Smart & Connected Life Working From Home How to Connect a Wireless Mouse A cordless mouse brings flexibility with just a few considerations by Lisa Johnston Writer Lisa Johnston is a former Lifewire writer and an editor who covers computer peripherals and other consumer electronics since 2004. our editorial process LinkedIn Lisa Johnston Updated on July 07, 2020 reviewed by Jessica Kormos Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jessica Kormos is a writer and editor with 15 years' experience writing articles, copy, and UX content for Tecca.com, Rosenfeld Media, and many others. our review board Article reviewed on Sep 25, 2020 Jessica Kormos The Ultimate Guide to Computer Mice The Ultimate Guide to Computer Mice Introduction Mouse Basics What Is a Mouse? Wired vs. Wireless: Which Is Better? Optical vs. Laser My Mouse Won't Work! How Do I Fix It? How to Connect a Wireless Mouse Tips for Using Your Mouse How to Change Mouse Speed or Sensitivity How to Use Your Phone as a Wi-Fi Mouse Best Way to Use a Trackball Mouse How to Clean a Wireless Mouse How to Clean a Dirty Computer Mouse Using Mice on Macs How to Use a Multi-Button Mouse with Your Mac Make Your Mac's Mouse Pointer Bigger Reducing the Magic Mouse's Battery Cost How to Fix Magic Mouse Disconnect Problems How to Fix a Magic Mouse Tracking Problem How to Use a Mouse With an iPad Configure Your Mac's Trackpad to Meet Your Needs How to Use the Virtual Trackpad on the iPad Our Recommendations: Best Mice The Best Wireless Mice The Best for Travel The Best for iPads The Best Vertical Mice The Best Ergonomic Mice The Best for Macs The Best Razer Mice Tweet Share Email Wireless mice use Bluetooth technology to connect to your computer, freeing your desktop from the clutter of extra cords. Because they rely on Bluetooth, wireless mice connect just like any other Bluetooth device—with a few considerations. Information in this article applies to Windows 10, macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS Sierra (10.12), and Ubuntu Linux (version 18.04). The wireless mouse relies on an onboard transmitter that communicates with a receiver inside the computer to pair with your computer. Most modern tablet computers and laptops feature built-in Bluetooth radios. However, some desktop computers do not. If your computer doesn't naturally support Bluetooth, purchase a Bluetooth adapter, or select a wireless mouse that includes a USB dongle that serves as a receiver. Connect a Wireless Mouse on a Computer Running Windows 10 The Bluetooth menu provides a means to connect a wireless mouse in Windows 10. Open the Settings app (press Win+I as a shortcut) and select Devices. In the left sidebar, select Bluetooth & other devices and then select the plus sign (+) next to Add Bluetooth or other device. In the pop-up Add a device window, select Bluetooth. Follow the steps of the add-device wizard. You need to put the wireless mouse in pairing mode. Windows detects the mouse and adds the relevant drivers. Making a wireless mouse discoverable differs by manufacturer, so check your quick-start instruction guide. Connect a Wireless Mouse on a Computer Running macOS Put your wireless mouse into pairing mode. Check the device documentation for instructions. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select System Preferences in the drop-down menu. Click Bluetooth to open the system preferences. Your Mac searches for any device in pairing mode when you open the Bluetooth panel. You should see a connection request to verify that you want to connect the specified device. If so, click Connect. Connect a Wireless Mouse on a Computer Running Ubuntu Linux (Version 18.04) Place your wireless mouse in pairing mode. Check the device documentation for instructions. Open the Bluetooth panel and ensure that the switch at the top is set to the On position. Select your mouse in the Devices list and finish the setup. Complete this step within 20 seconds to avoid timeouts. When the mouse connects, its status displays as Connected. Select the connected mouse to open a panel for device-specific customization. Wireless Mouse Considerations A Bluetooth mouse differs from a wired mouse in several significant ways: You must remain relatively close. Although you can go as far as 33 feet away from your computer with a Bluetooth mouse, taking the mouse out of range might require that you re-pair it.The wireless mouse requires batteries. You'll either need spare batteries or a charging cable for wireless mice with non-replaceable batteries. Although most modern Bluetooth mice go for months or years on a single set of batteries, Murphy's Law suggests your mouse will die at the worst possible moment. Be prepared.Different mice support different numbers of paired devices. Some mice pair with one computer at a time. Other models support two or three devices. If you travel with one mouse but two computers, such as a laptop and a Windows tablet, pick a mouse that can support both without re-pairing each time you use it.Wireless mice and their dongles sometimes grow legs. If your computer requires a dongle, look for a low-profile model that you can leave permanently inserted into a USB slot. Larger dongles can fall off or become damaged in a laptop bag.Different computers load Bluetooth drivers at different points in their startup sequence. Should you need to troubleshoot a computer that's not starting properly, you might find that your Bluetooth mouse doesn't load before the computer goes awry. Usually, USB drivers load before wireless drivers, so you may have better luck troubleshooting a wonky computer with a wired mouse.