How annoying is it when your left mouse button stops working? You change the batteries, bang it on your desk a few times, and curse at the technology gods—but it’s to no avail.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are steps you can take to get your left click working again on your mouse. Here are seven of the most common fixes.
1. Fix a Corrupted User Profile
You need to establish whether the problem is unique to your user account or a system-wide issue.
Make a temporary new local account by navigating to Start > Settings > Accounts > Family and Other Users> Add Someone Else to This PC. The app will ask you for the new user’s sign-in details and name.
Log into the new profile. Is left-click working? If so, your primary user account has probably become corrupted.
Try copying all your user data to a new profile. You need at least three profiles (your new one, your corrupted one, and one extra) on your machine to undertake this process.
Log onto the extra one. All the following steps need to be done from the “spare” account.
Firstly, open File Explorer and ensure both the hidden files and folders and the protected operating system files are viewable. If you cannot see them, go to View > Options > View and make the necessary adjustments.
Next, navigate to C:\Users\[Corrupted Username] and select all the files except Ntuser.dat, Ntuser.dat.log, and Ntuser.ini. Copy the files and paste them into C:\Users\[New Username].
Finally, log off and sign into your new account. Once you’ve verified everything is working, you can delete the spare account and the corrupted account.
2. Check for Corrupted Windows Data
If you still couldn’t use the left mouse button on your new profile, it’s indicative that something has gone wrong within Windows itself. One of the most common culprits is a corrupted Windows Update.
To test for the presence of corrupted Windows files, you need to run PowerShell (by right-click on the Start menu and select it from the list).
Next, you need to run the System File Checker tool.
Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. You’ll see one of three results:
- Windows did not find any integrity violations.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and repaired them.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some (or all) of them.
In the case of the last, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter. PowerShell will re-download any corrupted files. It could take a long time, so be patient.
3. Delete Recently Installed Apps and Drivers
Have you recently installed any new apps and software? It could be the reason that left click is not working. Similarly, a program update might have caused the issue.
Right-click on the Start menu and open Programs and Features. Delete any apps that you’ve recently installed, any apps that have recently received automatic updates, and any apps you no longer use. Restart your machine and see if the problem is solved.
In a comparable vein, lots of users have pointed to errant drivers causing the problem. The most common culprit appears to be printer drivers.
Delete your existing drivers by heading to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers and Scanners. Click on the printer you want to delete, and hit Remove.
4. Delete and Reinstall Your Antivirus
Something as straightforward uninstalling and reinstalling your antivirus suite could solve your issues.
Occasionally, they detect false positives or black-flag harmless processes. Panda Anti-Virus seems to pop up more often than most. If you’re using Panda, this could be your problem.
Before you completely uninstall and reinstall, you can soft-test whether this is the issue. Disconnect from the internet and temporarily disable any third-party security suites. You can also try booting into Safe Mode to exclude software issues.
5. Hard Reset Your Computer
Performing a hard reset is not good practice and should be done sparingly. That said, many users have reported that it fixes a non-functioning left mouse button.
It is easy to do a hard reset (also known as a hard crash). If you’re on a desktop without a battery, pull out the power lead. If you’re on a laptop, pull the power cord and the battery. In both cases, you need to be logged into a user account on the PC before executing the reset.
6. Update Mouse Drivers
It’s prudent to make sure your mouse drivers are always up-to-date. If the left click key press isn’t working, you definitely need to check them.
Right-click on the Start Menu and then choose Device Manager. Don’t worry: you can also use the right-click button to make your selection.
Next, use your keyboard arrows to scroll down to your mouse entry and press Enter. The Properties window will open.
Use Tab and the arrow keys to navigate to the Driver tab and select Update Drivers. Windows will take care of the rest.
7. Enable ClickLock
What if everything is working except drag-and-drop? If you’ve already worked through the six fixes and you’re still encountering the issue, you can temporarily enable ClickLock.
ClickLock lets you drag-and-drop files and folders using single mouse clicks, rather than having to hold down the left mouse button physically.
To turn it on, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Mouse > Related Settings > Additional Mouse Settings.
The Mouse Properties window will pop up. At the bottom of the Buttons tab, you’ll see the ClickLock options. Put a tick in the checkbox to enable it. Clicking on Settings will allow you to customize your ClickLock preferences.
Is the Left Mouse Button Still Not Working?
Did none of these fixes work? You did remember to check the batteries, didn’t you?
Of course, your mouse itself might be faulty. Try using a wired mouse and see if the problem vanishes. And remember, it’s always worth thoroughly cleaning your mouse. Dust can quickly build-up inside its electronic components. Plus, you can check out our helpful guide for how to fix different types of mouse problems.
If you’re using a laptop, check out how to fix issues with a laptop touchpad.