How to Connect a Wireless Mouse

Cut the cord and install a wireless mouse

magic mouse and wireless keyboard

Lifewire

In most cases, installing a wireless mouse is just a matter of pairing the Bluetooth device with your computer. If your computer lacks native Bluetooth support, you'll need to install a Bluetooth receiver into a USB port, as well.

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Prepare the Mouse

All images courtesy of Lisa Johnston.

Wireless mice require either a battery (usually installed through a port on the underside of the device) or charging through a USB connector. Ensure that your new mouse is either charged or features fresh batteries.

 

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Plug in the Receiver

Plug the wireless receiver into a spare USB port on your computer. The receiver is optimized for your device and sometimes includes the drivers your computer will need to take full advantage of the mouse's capabilities.

USB receivers vary in size. Your receiver might be small like a nano receiver or much larger.

Once the receiver is plugged in, you should receive a notification that the computer has registered the device.

Some wireless mice do not include receivers. For example, the Microsoft Surface Wedge Mouse uses Bluetooth connections only. If your mouse doesn't include a receiver, don't worry. It's only a problem if your computer cannot manage Bluetooth connections. Almost all laptops, and many (but not all!) desktop computers, include Bluetooth radios.

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Download Any Drivers

Regardless of the mouse you have, the computer needs the proper device drivers to use it. Windows automatically installs the drivers for some mice, but you may have to download the drivers for your mouse manually.

One way to get mouse drivers is to visit the manufacturer's website, but one of the quickest ways to download and install the right driver is to use a driver updater tool.

Once this process is complete, your mouse should work.

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Connect to Bluetooth

If your mouse didn't include a wireless receiver, you'll need to pair the device with your computer. Each device differs; check the documentation for information about how to put the mouse into discovery mode (sometimes called pairing mode).

When the mouse is in this special mode, open Windows Settings and select the Devices screen. At the top of the screen, you'll see an option to Add Bluetooth or other device. Click the plus icon to launch the pairing wizard.

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How to Customize the Mouse

From the Devices screen of Windows Settings, select the Mouse menu to reveal the items you can configure for your mouse.

This screen offers generic Windows options. Your mouse may include some sort of control center or application to extend its functionality. You'll need to run that app to make more precise configuration settings than what the Windows Settings supports.

Troubleshooting

A desktop computer that doesn't include Bluetooth radios cannot pair with a Bluetooth mouse that doesn't feature a receiver. Either exchange the mouse for a type that includes a receiver, or purchase a Bluetooth dongle.