Why Does Mouse Drift Happen? How to Fix Mouse Drift

When you’re using the computer most of the time in your day, it’s normal to experience some problems with the devices connected to it. For example, one of the most common problems that some computer mice seem to encounter after a while is mouse drift.

You might be wondering, what is mouse drift, and how can I fix it? Well, if that’s what you’re wondering, then you’re in the right place because that’s what I’m here to tell you.

In this article, I’m going to talk about mouse drift, how it happens, and how exactly we can fix mouse drift using a few different solutions. So, without wasting any additional amount of time, let’s get started with this mouse drift solution guide.

Why Does Mouse Drift Happen? How to Fix Mouse Drift

What is Mouse Drift?

If you’re not aware of what mouse drift is, well, it is just what the name suggests. Mouse drifting means that the cursor on the screen seems to drift to one side or in one direction without any input from the mouse by the user.

It is quite a big problem and makes the overall computer usage experience problematic whether you’re simply surfing the internet or playing a competitive game.

It is a pretty standard problem, and many mice seem to encounter it at one time or another. So, it won’t be a surprise for anyone if you’ve also encountered the mouse drift dilemma.

Imagine you’re using your computer and you want to click on a particular file. However, once you leave the mouse in its place, the cursor starts drifting somewhere else. It is definitely going to be a pain for you.

A much bigger problem is mouse drift occurring while you’re playing an FPS or MMO game with your friends and other players competitively. For example, imagine aiming at a sniper shot, and suddenly the mouse drifts to one part of the screen, taking the camera with it.

At times, mouse drift can become too much of a hassle, and to make sure that it doesn’t become a big problem for your computer usage experience, you need to fix it.

5 Reasons Why Mouse Drift Happens

Before we talk about fixing the mouse drift situation, the critical aspect is to diagnose how exactly mouse drift occurs so that any such situation can be avoided, especially if you’re using a proper gaming mouse that comes with a hefty price tag.

Let’s take a look at some of the significant reasons for mouse drift you might have experienced.

1. Driver Issues

The first reason your mouse might experience mouse drift is due to a faulty driver update or version that’s been corrupted one way or another. However, this could happen due to several developmental reasons.

Suppose your mouse is experiencing cursor drift due to driver issues. In that case, the reason for it can be the operating system software update not working well or just the software side of things getting buggy and problematic.

2. Tracking Issues

Another prevalent reason for mouse drift is an issue with the tracker. The tracking technology is responsible for dealing with the movement of the mouse.

If there’s some kind of issue with the surface tracker, the mouse may start to not behave right, and the tracker will cause the cursor to move in a particular direction without any kind of input from the user.

3. USB Cable Issues

The third reason that might cause your computer mouse to drift in a particular direction on the screen is due to USB cable issues. There may be a specific breakage in the cable.

There can also be some kind of problem with the particular USB port you’ve plugged the cable into. In either case, cursor floating is something that can end up happening, and the overall user experience of the mouse is threatened.

4. Third-Party Software Corruption

If you’re messing around on the internet and you stumble upon some kind of virus-infected software, beware and try not to download it to your machine if you want to stay clear of any issues.

There is a very high risk that corrupted software might end up messing around with the drivers and cause an issue that might lead to the mouse causing cursor drift and you experiencing the cursor moving in a particular direction without any user input.

5. Dirt or Debris on the Surface

If you’re living in an area where dust and debris are pretty common, the surface of your computer table could also end up being the culprit for the mouse drift you’re experiencing with your computer mouse.

How? Well, the surface of the mouse can end up getting covered with dirt and debris, which can cause issues and make the cursor drift without any kind of movement of the mouse itself.

6 Solutions and Fixes for Mouse Drift

So, you’re tired of the drifting cursor issue, and you don’t want to replace the mouse either? Well, lucky for you, I’ve made a list of six of the most epic solutions and fixes for the mouse drift issue. So, let’s take a look at them and how you can use them to ensure you don’t reencounter this problem.

1. Driver Rollback and Update

The first and foremost solution you can apply to fix this problem is rolling back the driver for the computer mouse you’re using. If it is a driver version issue, the rollback will cause the cursor to not drift anymore.

There’s another way of dealing with this if there’s a new driver update available. Instead of rolling back, you can update the driver to a version with a patch for this problem, and voila! You’re all done, and your mouse drift issue is no more. That is, however, if the issue was with the driver to begin with.

2. Removing Infected Third-Party Apps

Suppose the problem with mouse drift is caused by a particular virus-infected application. In that case, using an anti-virus software tool to clean the memory and remove any lousy applications might work for you to end the drifting from happening.

However, you’re still going to have to make sure the software or driver or any damaged component is restored back to its original form before you see any betterment and solution to the problem. So, make sure you do that.

3. Cleaning the Dirt and Debris Off the Mouse

If dirt and debris caused the mouse drift, then dealing with that is the thing you’re going to want to do. First, unplug your mouse and use a cotton swab and towel to clean the tracker and underside of the mouse until they are dust and debris-free.

Then you’re also going to want to clean the entire table surface and make sure you periodically clean it so that no excessive dust and debris build-up under the mouse causes it to experience cursor floating again.

4. Plugging the Mouse in a Different Port

The issue could very well be with the port into which you’re plugging the mouse. If that’s the case, then the solution is as simple as you might think it is to get rid of the mouse drifting.

Simply take the USB cable of the mouse, unplug it from that faulty port, and plug the mouse into a different port that works right. The mouse will immediately work better and without a flaw.

5. System Restore Point for Faulty Windows Update

The issue can also be with an entire operating system update. For example, it could be that you updated Windows, and the new update had a bug problem in it for mouse drivers.

Well, in that case, the entire OS rollback, also known as the System Restore Point, can be used to bring the state of the Windows OS back to the previous one, which wasn’t causing any problem at all.

6. Getting It Checked by a Professional

The final solution is one that you’re going to have to try if nothing else seems to work in your favor. Of course, you could just simply replace your mouse, but if it’s too expensive and you don’t want to do that, this is your final option.

Take your mouse to a hardware professional, and they’re going to make sure any mouse drift problem and whatever reason it is occurring are entirely dealt with, the right way.


It is common to experience issues with computer hardware and particularly the devices attached to it. Mouse drift is a problem that many people have to deal with especially those who use a mouse on a regular basis either for gaming or for doing other tasks.

With the solutions above, you can make the mouse drift problem go away and then use the proper methods of precaution to keep your mice safe from any kind of floating or drifting.

I hope that you learned a lot from this article and that you’re going to have a great experience with your mouse once you get the mouse drift issue fixed right. May you have a great day ahead of you!

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