Erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour

If your mouse or keyboard is acting erratically or not functioning properly, it could be a sign that a virus or malware infection is damaging your computer.

Cybercriminals use many different types of viruses or malware to infect your device, which can damage system files or change the settings of your mouse or keyboard.

Of course, this may not be the only reason. Outdated or corrupted drivers can also cause your mouse or keyboard to malfunction. Sometimes, all it takes is to clean your mouse or change the USB ports your peripherals are connected to.

Whatever the issue, this guide will help you solve erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour and show you how antivirus software can fix the problem.

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Erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour: Quick fixes

To help identify and resolve any erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour, follow the steps below in order. If one fix doesn’t work, try the next step until you find the right solution.

  1. Check your mouse or keyboard for issues

    Keyboard cleaning kit

    The first step is to check if your mouse or keyboard is experiencing any hardware issues. 

    This can be as simple as cleaning your mouse’s optical sensor or mouse ball and under your keyboard’s keycaps. If your peripherals are wired, a damaged cable can lead to erratic behaviour. The best way to clean is by using a PC cleaning kit or a can of compressed air

    There could also be a problem with the USB ports. Check to see if they are plugged in properly. If the devices are still acting strange, try using another USB port, as the USB on your PC could be the problem. 

  2. Update your drivers

    Windows Mouse and Keyboard Update

    Your mouse and keyboard may behave erratically because of outdated or corrupted drivers.

    That’s not all. Cybercriminals take advantage of security vulnerabilities on your device. These zero-day vulnerabilities allow threat actors to exploit computer systems until developers mitigate them, which can cause much damage. 

    Updating your device’s software can help solve the issue. A software update often contains patch fixes and security patches that help protect your network as developers work to protect users from known zero-day attacks and other forms of malware trying to infect your device. 

    You can update your device through its settings or by visiting the manufacturer’s website. For example, you can update your mouse or keyboard by pressing the Windows key+X > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager Keyboards/Mice > right-click and click Update driver

    If there are any to use on the manufacturer’s website, download and install the update.

  3. Change your passwords

    Norton 360 Password Manager

    If you’ve noticed erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour, chances are your PC has been infected with a virus or malware, and your online accounts and devices are at risk of being compromised. To help mitigate potential malware threats or hackers taking control of your accounts, change your passwords and use a strong password to stop suspicious activity. 

    Using password managers such as LastPass or 1Password can help manage all your passwords in one place, create a complex, near-unbreakable master password and encrypt your information. 

    Changing passwords will stop hackers from trying to steal any sensitive information and your online accounts. 

  4. Use antivirus software to detect and stop malware

    Norton 360 Security and Settings

    If you can’t find any way to solve erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour, using one of the best antivirus software like Norton 360 (from $19.99/year) will keep you safe from any malicious software, like ransomware, adware, spyware, phishing and more.

    That’s not all; antivirus software can provide extra features like VPNs, cloud storage, PC boosters, and more. Norton 360 has all these features and extra security tools that can backup your data, prevent online identity theft and stop malware. 

    What’s more, Norton 360 comes with monitoring features to identify all suspicious activity on your device. It will help detect and notify you about any unusual network activity and stop it using it’s protection tools. 

    Check out our Norton 360 review and Norton 360 Platinum review to see which antivirus package suits you best. 

Why is my mouse and keyboard not working properly?

There are many reasons why your mouse or keyboard may not be working or acting erratically. It comes down to hardware, software or environmental problems.

A dirty mouse sensor or keycaps could be causing your cursor to jump around erratically or press random keys. A simple clean-up can resolve the issue. A damaged cable or problem with the USB port it’s connected to could also be causing the peripherals to act strangely. You should also check the surface your mouse is on, as rough or reflective surfaces can confuse the sensor.

Outdated or corrupted drivers on the mouse or keyboard can cause the devices to malfunction, so keeping these updated is a must. Moreover, a conflict between two programs using the devices could confuse the system, like using multiple devices or several apps. Try disabling one and see if the issue persists.

A virus or malware infection is a dangerous issue that causes these peripherals to act erratically. Malicious software, like ransomware, spyware and Trojans, can disrupt and damage system files. If this is the case, using the best antivirus software can detect and eliminate where the malicious software is hiding.

Wireless mouse and keyboard on desk for Erratic mouse or keyboard behaviour

Can any antivirus software stop viruses and malware?

The best antivirus software will stop malware in its tracks. Not all antivirus software is equal, as some don’t have high malware detection and protection rates or have accredited lab scores to back them up.

However, many high-standard AV protections offer near-perfect scores when detecting and protecting against malware, meaning even complex malicious software can’t go unnoticed.

Services, including Norton 360 (from $19.99/year) and Bitdefender (from $19.99/year), include device monitoring features to help uncover suspicious activity early and offer the tools to fight off cyberattacks.

These services have protection tools that block malicious activity on your device. To make sure your device is ready to identify and block malware damaging your system, set yourself up with an antivirus.

Best antivirus to prevent viruses and malware

1. Norton 360 🥇From $19.99/year
Best overall antivirus of 2023

Norton 360 on Laptop scaled

“Norton” and “antivirus” are synonymous these days, as the well-established cybersecurity brand has successfully fought against malware, viruses and nasty software threats since 1990. 

Norton 360 offers excellent antivirus protection and extra features that make for a valuable, all-in-one security product. Its Norton 360 Deluxe and Premium package may cost a pretty penny. Still, with security across multiple platforms, a full-blown VPN, Dark Web Monitoring, Parental Controls and more, it will have a household free of cyber threats. 

Norton’s certainty of its antivirus software’s capabilities is clearly defined by the brand’s 100% Virus Protection Promise. If a device protected by Norton 360 can’t get rid of a virus, the user receives their money back. It’s a big claim, but unquestionably, no one should expect to get that refund.

If you have the money for it, you can also check out the premium Norton 360 Platinum package for even more online protection, including from identity theft. Without a doubt one of the best antivirus to get.

Read our full Norton 360 review

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2. Bitdefender 🥈 From $19.99/year
Best security features and tools

Bitdefender Lead Image scaled

Bitdefender takes the spot as best antivirus, and for good reason. It’s not enough that it boasts near-perfect lab test scores across the board, as it goes the extra mile by giving users access to a plethora of advanced security features.

Bitdefender goes above and beyond in the features department, all while keeping known malware, ransomware, and viruses at bay. It will defend your device against new attacks, provide security for online transactions, keep you safe with a reliable VPN, and protect your accounts with a password manager.

It’s a no-brainer when it comes to defending your devices against virtually any form of cyberattack, and its top-notch protection extends to its most affordable package, too. Protecting your PC and smartphone, from Windows and macOS to iOS and Android, is becoming even more necessary, and Bitdefender is the tricked-out shield you need. 

Read our full Bitdefender review

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3. Malwarebytes 🥉 From $44.99/year
Best antivirus for Windows PC

Malwarebytes Logo scaled

Hundreds of malware emerge every minute, and it’s Malwarebytes’ mission to detect and conquer them all. Does the antivirus do this successfully? Yes, but there’s wiggle room for improvements.

Malwarebytes’ no-nonsense approach to protecting your devices from the onslaught of malware and viruses is effective for those who need a reliable antivirus that will detect and remove malicious software, especially with its free version. However, while its premium service provides 24/7 real-time detection, conveniently blocks vicious ransomware and shields users from malicious websites, it doesn’t go beyond on the feature front.

That’s no bad thing, as sometimes a user only needs a powerful antivirus to keep them safe from cyber threats. But considering its competitors add a few more security tools, such as data breach monitoring and a firewall, there’s room for improvement. 

Read our full Malwarebytes review

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4. Avast One 🙌 From $39.99/year
Best antivirus for beginners + free plan available!

Avast One logo on laptop

With Avast One, you can protect your device from viruses, malware and ransomware for free. That’s right, and you don’t have to pay a dime for the extra security features the antivirus throws in, including its VPN, firewall and more.

Avast One will safeguard your device from malware, comes with ransomware protection, blocks harmful websites and downloads from the web, scans your emails for malicious attachments, stops hackers from infiltrating your device through Wi-Fi with a firewall – the list goes on. That’s a lot of tools for software that’s free, and the included VPN and the ability to speed up your PC are a welcome bonus.

It’s the ideal antivirus software for home use, as it takes the hassle out of staying wary of cyber threats lurking around, even if you’re not a tech whizz. What’s more, if you are looking for added precautions, its paid Individual and Family packages still boast great value. Hard to go wrong with this best antivirus.

Read our full Avast One review

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5. AVG👍 From 4.99/month
Best antivirus for + free plan available!

AVG Antivirus logo scaled

You can never go wrong with free antivirus protection, but some deliver even better detection and protection rates, along with extra security features, without costing a dime. This is where AVG antivirus shines.

AVG provides reliable protection and only a small impact on performance for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It safeguards your devices against malware, viruses and zero-day exploits, along with blocking malicious links and attachments in emails. Throw in phishing protection when surfing the internet and extra security features such as its SafePrice browser extension and Network Inspector, and you’ve got yourself a do-it-all antivirus.

Sure, you can find all of these perks with Avast, but if you like a slick, darker user interface that’s easy to navigate, then AVG is for you.

Read our full AVG Antivirus review

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