My mouse cursor seems to be skipping around. Could this be a virus?

USB Mouse, Macbook Intel Core Duo 2

  • Do you have any of the universal access features turned on? They can sometimes affect mouse tracking and mouse button click sensing.
    – Richard
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 23:35
  • 1
    This is a known issue on OS X and has been for as long as I can remember. Apple has yet to step up and do anything about it. Depending on your mouse, if you can set the DPI, setting it to 125 really helps a ton (almost to the point where it fixes the problem). You can read all about it here: d43.me/blog/476/mouse-cursor-skipping-jumping-bug-in-mac-os-x
    – user10355
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


It is unlikely this is due to a virus, as there are far more obvious explanations.

Whatever type of mouse, you should first attempt to clean it when movements skip. Dirt might be interfering the laser or other sensors. You can use a slightly damp cloth for cleaning it. A mild detergent could help for greasy dirt accumulations.

If you are using a laser mouse, it might have difficulties tracking movement due to the type of surface you are using it on. This is especially common on glass or other homogeneous surfaces with very little texture. Using a mousepad should improve your experience in those cases.

If all else fails, maybe your mouse is up for replacement.

  • Mouse was tested on Windows and works fine. So it's not mouse problem. Rather meybe problem with touchpad?
    – Digit
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 16:43
  • How do you mean? Are you using the trackpad simultaneously? Also, did you test it on the same surface/computer/...? It would still be worth trying out my previous advice.
    – Gerry
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 16:43
  • I tested mouse on another computer and works fine. Yes, I am using the touchpad simultaneously.
    – Digit
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 16:52

If wireless mouse, the oval plastic thing on the bottom needs to be clean, just scrape off with your fingernail or with a coin, also the button on the top can get dirty, press down on the button, then use a small pin to try to get any dust around the button clean, don't poke hard. U can also try: put a small amount of window cleaner/alcohol on a rag, not wet, just lightly damp, then turn the mouse upside down and roll the mouse around on the rag for a minute or so, that will cause the ball to move around and bring any dust/dirt to the surface.

Assume u have replaced your batteries as the action gets squirrely when the batteries get low.

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