Regular, wired computer mice don’t wear out fast. In fact, they can last for years. However, today’s modern and sophisticated mice have a short lifespan. They come equipped with components and circuitry that require extra care and maintenance. If you don’t use these devices sensibly, they might wear out quickly.
Depending on how you use them, computer mice can last for up to 3 years. A mouse’s condition may deteriorate quickly if you keep dropping it and using it for rigorous gaming moves.
Some mice are designed only for specific functions, but if you try and use them for advanced techniques like drag clicking, they might die sooner than you would expect.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why computer mice wear out, signs that tell you if your mouse needs to be replaced, and how to care for your mouse in order to increase its lifespan.
So, let’s get started!
Why Does a Computer Mouse Wear Out?
Like any other device, a computer mouse will eventually wear out. If you bought a cheap and low-quality mouse, it might deteriorate even more quickly or, at the end of the day, stop working altogether.
Common problems that dying mice usually face include a pointer that freezes on screen or doesn’t move smoothly, the mouse fails to respond, the pointer starts moving either too fast or too slow, the buttons get out of order, and the double-click function stops responding.
These are faults related to the mechanics of a mouse. In addition to these, you may also experience a broken mouse or a mouse with its internal components misaligned due to mishandling or dropping.
If you start using a mouse directly on a desk, the hard surface will cause the mouse’s feet to wear out sooner. Feet on the bottom of a mouse are meant to reduce friction and allow smooth and effortless gliding. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended to always use a mouse pad.
All these problems and defects indicate that computer mice do wear out with the passage of time. Nevertheless, if you use the device carefully, do not shake it too much, and don’t put undue pressure on the switches, it may last for longer than expected.
Also, some of the above-mentioned defects are repairable. You can either try repairing it at home or take it to a mouse or computer hardware expert and get it repaired.
However, since computer mice are not very expensive devices, it’s usually better to replace a mouse that has stopped working or is giving you problems. So, let’s see when it’s time to replace your mouse.
How to Tell If Your Mouse is Dying?
A computer mouse, just like any other device, may experience a temporary glitch or start freezing or acting a little weird all of a sudden. If the issue is fleeting, there is nothing to worry about.
However, if you start experiencing a problem repeatedly and frequently, it’s a sign that your mouse might be dying. There could be a possibility that your mouse has lived its longest life and it’s time you said goodbye to it.
Another explanation could be that you bought a defective piece to start with. Most modern and expensive mice have a warranty of 2 to 3 years. If you start seeing these glitches within this time period, you may claim a replacement from the company.
Nevertheless, it’s good to know when your mouse has reached its end and needs to be replaced. There are some signs and symptoms you can keep a check on to find out if your mouse is wearing out and might need repair and maintenance or a replacement altogether.
Here are a few signs that indicate that your mouse might be reaching its end.
1. Left or Right Click Doesn’t Work
A standard mouse comes equipped with two buttons and sometimes a center scrolling wheel. With the passage of time, one of the buttons may stop working. You keep pressing it, but the switch doesn’t register a click.
This could be a temporary glitch, but even if it works fine the next time you press the button, it still is alarming. If either of the buttons doesn’t work when you need them, it’s a sign you need to invest in a new mouse.
2. The Cursor Starts Moving Randomly
This is a very common problem and is often seen with low-quality, budget mice. Leave the mouse totally high and dry on the mouse pad and notice the cursor on the screen. You will see after some time the cursor starts making random movements on its own.
You can try getting rid of this problem by cleaning your mouse or giving your mouse pad a good clean. If the problem persists, it’s a sign that the laser is not working properly.
For gamers, this random cursor movement might not feel too big of a problem. But for people who have to do precision work on screen, this could turn out to be a huge issue.
3. The Cursor Freezes in its Position
Random cursor movements are tolerable as long as they don’t interfere with your work, but a cursor that wouldn’t leave its position no matter how vigorously you’re moving the mouse surely indicates that your mouse has reached its end.
Sometimes the issue can be resolved by unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in. If you have a wireless mouse, you can try removing the batteries and putting them back in or replacing them altogether considering they have died.
However, if you try all the above fixes and the cursor still doesn’t move, it might indicate a damaged or defective component. If that’s the case, the problem can only be resolved by getting yourself a new mouse.
How to Extend the Life of a Mouse?
Not all mice are cheap and inexpensive; in fact, some of them cost hundreds of dollars and they come with sophisticated advanced features. Nobody would want such a device to wear out within a couple of years.
The good news is it’s totally possible to enhance the lifespan of your mouse only by taking a few precautionary measures. However, if your mouse has already started wearing out, these tips may not work. It will be better to get a brand new mouse in such a case to avoid frustration.
Here is how you can care for your fresh mouse to make sure it lasts for a long time.
1. Keep the Mouse Clean
A clean mouse works seamlessly as compared to one that has dust and grime all over it and on its mechanical parts. It is recommended to clean your mouse at least once every week. If you experience compromised precision and accuracy as well as random cursor movements and latency, chances are your mouse needs a good clean!
Microsoft recommends cleaning your mouse with a damp cotton cloth that has been dipped in a mixture of soap and water. You can wipe clean the outer surface as well as the wheel of the mouse and its optical sensor using this cloth.
You can also use an isopropyl alcohol solution to remove stains from a white or light-colored mouse. Just immerse the tip of a swab in the solution and rub it along the length of the mouse to clean away oil and dirt.
It’s recommended to let the mouse dry completely before using it again. If you have a wired mouse, unplug it from the computer before cleaning it. Conversely, a wireless mouse should be cleaned only after you have removed the disposable batteries.
2. Invest in a High-Quality Mouse Pad
Mouse pads were invented to offer a good grip for the rubber trackball to roll properly. You could also use the mouse directly on the desk, but a mouse pad would make all the difference in offering pointer precision and preventing damage to your mouse’s feet.
Nowadays, mouse pads are primarily used to keep the bottom of the mouse clean and functioning properly. If you have a clean mouse pad underneath your mouse, it will not pick up dust and other tiny particles on your desk and hence keep offering optimal accuracy.
A mat also helps to maintain pointer precision thereby improving the performance of your mouse. Gaming mice particularly need high-quality mouse pads in order to prevent damage to their feet and structure in general because gamers tend to use them rigorously for advanced features and techniques.
3. Get a Durable Mouse
Gaming mice are designed to last a long time as compared to regular, budget mice. These are made extra durable by making use of long-lasting and robust materials. Moreover, they come equipped with high-quality and custom-made mechanical switches that have the ability to withstand extreme pressure and stress.
If you’re a gamer, you wouldn’t hesitate to invest in a durable mouse. And once you do, you can rest assured that it will last for a long time to come. The newest mice are very light in weight but still very solid and offer the best latency.
Mice from reputable brands like Razer and Logitech come with a 2 or 3-year warranty. You can easily get them replaced if they stop working or experience any other fault during this time period.
4. Keep Your Eye Open for Defects
It’s easy to overlook minor issues when your mouse is still new and generally working fine. However, these small problems may become difficult-to-resolve issues if you don’t pay attention to them.
It’s better to identify a defect when your mouse is still under warranty. Reputable brands like Logitech and Razer will send you a replacement mouse if you show them the error and claim the warranty.
However, if the warranty ends and your mouse starts acting up, there is nothing you would be able to do except getting it replaced with a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to repair a mouse at home?
Yes, it’s totally possible to repair simple defects your mouse may be experiencing without needing professional help. Some of the common faults can be addressed just by cleaning your mouse inside out. It’s not very difficult to remove the ball from the back, for example, or unscrew the mouse to blow any dust and lint off the circuitry.
What is the average lifespan of a computer mouse?
The average lifespan of a mouse is considered two years, but it may last longer or shorter depending on how you use and care for it. Branded expensive mice come with a warranty period of three years, which is quite impressive. This means these reputable manufacturers are certain their devices will last for at least a period of three years before they start acting up.
How does a mouse pad help increase the life of a mouse?
A mouse pad is designed to improve the usability and performance of a mouse. When you use the mouse directly on a desk, it will not only pick up dirt and germs but will also experience a reduced accuracy. People are often seen fidgeting with their mice when they don’t have a mouse pad and the mouse starts acting up.
This mishandling of the mouse ultimately decreases its lifespan. It is therefore imperative to invest in a good-quality mouse pad.
If my mouse pointer is not moving, is it a sign my mouse might have reached its end?
A cursor that freezes on screen may be a temporary glitch or something you can easily troubleshoot. Try plugging in your wired mouse again or turning your wireless mouse off and on again. You can also check if the Bluetooth mouse is successfully paired with your computer.
A wireless mouse may also stop working when its batteries have died. Try replacing the batteries or putting the mouse on a charge if it comes with rechargeable batteries.
If all the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps fail to bring back the mouse pointer to life, it is definitely an indication that your mouse needs to be replaced.
Do wireless mice last longer than wired ones?
Yes, wireless mice have a longer lifespan because they don’t have to deal with issues that come with damaged cables. However, a wireless mouse also wears out in the same manner as a regular, wired mouse. It will degrade eventually particularly if you drop it and end up misaligning its lens and the LED.
Every component in the mouse has its own lifespan. For example, the LED will work for a maximum of 50,000 hours. Upon passing of this time period, your mouse must also have lived its longest life. However, this is just an estimate and different LEDs may have different lifespans.
Another issue that might deteriorate the condition of a wireless mouse is dust getting in and accumulating inside the mouse. It’s possible to prevent this situation by regularly cleaning your mouse. Nonetheless, the mouse will wear out sooner or later.
Depending on how and where a mouse is used, it may wear out sooner or later. You can definitely increase the lifespan of your mouse by cleaning it regularly and using it sensibly. Regular, cheap mice are not made to withstand the stress of techniques like drag clicking, and therefore, they may stop working altogether if you try to use these techniques on them.
If you start experiencing problems with your mouse, you can try repairing it at home. However, if the issue is fatal, for example, a broken or missing component, little you can do to bring it back to life. In such a case, it’s better to get a new mouse than to waste money on getting it repaired by a professional.
The lifespan of a mouse also depends on the brand you choose and the price you pay. Logitech, for example, gives its products a 3-year warranty. This means that you can get your Logitech mouse replaced if you find a damaged part or a broken function in it within the first three years of its life.
It’s a good idea to check your mouse’s warranty before spending money on it to have peace of mind especially if you’re buying an expensive device. Nevertheless, expect to replace your mouse after 3 to 5 years regardless of its brand and how carefully you use it.
Most wireless mice wear out quickly as a result of poor handling by their user. If you use your mouse sensibly and carefully, you may even be able to use it for a period of ten years or so. However, after about five years, you may want to replace it nonetheless not because it has worn out but because you would want to try your hands on a newer mouse with evolved design and advanced functionality.
I hope this comprehensive guide helped you understand the dynamics of your mouse and make you care for it even more especially if you want to improve its lifespan. Best of luck!