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Mouse Cursor Freezes? Read This!

Nov 24, 2013

An unresponsive mouse cursor indicates a temporary or permanent system crash, assuming the mouse is OK, its connector isn't loose, or its battery hasn't died. Possible causes of a crash include overloaded RAM or an overheated internal component. You can take steps to resolve the problem in the short term, and if it recurs, some clues will help you troubleshoot the problem.

Unfreezing The Cursor 

The cursor can freeze when the CPU or RAM is overloaded. In some such cases the freeze is momentary, and then normal operation resumes. If the cursor remains unresponsive after several minutes, hit "Ctrl," "Alt," and "Delete" together to bring up a menu of options. From here you can open the Task Manager to check CPU and RAM status, log off, or restart the PC. If no menu appears, then Windows itself has crashed. You will have to restart the computer using the power button, and any unsaved work will be lost.

Possible Causes

If either the CPU or memory is overloaded, it may be that too many applications are running at once or the programs and files the computer is handling are too much for it to cope with. A freeze can also be caused by a malfunctioning program or plug-in, or by a damaged, incorrectly attached, or overheated hardware component. If the frozen cursor issue first appeared soon after a new software program or hardware device was added to the system, that's a good place to begin troubleshooting.

Software Troubleshooting

If the mouse cursor always freezes while performing a specific operation or when viewing a specific website, then it's likely that the application or Web page in question is either badly coded, corrupted, or too intensive for your computer to handle. Try reinstalling the suspect program or viewing the questionable website in a different browser to see if this eliminates the issue. If the freeze appears to happen at random in a variety of applications, the Windows registry or the system settings may be damaged. Try repairing the operating system using the original DVD or by running a registry repair tool.

Hardware Troubleshooting

If one particular hardware device is causing the system crash, it is likely to freeze at the same point each time (e.g. when you are plugging a printer into your PC). Try downloading and installing the latest firmware and drivers from the manufacturer's website. You can also download and install the latest drivers for your keyboard and mouse. If the cursor freezes at apparently random times, a malfunctioning, incorrectly seated or overheating component may be the cause. Possible candidates include the CPU, the memory and the graphics card. Open the computer's case to check that all components are attached correctly.