How To Use an External Mouse with a Laptop

While all laptops sold today always have a touchpad or an eraser-like joystick on the keyboard, when using the laptop for longer periods of time and to make work easier it becomes necessary to use an external mouse, because the touchpad can be sometimes tedious to use, especially when selecting text while editing. Furthermore the use of an external mouse (as well as a keyboard) helps reduce wear and tear on the laptop’s own keyboard and touchpad buttons.

The following guide will show how to use an external mouse with your laptop.

  • Types of Ports. Laptops possess either three of the most common ports that can accommodate a mouse: serial, PS/2 and USB; the serial port, which has nine pins for the 9DB type, is usually found in older computers and laptops; the PS/2 port, first introduced in 1987 by IBM with its PS/2 line of personal computers, is now widely used on all computers; USB ports, first made widespread beginning with the Apple iMac, can accommodate all types of computer peripherals for various uses, and is now found in newer computers, including laptops. However, of the three, only the serial port mouse is no longer available in the market, but adapters exist to allow a PS/2 mouse to be used with a 9DB serial port.

    If your laptop has a PS/2 port, you can buy a mouse that uses that port; if there are only USB ports in the laptop, a USB mouse can be used. 

  • Mice Types. There are several types of mice that are currently in use: ball mice, optical mice and laser mice. However, because of their tendency to pick up too much dirt and debris on contact with the surface, and as they have too many moving parts that will wear out over time, ball mice have been made obsolete with the introduction of optical mice.

    The primary advantage of optical and laser mice is their ability to use any smooth surface even without the use of a dedicated mouse pad, but laser mice (which are more expensive than optical mice, yet yields more accuracy and control) can be used on glassy surfaces where optical mice cannot use such surfaces.

    Another factor that differentiates mice in the market today is that they are sold in both wired and cordless versions. Cordless mice do away with the cable and instead use either radio or infrared signals for communication with a dedicated receiver plugged into the PS/2 or USB port. Yet as with any wireless peripheral, a cordless mouse uses batteries in order to operate; some cordless mice also have a battery meter and power-saving methods that can allow battery charge to last up to a year.

  • Plugging In. All operating systems, especially Windows, can easily detect a mouse that has been plugged in, but some mid-range and high-end mice have included additional software that can maximize their capabilities and functions (especially with additional mouse buttons), such as for increased productivity or for intense gaming.

    As cordless mice always have a receiver plugged into either PS/2 or USB port, to make the mouse work, press detection buttons on both mouse and receiver station to “see” each other.

With an external mouse plugged in, it becomes easier for you to have greater control over your laptop as you use it anywhere and thus become more productive, while at the same time you lose the need to deal with a troublesome touchpad.


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