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Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Troubleshooting

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Use the steps in this document to solve a wide variety of wireless keyboard and mouse issues.
NOTE:This document provides solutions for some of the most common problems encountered with wireless keyboards and pointing devices (plural term for mouse). If you do not see the symptom in the following list or your keyboard and mouse are not wireless, use one of the following support documents:
Figure 1: Examples of wireless mouse and keyboard products
Wireless mouse and keyboard products.
NOTE:The wireless optical mouse can flash when it is not in use. This is the normal activity of the mouse.

View a video on wireless mouse and keyboard troubleshooting

Wireless mouse and keyboard do not work

If your wireless mouse or keyboard is not working, perform each step in order, checking the mouse and keyboard after each step, until the mouse and keyboard work:
NOTE: If you are setting up your computer for the first time and the wireless mouse and keyboard do not work, look in the packaging material for a small wireless USB receiver. Some HP All-in-One PCs have this USB device pre-installed and do not require additional setup.
  1. If applicable, insert the USB receiver into an open USB port on the computer.
    NOTE:The receiver is the hardware that receives the wireless signals from the keyboard and mouse and communicates the data to the computer. Most receivers connect to a USB port, either directly or by a cable, but a few types of receivers connect to the PS/2 ports.
  2. If the underside of the mouse has an On/Off switch, set the switch to the On position.
  3. Restart the computer. This can resolve the problem, at least temporarily, so that other troubleshooting steps can be applied.
  4. Move the mouse or keyboard closer to the receiver
    The receiver is the hardware that receives the wireless signals from the keyboard and mouse and communicates the data to the computer. Most receivers connect to a USB port, either directly or by a cable, but a few types of receivers connect to the PS/2 ports.
    . Make sure that the keyboard and the mouse are within 30 centimeters (1 foot) of the receiver. If the receiver is attached to a cord, position the receiver so that it is on the same level surface, close to the mouse and keyboard.
    Figure 2: Typical wireless device placement
    Typical wireless device placement.
  5. Replace the batteries with a fresh set of alkaline batteries and make sure they are correctly installed. If the mouse or keyboard is not working, replace the batteries even if the mouse/keyboard software indicate the batteries still have a charge.
    Remove the battery cover to access the batteries. For keyboards, the battery access cover is found on the underside of the keyboard. When replacing the batteries look for the positive symbol (a plus sign +) imprinted near the battery compartment or battery cover. Make sure the positive end of the battery is oriented to the positive side of the compartment.
    Figure 3: Examples of battery placement - your mouse might be different
    Inserting the batteries in the mouse
  6. Re-sync the wireless keyboard and mouse connections.
      Re-synchronizing the keyboard and/or mouse causes the devices to reconnect to the receiver using new identification numbers.
      NOTE:The following connection sequence must be completed within 60 seconds. If the sequence is not done in 60 seconds, start over.
      Figure 4: Wireless receiver without a connect button
       USB wireless receiver without a connect button
      1. Unplug the USB receiver from the USB slot.
      2. Wait 10 seconds and push the receiver back into place, making sure to push it in as far as it will go. The activity light on the receiver should come on and then go off within 5 seconds.
      3. After the receiver’s activity light goes off, press and hold the keyboard's connect button on the underside of the keyboard until the activity light on the receiver comes on again. When you release the button, make sure it does not stick in the depressed position.
      4. Press and hold the mouse's connect button on the underside of the mouse until the activity light on the receiver comes on. When you release the button, make sure it does not stick in the depressed position.
        NOTE:If problems persist after resetting AND there is another wireless keyboard or mouse near, use these steps again, holding down the keyboard or mouse button for ten seconds. Doing this might give the keyboard or mouse a new ID number in case the other keyboard or mouse was using the same number.
      Re-synchronizing the keyboard and/or mouse causes the devices to reconnect to the receiver using new identification numbers.
      NOTE:The following connection sequence must be completed within 60 seconds. If the sequence is not done in 60 seconds, start over.
      1. With the receiver plugged in, press and hold the Connect button on the receiver until the activity LED flashes.
        Figure 5: Example of a wireless receiver with a connect button
         Image of a wireless receiver.
        1 - Connect button and LED activity light
        Figure 6: Example of another type of wireless receiver with a connect button
        Another wireless receiver with a connect button
        1 - Connect button
      2. Press and hold the connect button on the underside of the keyboard until the activity light on the receiver stops flashing. When you release the button, make sure it does not stick in the depressed position.
      3. Press the Connect button on the receiver again until the activity light flashes.
      4. Press and hold the button on the underside of the mouse until the activity light on the receiver stops flashing. Make sure the connect button does not stick in the depressed position.
        NOTE:If problems persist after resetting AND there is another wireless keyboard or mouse near, use these steps again, holding down the keyboard or mouse button for ten seconds. Doing so may give the keyboard or mouse a new ID number in case the other keyboard or mouse was using the same number.
  7. If keyboard error messages are displayed on the monitor (if not, proceed to the next step), you must remove old keyboard software before the keyboard can be used. Use the following steps depending on your operating system:
    In Windows 8, from the Start screen, enter control panel, click Programs, Programs and Features, and then uninstall any program related to a keyboard.
    In Windows 7 or Vista, click Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features, and then uninstall any program related to a keyboard.
    In Windows XP, click Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and then remove any program related to a keyboard.
    Once the old software is uninstalled, use the following steps:
    Restart the computer.
    When Windows recognizes the keyboard, install any new keyboard software.
  8. If problems persist, use Microsoft System Restore to go back to time when the keyboard and mouse were known to work properly:
  9. If the keyboard and mouse came with your HP or Compaq computer, restore the original drivers. Use one of the following HP Support documents for more information:
  10. showhide
    If you have an HP keyboard and mouse, download and install the keyboard and mouse driver from the HP Web site. Look for a model number on the keyboard or mouse. Go to the HP Software Download Page to download the driver.
    If you have a keyboard and mouse that was not provided by HP or Compaq, check the manufacturer's web site for drivers.
  11. If, after performing the previous steps in this section, the computer still cannot consistently detect the keyboard and mouse, download and update the BIOS for the computer.
  12. If problems continue, move the keyboard, mouse, and receiver to another computer. If the keyboard and mouse do not work on that computer, one of the items in the hardware set (mouse, keyboard, and receiver) might be defective or is not transmitting a signal that matches the other devices. The devices might need to be replaced.
    NOTE:Some devices only work together as a set, and it might be necessary to replace the entire set of devices even if only one device is defective.

The mouse does not track well (skips)

If the mouse pointer does not track well, stopping frequently as the mouse is moved, try the following:
  • Change the surface under the mouse. Place the mouse on a light-colored mouse pad or white sheet of paper, and then check its operation. Use the wireless mouse on an opaque (not able to be seen through) surface. The wireless mouse may not work properly on glass, grooved, translucent (light can be seen through), reflective, or see-through surfaces.
  • Replace the batteries. Remove the battery access cover and replace the batteries.
  • Clean the small plastic lens on the underside of the mouse with a damp cloth or cotton swab.
  • Move the mouse closer to the receiver. Make sure that the mouse are within 30 centimeters (1 foot) of the receiver.
  • Remove any other objects that are between the keyboard, mouse, and the receiver, especially speakers.
  • Remove any large metal surfaces if you are using the mouse or keyboard around large metal surfaces, move the receiver, mouse, and keyboard to a new location, away from the metal surface.

Keys do not type, characters appear seconds later, or wrong characters appear when typing

Keys do not type

If keys do not type, the wireless signal is probably weak. Perform the following steps to improve the signal.
  1. Move the keyboard closer to the receiver. Make sure that the keyboard and the mouse are within 30 centimeters (1 foot) of the receiver.
  2. Replace the batteries. Remove the battery access cover on the underside of the keyboard and replace the batteries.
  3. Remove wireless devices that were recently added near the area to see if another device interfering with communications. If so, set the device to another frequency if it is capable or re-sync the mouse and keyboard to the receiver. To re-sync, see the step, Re-sync the wireless keyboard and mouse connections.
  4. Remove any other objects that are between the keyboard, mouse, and the receiver, especially speakers.
  5. Remove any large metal surfaces if you are using the mouse or keyboard around large metal surfaces, or move the receiver, mouse, and keyboard to a new location, away from the metal surface.

Characters appear seconds later

If you press a key and the character you typed pops a second later - this is a lag or buffering problem in the communication/software. The wireless keyboard communication can become interrupted by other communications in the area. It may also be slow to respond if the computer is busy performing other low level tasks - such as scanning for viruses. Use the instructions in one of the following HP support documents, depending on your operating system, to correct this problem:

Wrong characters appear when typing

It is possible for the computer to display characters for the wrong language. Use the instructions in one of the following HP support documents, depending on your operating system, to change the keyboard language:

A key is stuck

If a key is stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace the keyboard. Use the following instructions for a stuck key:
NOTE:These instructions are not for integrated laptop keyboards.
  1. Contact HP if the keyboard is still under warranty and the key is stuck, to determine if the keyboard can be replaced before removing a key. If the key is stuck due to liquid or other substance getting into the keyboard, cleaning might be the only option to try to save the keyboard.
    NOTE:Consider replacing the keyboard if it is a thin, wireless keyboard, such as those used by Touch IQ series computers, as the individual key can be very difficult to replace.
  2. Turn off the keyboard before working on it, if you decide to clean it yourself.
  3. Insert a butter knife (or similar tool) under the key and pry it up.
  4. Use a swab with alcohol to clean the underside of the key, and clean the key's slot in the keyboard.
    NOTE: Insert the small metal support rod found in the longer keys such as the Space and Return keys. This rod must be inserted into the key and keyboard before replacing the key into the keyboard.
  5. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.
Figure 7: Removing and cleaning a stuck key
Removing a stuck key

Increasing battery life

Use the following tips to get more life out of your keyboard and mouse batteries:
  • Move the keyboard and mouse closer to the receiver when it is not in use.
  • Use alkaline batteries when replacing the batteries,. Rechargeable batteries, or other types, might not last as long.
  • Do not use the mouse on a glass surface.
  • Do not use the mouse over a dark surface. Instead, use the mouse over a lighter colored opaque surface.
  • Make sure to set the mouse switch to Off, if the mouse has an On/Off switch, when the computer is not used for extended periods of time (30 minutes or longer).
    Figure 8: On/Off switch on the underside of some mice (not all wireless mice have this feature)
    On/off switch on wireless mouse

Related support links

HP Support forums

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