Lately, I've been experiencing issues with my USB wireless mouse. While working on something, or even sometimes while the system is idle, the mouse buttons will stop working. I can move the mouse around all I want, and the cursor will move on-screen, but I cannot click on anything. When this occurs, sometimes I can scroll, other times not. Throughout, the keyboard still continues to function. The only way to get the mouse to start working properly again is to either restart the computer or restart the X server by pressing CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE. There is nothing wrong with the mouse, it works fine while plugged into other machines. I have all the latest updates according to the Software Updater. Any ideas?

EDIT: Also thought I'd note that when another mouse is plugged in while the mouse is not functioning, it is unable to click as well. The strange thing is, though, Firefox still works with the mouse as it should, while other applications do not.

System Specs:

  • Compaq Presario SR2170NX
  • Dual Intel Pentium 4 Processor
  • 2 GB RAM, 2.4 GB swap
  • iHome USB wireless mouse
  • Ubuntu 12.10 (This is a clean install, about 2-3 weeks old.)
  • I'm still experiencing issues with the mouse. Anybody have a solution? – BenJetson Feb 17 '14 at 1:59
  • The problem used to be every day with the mouse, but now it only happens about a couple times a week. Disappointing that I can't find a permanent solution, though. – BenJetson Mar 1 '14 at 19:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is not an answer, per se, although it does have an easier workaround to recover.

I started having this same (I believe) problem with 14.04. It seems like the current active window works OK, but won't close or move, and other windows won't work at all with the mouse. Keyboard works fine.

If I close the working window, and reopen, it no longer works.

No clue as to cause, but my quick, non-destructive workaround is to switch to a VT and back: For example, Alt + Ctrl + F5, then when you get the login prompt, simply press Alt + F7 to switch back to the GUI, and everything is back to normal, with all windows still open.

Let me know if this works for you (or anyone else reading this).

  • Hi, thanks. Doesn't work, sadly. I do wish they could get to the root of this - mouse problems for years suggests a rather immature/flaky UI. I would hibernate and resume to solve it. It is particularly problematic with 16.04, however, which I cannot coax into hibernating unlike former versions. – nsandersen May 13 '16 at 1:00
  • @nsandersen: Sorry you're having problems. I don't even remember this problem, and have not had any such problems since this post. I suspect it was either my USB hub, or a USB extension cable. I remember finding out my USB extension cable caused problems, but I don't remember for sure that it was this one. But if you have any old hubs or cables, try a new one - they're cheap. – Marty Fried May 13 '16 at 18:11
  • I suspect this is a hardware dependent thing and thus many of the developers don't see it. This is actually a touchpad on a laptop; I can try plugging in a mouse and see how that goes. Thank you. – nsandersen May 13 '16 at 21:40

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