + F4 to open the Shut Down window.

    Press the arrow-down key to change the shutdown option to Restart, and press Enter to reboot your computer.

    Selecting restart in the Shut Down Windows dialog

    Use the On-Screen Keyboard

    If your physical keyboard doesn’t work after the system reboots, you’ll need a temporary one that works. Fortunately, Windows has a built-in keyboard for such an occasion.

    The On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) can be accessed by going to Windows Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.

    Under Use Your Device Without a Physical Keyboard, switch Use the On-Screen Keyboard to the On position.

    1. Open the Settings app, select Accessibility on the sidebar, and choose Keyboard in the “Interaction” section.
    Accessibility settings page in Windows settings
    1. Turn on the On-screen Keyboard option.
    On-screen keyboard in Windows settings menu

    That’ll open the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK). Use your mouse to type or navigate through Windows as you search for a permanent fix.

    On-Screen keyboard in Windows 11

    Check for Loose Cable Connections

    If you’re using a wired mouse or keyboard, ensure the cables aren’t loose or damaged. Check the cables for signs of wear and tear, and ensure they fit securely in your PC’s USB ports. Adjust the cables if dislodged from their designated ports, or remove and reinsert them.

    Wireless or Bluetooth accessories mice may malfunction due to low battery or charge. If you’re using a wireless mouse or keyboard, check the battery level and charge it if low. Replace their batteries if they keep turning off or disconnecting from your PC.

    Wireless mouse and wired keyboard connected via USB cable

    You should also ensure that your computer’s Bluetooth is active. Otherwise, your wireless mouse or keyboard won’t connect to your PC.

    Press the Windows key + A to open Action Center and turn on Bluetooth. If you don’t have a functional mouse or trackpad, navigate to Bluetooth using your keyboard arrow keys and press Enter to turn it on.

    Bluetooth in Windows Action Center

    If your wireless mouse or keyboard has a transmitter, ensure the transmitter fits securely in your PC’s USB port.

    You can try plugging in a different keyboard and mouse. The issue could be software-related if your computer doesn’t respond to any keyboard or mouse. In that case, updating your keyboard and mouse drivers might resolve the problem.

    Update or Reinstall Your Keyboard and Mouse Driver

    Your mouse and keyboard might stop working if their drivers are corrupt or outdated. Updating your mouse or keyboard drivers in the Windows Device Manager should get them working correctly again.

    1. Press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager in the Quick Link menu.
    "Device Manager" option in Windows Quick Link menu
    1. Expand the Keyboards and Mice and other pointing devices categories.
    "Keyboards" and "Mice and other pointing devices" categories in Windows Device Manager
    1. Right-click your mouse or keyboard driver and select Update Driver.
    "Update driver" option for Razer Book 13 keyboard driver in Windows Device Manager
    1. Select Search automatically for drivers.
    "Search automatically for drivers" option for driver update in Device Manager

    Uninstall the driver and reboot your computer if Device Manager says you have the best driver for your device. Windows automatically reinstalls the driver(s) when your computer restarts.

    Driver update window in Device Manager with a "The best drivers for your device are already installed" message.
    1. Right-click the driver and select Uninstall device.
    "Uninstall device" option for keyboard driver in Windows Device Manager
    1. Select Uninstall on the confirmation pop-up to proceed.
    Uninstall Device window for mouse driver in Windows Device Manager

    Reboot your computer and check if your mouse and keyboard work without issues.

    Run the Keyboard and Mouse Troubleshooter

    Windows has a troubleshooting tool that deals with the nastiest bugs and errors. It can help fix issues with your USB or wireless keyboard and mouse.

    Go to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters and select the Run button next to “Bluetooth.”

    Bluetooth troubleshooter in Wigndows 11

    You can also troubleshoot mouse and keyboard issues through the Get Help app. Open the Get Help app, type “mouse troubleshooting” or “keyboard troubleshooting” in the search box, and follow the instructions/recommendations.

    "Mouse troubleshooting" in Windows Get Help app

    In Windows 10, head to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Under Find and Fix Other Problems, select Bluetooth, Keyboard, or Hardware and Devices.

    Troubleshoot settings page in Windows 10 highlighting these troubleshooters: Bluetooth, Hardware and Devices, and Keyboard.

    Select Run the Troubleshooter and wait while the troubleshooter finds and fixes issues with your keyboard.

    Adjust Your Mouse and Keyboard Properties

    Sometimes, your USB or wireless mouse isn’t broken; the settings just need tweaking to work correctly. Say your mouse is stuttering, lagging, or responding sluggishly. Adjusting the pointer speed or precision should fix the problem.

    Also, modifying your keyboard properties/settings can resolve typing lag and repeating keys.

    Press the Windows key + R to open the Windows Run box. Type control mouse in the dialog box and press Enter or select OK.

    "Control mouse" command in the Windows Run box

    You’ll find several customizable settings in the “Mouse Properties” window. Switch to different tabs to adjust mouse features like scroll speed, (left and right) button functions, double-click speed, etc.

    If your mouse speed is slow, open the Pointer Options tab and tune the speed to your preference.

    "Mouse Properties" window in Windows 11

    To access the Keyboard Properties window, type control keyboard in the Run box, and press Enter or select OK.

    "Control keyboard" command in the Windows Run box

    The Keyboard Properties window has options to adjust your keyboard’s repeat rate and delay. Experiment and play around with these settings until you find a sweet spot.

    "Keyboard Properties" window in Windows 11

    Get Your Keyboard and Mouse Working

    Hopefully, one of these troubleshooting steps will resolve keyboard or mouse malfunctions on your Windows PC. Perform a System Restore if the issue persists, especially if your keyboard or mouse stopped working after installing an app or Windows Update.