Inaccuracy/latency of wired mouse on my Mac driving me insane
April 27, 2016 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I use a hardwire-connected (NOT wireless) mouse (Targus, probably older) with a MacBook Air running El Capitan 10.11.3, connected via USB through my (also) USB-connected keyboard. The response/latency of the mouse is driving me crazy! Help!

I can't tolerate the trackpad, and use the mouse because I like the ability to right click (in addition to just being more comfortable with a mouse). What's the biggest influence on the latency/precision response on the mouse?

Is it the fact that the mouse is connected to the keyboard (which is connected to the Mac), all via USB?
Is it the crappy mousepad I have?
Is it the older mouse?

Trying to find the fastest route to some relief.

Thanks!
posted by eggman to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
I'd try some experiments to eliminate possibilities:

Is it the USB passthrough?
Plug the keyboard into one of the Macbook Air's USB ports, plug the mouse into the other.

Is it the mousepad?
Try it on a hard surface without the mousepad.

Is it the older mouse?
Borrow a different make & model mouse. Or get an Amazon Basics USB corded mouse for ~$8.
posted by bluecore at 10:00 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is this a new thing, do you also have a Bluetooth or other wireless mouse that may be in range and powered? I had some similar problems with a mac being confused by input from two different mice, one I didn't realize was there.

Also possible, make sure there is not hair or other junk accumulating in front of the mouse's optical sensor.
posted by Across the pale parabola of joy at 10:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the mousepad test, it needs to be a hard, non-mirrored surface: no glass or mirrors. A normal sheet of paper in any color should work fine as long as there's no ultrafine pattern on it.

And, not that a mouse isn't preferable, but the trackpad is right-clickable -- you click while two fingers are on the pad. Takes a little practice to learn, but it's handy during a mouse casualty like this. There are also 3- and 4- fingered gestures that Macbooks can benefit from.

If you find it's the usb passthrough that's not working (per bluecore's test, above -- and I would leave the keyboard unplugged during the test as an additional precaution against interference), you may find yourself short of USB ports. Get a USB hub to supplement them. Depending on the age of your Mac, you may need USB 3.0. Look into the USB port-- if you see blue plastic parts, then you've got USB 3.0. Get a hub accordingly. (USB 2.x hubs will work fine, but with less performance than 3.0; it won't make a difference for kbd/mouse, but it can definitely make a difference if you're using external hard-drives or flash drives.)
posted by Sunburnt at 10:54 AM on April 27, 2016


The current Apple bluetooth mouse (the Magic Mouse 2) is really nice. Despite looking featureless it supports scrolling when you stroke the top surface, and also right clicking. It is not laggy.
posted by w0mbat at 12:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


you can also check your mouse settings in the system preferences and see if messing with your speed and tracking settings helps.
posted by koroshiya at 1:06 PM on April 27, 2016


So I think it was the USB passthrough (the keyboard) that was causing most of the problems. I swapped out the mouse itself and plugged directly in to a USB port and that seemed to resolve the majority of the issue.

Thanks!
posted by eggman at 1:53 PM on April 27, 2016


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