Can A Wireless Mouse Go Bad?

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 01/25/19 •  8 min read

The wireless mouse makes using a computer so much more enjoyable.  No longer are you tethered to your computer, but free to use your computer comfortably.  But can a Wireless mouse go bad, and if so why?

There are several brands of wireless mice available on the market today. Some are built to last for years, while others are not built to last long at all. Regardless of which wireless mouse you have, there are measures you can take right now to ensure that your wireless mouse will last for years to come.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages of using a wireless mouse over the traditional wired mouse.   We will discuss what can make a wireless mouse go bad, and talk about reputable brands of wireless mice that you may want to consider when purchasing your next wireless mouse.  Finally, I’ll show you some practical things that you can do right now that will prolong the life of your wireless mouse for years to come.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Wireless Mouse?

A Wired mouse just gets in the way.  In fact, the first thing you do when plugging in a wired mouse, is to hide the cord.  Why?  Because it’s always in the way.  It’s always in the way.  When you use a wireless mouse, you no longer have this concern.

Laptops gain a lot from using a Wireless mouse.  Here are a few reasons you would want to use a wireless mouse with your laptop computer.

  1. When using a laptop, you tend to travel as a minimalist, whether you are leaving home for work, or perhaps even class.  Regardless of where you are going, you don’t want to take a lot of gear with you.  Wires create a tangled mess, and when adding a wired mouse to your bag, it just adds clutter to your bag.
  2. When using a wireless mouse with your laptop, you can simply keep the dongle plugged into your laptop at all times.

Once you use a wireless mouse, you will never go back.  It feels so responsive, and once turned on, you’ll never have any connectivity issues, unless, of course, you let the batteries die.

What Makes a Wireless Mouse Go Bad?

It may sound obvious, but your batteries may have died, not the mouse.  One quick trick is to take the plastic cap off the bottom of the mouse and and rub the batteries by rolling your thumb over the batteries to get them to roll in place.  This “solution” may work temporarily, and if it does work, it’s a sure sign that you need to replace the batteries.

It is highly unlikely that a wireless mouse of a reputable brand will just “die” on you.  Today’s wireless mice are mature hardware devices that have been around for years now.  But, let’s assume that after changing out your batteries out for fresh ones, it’s still lifeless and the red light on the bottom lens of the mouse won’t light up.  What could it be?  Take the batteries out again, and check the contacts to ensure that each one is in a position that can touch the batteries when in place.

Can a wireless mouse go bad?  If you buy a non-reputable brand.

Can a wireless mouse that no-one has ever heard of go bad? Yes, and it’s very likely.  For example, if you find a wireless mouse for sale at the “Dollar Store”, or “Five-Below”, I’d be surprised if it lasted longer than two weeks.  You get what you pay for.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to find that your wireless mouse does not work when you pull it out of your computer bag to use with your laptop.  Sure, you can use the touchpad on your laptop, but after using a mouse for so long, the touchpad feels completely foreign.

What Should I Look for in When Purchasing a Wireless Mouse?

There are two types of wireless mice that you can purchase.

  1. A wireless mouse with a docking station
  2.  A wireless mouse with a nano receiver (also known as a dongle)

After you decide if you want to purchase a mouse with a docking station, (for the record, a wirelss mouse that requires a docking station now considered, “old school” . . . very old school), you will then need to decide on the brand of mouse that you want to buy.

There are two major brands that have stellar reputations when it comes to wireless mice.  Microsoft and Logitech.

Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with either company.  They both make incredibly long lasting wireless mice.  I personally like the Logitech M510.  I like the way it feels in the hand.  It’s not too small and not too light.  It almost has a heavy feel to it, and it insanely responsive.

If you want to go all out, you could spend about $65 on the Logitech MX Master 2S.  It looks like a spaceship, and it does have all the “bells and whistles”, but then again, you could get an extremely reliable wireless mouse (Logitech M510 Wireless Computer Mouse), off of Amazon for about $20.

Although prices for wireless mice have dropped significantly in recent years, I still don’t recommend going to the “Dollar Store” to purchase a wireless mouse 😉

How Can I Elongate the Life of my Wireless Mouse?

If I was not clear before, let me clarify here.  The number one way in which you can ensure that your wireless mouse will last for a couple of years, is to buy one from a reputable company.  You do not want to skimp on this purchase.  Your computer mouse is the lifeblood to productivity on your computer.

You want to make sure that you keep the exterier of the mouse clean.  You can do this by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol on a regular basis, perhaps every other week or so, depending on how often you use it.  Be sure to remove any crud that has collected on the bottom of the mouse, especially on any one of the four flat nodes on the corners of the mouse.

Be sure to blow on the lens of the eye of the mouse.  This will remove any dust or stray hair that may be obstructing the eye of the lens, which will prevent the mouse from moving on your screen.  In fact, this should be the first thing you do if you find that the mouse won’t move on your screen.

When you travel with your mouse, turn it off.

Every wireless mouse has a switch on it, (usually on the underside).  More than anything, this will elongate the life-span of your batteries.  If you leave it on, and throw it in your computer bag, the optical eye will always try to read every surface that it makes contact with.  This will drain the battery immensely.

Now, if you leave it still at your desk, you can leave it on because after a few seconds of non-use, the optical eye will automatically stop trying to see the surface.  Once the mouse is moved, the optical eye instantly turns on and responds.  Just make it a habit to turn it off when you take it anywhere.

Why is a Computer mouse called a mouse?
When the computer mouse was first invented, Douglas Engelbart and his assistant, Bill Englishhose (the two who invented the wired mouse), named it a “mouse” because they thought that the wire extending from the device made it look like a mouse with a tail.

Who invented the Computer mouse?
In 1964 Douglas Engelbart built the first prototype of the computer mouse with the assistance of Bill English.  It was made out of wood, and had a circuit board with two metal wheels.  However, it would only move back and forth and sideways.  You could not move it diagonally.

Who Built the First Wireless Computer Mouse?
Logitech was the first company to build the wireless computer mouse.  They tried to market the wireless mouse as the “Cordless MouseMan”.  In 1998 the wireless mouse became commercially available, and though and has increased in popularity ever since.

Tim Chesonis

Tim has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.