I've got 99 problems but the lack of a gaming mouse ain't one

How to fix Windows not recognizing your mouse clicks?

2 min read.

Since I ran into this annoying little issue again, I thought it might be a good time to document it for the next person who needs to google it on their phone, after frantically clicking every single button they have on their mouse, only to realize their computer really doesn’t care about any of that. None of the clicks do anything.

I’ve only ever run into this on Windows 10, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens on other versions as well.

It’s odd and clearly pretty rare, but if you’ve ended up here, you’ve probably ran into it just like I did.


I’ll ignore the obvious possibility of your mouse actually breaking down. If you can still move it around and the issue started all of a sudden, it’s likely not the cables, dongles or Bluetooth connection either.

And obviously the solution below is a pretty brute-force one. It’ll restart the explorer.exe process, which is more or less the thing powering your whole GUI in Windows.

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to restart explorer.exe to make it recognize your mouse clicks again?

  1. Open an elevated command prompt

    This can be done by searching for “cmd” (or “command prompt”) in your Start menu, or if your Start menu is broken (like mine usually is) and search doesn’t work, by hitting the key combination win+r, writing cmd in the box that opens, and hitting ctrl+shift+enter

    Yes, I’ve needed to learn this string of shortcuts because my Start menu keeps breaking, ever since Windows 8. I blame Bing.

  2. Close the Windows GUI (explorer.exe)

    This happens by running the following command:

    taskkill /im explorer.exe /f

  3. Restart explorer.exe

    Again, pretty easy. Just run:


And boom! You should be good.

Did it work? Any other solutions you’ve found? Let me know in the comments -section below!

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