How to Fix a Touchpad Mouse That Jumps

By Amanda Kondolojy

If you are a frequent user of a notebook or netbook computer, then you likely use a touchpad to navigate your computer's on-screen cursor. However, there are a number of issues that can cause your cursor to seem jumpy or unresponsive. To find what is causing these issues, you can troubleshoot both your hardware and your operating system and find a solution to the problem.

Step 1

Turn your computer off and then clean your touchpad. Dampen a clean cloth with some isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and then pat the pad dry with a paper towel. Even a small stain or sticky spot can throw off your touchpad's sensitivity, so it is vital that the pad remain clean of all extraneous substances.

Step 2

Re-calibrate your touchpad. Go to the hardware section of the "Mouse" utility (in the Control Panel) and find the device settings. There should be an "Advanced Settings" or "Calibration" utility under this tab. Follow the prompts to calibrate your touchpad for maximum efficiency.

Step 3

Use manual troubleshooting wizard. If you suspect that your computer's software or drivers are at fault, run the manual troubleshooting wizard. Go to the "Mouse" utility (in the Control Panel) and then go to the "Hardware" tab. Select your touchpad and then click on the "Troubleshoot..." button. Follow the prompts to troubleshoot software issues that could make your touchpad jumpy.

Step 4

Reduce cursor speed. In the "Mouse" utility, go to "Pointer options" and reduce the speed. This will prevent the cursor from going too fast when you move your finger on the touchpad, which could be the source of the "jumpy" effect.