Solved Why does my mouse seem to operate on its terms?

May 8, 2020 at 10:07:31
Specs: Windows 10
When I use my mouse, it will automatically highlight items without me selecting them, it also navigates to the opposite side of my placement, it will go right when I want to go left, or down when I want to go up.

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May 8, 2020 at 11:15:43
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two things to check - in mouse settings... What are they now and have they changed per chance from what they were to what they are now?

And have you got it the right way round in your hand/palm?

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May 8, 2020 at 12:22:07
I've seen lots of complaints similar to this over the years,
and I have somewhat similar (though definitely not identical)
complaints about my own mice. I'm certain that the problems
are never caused by a changed setting or by accidentally
holding the mouse backwards.

But I'm not sure what they are caused by.

The first problem described by Low3170, items getting
unintentionally selected/highlighted, suggests that a button
press is being detected as the mouse is moved, even though
the button is not intentionally being pressed. I have a problem
with the mouse button going down unexpectedly under the
pressure of my finger when I think that I am not pressing on
it at all, but in those cases I know I must have accidentally
pressed the button even though it didn't feel like I did. That
would be due to the button needing only such a light touch
to press that it is barely more than the normal pressure of my
finger resting on the button. The problem that the poster in
this thread has with unexpected selection sounds different
from that.

The other problem, with the mouse moving in unexpected
directions, could possibly be caused by dust-- most likely a
fiber or hair-- in front of the light sensor. It can wiggle as the
mouse is moved, making the mouse pointer move in
unexpected ways. It could also be caused by the sensor
not being read well by the software, so that a motion on
the border between going straight or to the left will be read
as going straight one instant and to the left the next, with no
consistency, so that it jiggles around instead of moving
smoothly in one direction. That might account for what I
have experienced, but the OP here and others report the
mouse pointer not just jiggling around but moving in a
completely wrong direction. That seems pretty bizarre.


Could you describe the behavior in more detail? It sounds
different from what I have seen, but very similar to what
other people have reported. Maybe we are describing the
same behavior in different terms, or maybe we are seeing
different problems.

One thing to note: I always set my mouse for very low speed
and low or no acceleration, for high precision. I can't imagine
how people are able to control their mice on higher settings.
The new mouse I bought last year has a button that increases
the speed through 5 steps. It is a gaming mouse, which isn't
what I wanted, but it was what the store had. I am bumping
that button more and more often. When I do, and the speed
goes to the second setting, the cursor moves wildly, frantically
all over the screen at the slightest movement of my hand.
The third, fourth, and fifth speed levels are absurd. How can
anyone make use of them? Especially in playing a fast-paced
game in which I'd expect lots of very rapid hand movements.
Makes no sense to me at all.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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May 8, 2020 at 13:43:29
in mechanical rodents - those with a plastic/rubber ball mechanism.. they require to be cleaned at regular intervals; this in order to remove accumulated muck which coats the ball and causes all manner of erratics.

One removes said ball and washes it in warm water with a mild (preferably more organic) detergent; dries it properly with soft cloth. Then checks the little rollers inside the ball housing to remove similar muck from them That's not as easy as simply washing.- for obvious reasons. It's a gentle scrape and brush job followed by a blast of compressed air (from a can of same).

Sometimes one has to use find point/needle nosed pliers - even better tweezers - to remove thread like adhesions which can and frequently do, wrap themselves the innards... Once the cavity is clean restore ball and hopefully all will be well for a while; after which one gain cleans said rodents privates...

And one should remember that all rodents like to have their private parts kept clean...

With some modern/current rodents - and these are invariably led/laser types (no ball systems) - clean that little light source in the base; use isopropyl alcohol.; and blow out (compressed air can) the gaps under the pressure plates (switches) on the top surface of the rodent body. Often dust etc. can collect there as well.

Less common but not unknown is dodgy/failing cable and/or usb connection - presuming it's a usb rodent. If its wireless then the above lens cleaning etc. routine is the only way?

If all else fails... then time to replace/retire said rodent, and get a new one?

One other possibility - and a rare one if all was well until now... conflict with another irq, and/or interference between usb and wifi signals - though very unlikely...

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May 8, 2020 at 15:56:13
Ah! I didn't think of a wireless mouse! I've used them
so little. A wireless mouse could have radio interference,
and might do just about anything, even a polka!

Regarding mouse balls...

When they get sticky-slimey, I think that slime is bacteria.
I'm not completely sure. Could be I just exude something
that attacks rubber and makes it break down. Or maybe
it does that on its own. I recently threw away a long rubber
hose used for pneumatically triggering a camera shutter
from a distance that I had for about 40 years, because the
whole thing was slimey. I didn't do that to it.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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May 8, 2020 at 16:08:04
The muck on a rodent ball is usually a mix of grease and general dust etc. which gets on just about any surface - even if only in small measure. Add to that the rubbing action caused by the ball rolling over the flat surface which will really impact/stick whatever to the ball... and you get that sort of shell of a thin coating which is often overlooked when considering rodent misbehaviours...

We used to frequently clean and recover ball rodents which were playing up; the user was given a replacement rodent and we cleaned the errant one for next time. I don't recall a cable ever failing; but once or twice the usb plug seemed to be an issue. If said rodent persisted in errant behaviour after cleaning etc., then it was shown the door... And some early wireless variants were very picky and unreliable at times...

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May 8, 2020 at 16:40:02
That gooey slime on mouse balls wasn't just gunk that was
picked up in use. It was way, way more than that. Like the
rubber hose I had stored in a shoebox along with other camera
gear, I had mouse balls come out of storage much slimier than
they went in. My impression with mouse balls was that it was
bacteria, but in the case of the hose, I hafta think it is just
something that happens to some kinds of rubber over time.
I must have at least a couple of mouse balls still in storage,
but they are miles away and hard for me to access with the
world the way it is now.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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May 8, 2020 at 16:46:49
The balls were some type rubber like material, though I’ve no idea what. The surface was slightly rough or such that it had friction when in use. The dirt or whatever made the surface very smooth, often shiny too, which is why became errant and unreliable - until given a good clean and shown the error their ways...

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May 11, 2020 at 08:01:11
To Jeff in Minnesota,

My mouse is not a fancy one, it is plugged into the USB in the back of the PC, it has the left/right buttons and a wheel in the middle with the red light on the bottom. Today I placed the mouse over an item without touching a button or a wheel and it started to highlight items I was not interested in highlighting.

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