Is your middle mouse button or scroll wheel not working? In this guide, we show you the common reasons why your middle button may not be working and how to fix them.
Your middle mouse button has a variety of different uses. Scrolling is the primary purpose of the middle mouse button, but it can also act as a shortcut to open a new window and do quite a few other things as well. When your middle mouse button stops working, it can be a frustrating problem.
There are a few things that can cause issues for your middle mouse button. Things like hardware malfunctions, incorrect device settings, uninstalled drivers, and incorrect Windows configuration can all cause your middle mouse button to malfunction.
Here are some quick fixes that cover all these potential problems.
1. Check Your Mouse Hardware for Problems
If your mouse has a problem, you should first check the physical hardware.
- Plug your mouse into another computer with the same Windows version you’re using and see if it works. If your mouse works on another computer, your computer is likely causing the problem. If your middle mouse button doesn’t work on the other computer, however, you will probably need to replace your mouse.
- If it appears to be a problem with your physical mouse, you can dismantle and clean it with a q-tip. This can help remove dust and other debris that can interfere with your mouse.
2.Run the Hardware Troubleshooter
Windows 10 comes with a built-in hardware troubleshooter. Before you move on to any of the more complicated problems, you should run your computer’s built-in device troubleshooter.
- Open your control panel by typing ‘control panel’ into the Windows search bar and hitting enter.
- Open Hardware and Sound.
- Then open Devices and Printers.
- Find your mouse, right-click on it, and hit ‘Troubleshoot’
- The troubleshooter will run. If it finds and applies a fix, restart your computer.
3. Update Your Mouse’s Drivers
If your mouse is still malfunctioning, we recommend updating your mouse driver. This fix is a little more involved than the others, but it is the logical next step to getting your mouse working correctly.
- Click the search bar at the bottom of your screen. It should be right next to the windows button.
- Type in “Device Manager” and open it. This should bring up a window with a list of all your hardware and devices.
- Find your mouse. It will probably be labeled something like “mice and other pointing devices,” though it can change depending on what Windows version/update you’re on.
- Expand the mice menu and find your specific mouse. It will need to be plugged in.
- Right-click on the mouse that is acting up and press “update driver.”
- Your mouse’s driver will update.
- Restart your computer once the driver has been updated.
4. Install OEM Mouse Drivers
When you first install Windows, generic drivers are used. While these are fine for most mice, some will act up with the generic drivers. To fix this, you’ll need to install company-specific drivers. Luckily, this is not very hard to do.
- Head to your mouse manufacturer’s website.
- Find the drivers installation section. This differs from website to website. Alternatively, you could type “[manufacture] ‘s device drivers” into a search engine.
- Find your specific device. Most companies have search functions, which make finding your model number a bit easier.
- Install the latest drivers for your mouse.
- Restart your computer when you’re done. You might need to re-configure your mouse button if you had it set up a different way previously.
5. Change the Registry Settings
If your middle mouse button is working strangely, it could be your registry settings. Follow these instructions carefully to change your settings:
- Use the search bar at the bottom of your screen and type in “registry.” This should bring up a program called the “registry editor.”
- Click on the “registry editor.” If you’ve never opened it before, it might ask for permission to make changes to your computer, press “yes.”
- This editor contains many different drop-down menus with many different settings. But don’t get overwhelmed, because we only need one.
- First, press the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER.” This should be the second option down. This will open up quite a few other menus.
- Next, press “Control Panel.” This should, once again, open up more settings and drop-down menus.
- Click the “Desktop” button to bring up a few more settings on the right side of the window. Scroll through the settings until you find “WheelScrollLines.” These setting should be in alphabetical order, so it should be near the bottom. This setting does just what it sounds like – controls your scroll wheel.
- Left-click on this setting and click “modify…”. It will be bolded and should be the first option.
- Make sure the value data is set to “3”. If it isn’t, change it and click “OK.”
6. Run Window’s Security
Viruses can affect your mouse as well. Luckily, most Windows computers now come with a built-in anti-virus program.
- Click the little arrow that looks like “^” at the bottom right of your screen.
- Find the “window’s security” app. It looks like a shield.
- Click “virus and threat protection” on the left side.
- Click “quick scan” towards the bottom of the first section. If you have a virus, this scan might find it.
7. Those Didn’t Fix the Problem—Now What?
If your mouse is still acting up, it is likely a hardware problem. You can get your mouse repaired or replaced. Hopefully, though, one of these fixes solved the issue. If not, you should seriously consider replacing your mouse or taking it to get repaired.