Once upon a time, a computer mouse didn’t do much more than roll around the screen and select items, blocks of text and checkboxes. Mouse “events” have grown enormously in just a few short years to the point where your mouse or other pointing device can pretty much operate your computer without a keyboard. These days your mouse or pointer device – including touch pads – can do all sorts of crazy things – flip between preset windows, open your favorite applications with a single mouse click, access setup screens on other Bluetooth devices – even store up to 1GB of files for easier transfer. Of course, accessing all of the capabilities of your mouse requires having the right mouse drivers on your computer hard drive.

As mice have become more complex, though, mouse drivers have sometimes conflicted with other software on your computer. If you run into problems with your sound card or your video display, the culprit can sometimes be your mouse driver. If you are using a wireless mouse or a mouse with advanced options like 4-way scrolling, extra memory storage or customizable buttons and are having problems accessing some of the features, you may need to update the mouse driver. Here’s the easy way to update your mouse drivers in Windows XP (Vista and Windows 7 are similar, but menus may have items in different places.)

1. On the Start Menu, open the Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, open Printers and Other Hardware.
3. In Printers and Other Hardware, click on Mouse under “Pick a Control Panel Icon”. This will open the Mouse Properties dialog.
4. Select the Hardware tab in the Mouse Properties dialog.
5. Under the Hardware tab, select the pointer device with which you are having problems. A generic mouse may be identified simple as USB Mouse or HID compliant mouse if it’s a wireless mouse. Others may be identified by manufacturer name and model.
6. With the mouse highlighted in the selection window, click on Properties.
7. Click on the Driver tab in the properties screen.
8. Click the “Update Driver” button and follow the onscreen instructions.