We use our mice for the most basic tasks whenever there’s something to do on our computers, so it’s safe to say they are on the top of the list for the most important peripherals.
That said, when experiencing a mouse problem, the situation can quickly become alarming, as it practically makes the computer unusable, whether for work or something else.
This guide will cover mouse lag and everything you should know about fixing it if you’ve recently encountered such a problem, so without further ado, let’s get started.
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What is Mouse Lag? Mouse Delay Explained
The term “lag” is often present in the computer world, especially in the gaming sphere.
Whenever someone mentions they experience lag, they mean their actions (clicking a button, moving the mouse, casting a spell) do not get executed immediately within the game, putting them at a disadvantage. To other players/users, it looks like the person has delayed reflexes and reactions when instead, they’re just experiencing what users refer to as “lag.”
Lag is usually caused by network connection issues, so when a player has a higher than usual ping, their computer takes a lot more time to communicate with the server, therefore all actions are delayed.
Here’s a helpful video that should help you understand lag more easily.
However, the term lag is also often used to describe any other type of delay when using computers. So, when someone physically moves their mouse but the cursor on their screen follows a second or two later, they might say they experience mouse lag.
Your mouse doesn’t communicate with a server, so this isn’t a ping issue, but various other factors could cause your mouse to be sluggish on Windows and when using apps or playing games.
Dive in the sections below, where we list potential fixes that could help you solve the issue, as they did to many other users.
Fix 1: Re-Plug The Mouse Into A Different Port
A faulty port or a loose connection can cause your mouse to stop working. This can manifest in the form of a “stutter” as the device frequently loses and regains connection with the computer, making it seem like it’s lagging.
To remove this from the list of possible causes, unplug the device and try a different port. If the problem is fixed, it was likely caused due to a loose connection or a damaged port.
If you’re using a wireless mouse with a Bluetooth connection, re-plugging the Bluetooth device into a different port and restarting it may also help. We also recommend checking the battery level.
If the problem remains, however, try the other solutions listed below.
Fix 2: Unplug Monitors With Different Refresh Rates
Monitors with higher refresh rates make every movement on the screen appear much more fluid and smoother. If you’ve ever used a monitor with a high refresh rate but then had to go back to using one with the standard 60hz or less, you’ll likely experience the illusion of making it seem like your mouse cursor is lagging.
But, what does this have to do with the problem?
Well, many users nowadays have a multiple monitor setup. This increases productivity and makes multitasking a lot easier. However, not everyone uses a top-tier, high-refresh-rate monitor for their second or third one in the setup. Most users make the high refresh rate monitor their main one while using an older and less-expensive one or a TV for a secondary screen.
If this is the case with your setup, it could be that you’re experiencing a common Windows bug that makes the refresh rates mix. If there’s some type of animation playing on your monitor with a lower refresh rate, it can make the refresh rate on your main monitor drop, and therefore it looks like your mouse cursor is lagging.
Here’s a helpful video explaining this bug in detail.
So, if you’re trying to play a game on your primary monitor, but the second one has any active animation or motion playing on it (rendered by the GPU), there’s a very high chance the refresh rate within the game on the main monitor will drop and seem like the game is lagging and the mouse stuttering, despite your FPS being high.
It’s also possible that you’re experiencing another bug, which makes the refresh rates mix without you extending to the other monitor with the cursor but only nearing the borders in the direction where the other screen starts.
For example, if you have a TV (usually 30 of 60 Hz refresh rate) as a secondary screen, and you’ve set it directly over the primary monitor in the Windows display settings, when you move the cursor on your main monitor in the upper area close to the border where the second screen starts, you may notice the movement is laggy. That happens because Windows mixes the refresh rates without you fully “snapping” on the second screen, making your main monitor laggy as well.
To troubleshoot, we recommend unplugging all monitors with a refresh rate lower than your main monitor. Many users reported that the problem disappeared after doing this, but the downside is losing all the benefits of having multiple screens.
Fix 3: Uninstall NVIDIA Broadcast
NVIDIA Broadcast is a helpful software brought to us by the already well-known tech giant, but unfortunately is also often associated with bugs and has mixed reviews amongst community members.
Specifically related to the Windows mouse lag problem, many users reported having success fixing it after uninstalling the NVIDIA Broadcast software from their PC.
We recommend trying this as a potential solution.
Fix 4: Replace The Monitor Connection Cable
A faulty connection cable can cause different issues regarding the things displayed on your monitor. You may see sudden changes of color, a loss of signal, screen flickering, and stutters that may make it look like your mouse lags.
Multiple users reported solving this problem by replacing the connection cable. Whether it was a faulty DVI cable or a loose end on the HDMI or DP cable, we recommend replacing it to rule out this potential cause.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you have a lofty refresh rate monitor, you may not be able to use it to its full potential without a cable that supports a lofty refresh rate. So, it may look like your mouse lags because your refresh rate is not the highest due to a cable bottleneck.
We recommend DisplayPort cables for high refresh rate monitors (above 144hz) and only some specific, newer versions of HDMI. Otherwise, a regular HDMI cable supports just up to 120hz refresh rate.
Fix 5: Reduce The Mouse Polling Rate (Hz)
Most gaming mice nowadays have the option to increase the polling rate up to several thousand Hz, but this is mostly gimmicky and doesn’t serve a real purpose. It could make your mouse not respond well and override the sensor, which in turn results in experiencing lag.
We suggest decreasing the polling rate to 250 or 500 Hz using the suggested software for your device, like G-Hub for Logitech devices or Synapse for Razer devices.
For most users, this fixed the issue, so it’s worth trying.
After all, installing the software for your mouse can make the device work better on its own, and it allows you to modify crucial settings such as the already-mentioned polling rate, DPI, and more.
That covers everything you should know about fixing mouse lag issues on Windows. Hopefully, the methods listed in this guide will help you overcome this problem.
Note that mouse sensors may start to malfunction, in which case there isn’t much to do besides returning the device if it’s under warranty or replacing it with a new one if it isn’t.