Mouse overview

Use the mouse to interact with items on your screen as you would use your hands to interact with objects in the physical world. You can move objects, open them, change them, or throw them away, among other things.

While your mouse should just work when you start up your computer, you can make some changes to its functionality and to the look and behavior of your mouse pointer. For example, you can switch the role of the buttons on your mouse, or adjust the speed of double-clicking. For the mouse pointer, you can change its appearance, improve its visibility, or set it to be hidden when you are typing.

Make changes to the mouse and mouse pointers in the Mouse Control Panel. To open Mouse, click Start, click Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Mouse.

The mouse buttons

A mouse has a primary and secondary mouse button. Use the primary mouse button to select and click items, position the cursor in a document, and drag items.

Use the secondary mouse button to display a menu of tasks or options that change depending on where you click. This menu is useful for completing tasks quickly. Clicking the secondary mouse button is called right-clicking.

The primary mouse button is normally the left button on the mouse. On a trackball, the primary mouse button is normally the lower button.

You can reverse the buttons and use the right mouse button as the primary button. Click here to see information on reversing the buttons.

Most mice now include a wheel that helps you to scroll through documents more easily. The wheel may also act as a third button.

Tips for using the mouse buttons and wheel

To click, point to an object on the screen and quickly press and release the primary button.

To double-click, point to an object on the screen and quickly press and release the primary button twice. If you have trouble double-clicking, you can often perform the same task by right-clicking the object and then clicking the first option on the menu that appears.

To drag an object, move your pointer over an object on the screen, click and hold the primary button, move the object to a new location, and then release the primary button.

To display shortcut menus, point to an object on the screen, and then click the secondary button.

If your button has a wheel, roll the wheel with your forefinger to move up or down in a document or on a Web page.

See your mouse or trackball documentation for more information about using the buttons and wheel.

Adjust the speed of your mouse pointer

Activate the mouse wheel

Change the number of mouse clicks required to open items

Turn on MouseKeys

Windows keyboard shortcuts overview

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