How to Fix Mouse Right-Click If It's Not Working?

How to Fix Mouse Right-Click if the Context Menu Is Not Working on Windows 10

Not being able to use the right-click function of your mouse can be and limiting. Problems with the right mouse button can be caused by incompatible drivers, hardware issues, or corrupted system files. In this article, we show how to fix mouse right-click problems.

right click not working

The right mouse button (or the right-click) is less used but provides one of the most valuable functions on the computer. It provides additional functionality to the mouse.

The primary purpose of the right mouse button is to provide information about what you are clicking on. It is often used to open contextual menus, which are pop-up menus that can change depending on where you click.

Right-clicking a file provides a list of operations on the file or the ability to display its properties. Right-clicking on your desktop background allows you to modify the desktop, and so on.

If the left mouse button directly interacts with an object, the right mouse button allows you to interact indirectly. If your right mouse button stops working, you lose the functionality discussed above. Use the troubleshooting steps below to fix this issue.

Video Showing How to Fix Mouse Right-click on Windows 10:

Table of Contents:

Check Your Mouse

If you have not already done so, check your mouse. Try to connect it to another PC or laptop and see if the problem persists. If you are using a wireless mouse, change the batteries. If the right button works when your mouse is connected to another PC or laptop, this indicates that you have software issues with your current computer.

If your mouse does not work on the other device, open Windows 10 Hardware, and Devices troubleshooter by typing "hardware and devices" in Search and click the "Find and fix problems with devices" result.

check your mouse step 1

Click "Next" and it will start scanning your computer. The troubleshooter will report any detected hardware and device problems. Select the mouse if it is listed and press the Next button to fix the problem.

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Reinstall or Update Your Mouse Driver

The driver allows software and hardware to communicate smoothly. In most cases, computers are not able to send and receive data correctly without drivers. If the appropriate driver is not installed, the device might not function properly.

A faulty driver might need updating or a reinstall. To do this, type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result to open it.

reinstall or update your mouse driver step 1

In Device Manager, find "Mice and other pointing devices", expand it, and right-click on your mouse. Select "Uninstall" from the drop-down menu to uninstall it. Restart your computer, and Windows will automatically install the missing driver.

reinstall or update your mouse driver step 12

You can also try updating your mouse driver. Repeat the steps above and select "Update driver" from the drop-down menu (when right-clicking your mouse in the Device Manager window).

You will be asked to search for updated driver software automatically or to browse your computer for driver software. If you select the first option, Windows will search your computer and the Internet for the latest driver software for your device.

If you choose to browse your computer for driver software, you will need the correct driver on your computer or USB drive. You can find it on your mouse manufacturer's website.

reinstall or update your mouse driver step 3

Another way to update or install a new driver for your mouse is by using third-party software such as Snappy Driver Installer. You will need a computer with a working internet connection to download it. Snappy Driver Installer (SDI) is a powerful free driver updater tool for Windows that can store its entire collection of drivers offline.

Drivers are downloaded through Snappy Driver Installer in driverpacks, which are just collections (packs) of drivers for various hardware like sound devices, video cards, network adapters, etc.

It can also show duplicate drivers and invalid drivers, and it separates the updates that require you to restart your computer so it would be easier to distinguish them from the rest. You can download Snappy Driver Installer from here.

update drivers using snappy driver installer

After you have finished updating and installing drivers, restart Windows 10 for the changes to take effect and see if this helps fix the mouse problem.

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Run a SFC Scan

The "sfc /scannow" option is one of several specific switches available for the SFC command, the Command Prompt command used to run System File Checker.

To run Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search, right-click on "Command Prompt", and select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu to run it with administrator privileges. You must run an elevated Command Prompt to perform an SFC scan.

run sfc scan step 1

Type "sfc /scannow" in the Command Prompt window and press Enter on your keyboard to execute this command. System File Checker will start and should take some time to complete the scan (about 15 minutes).

Wait for the scanning process to complete. If problems were detected and fixed, the following message will be displayed: "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them".

Restart your computer to see if your mouse is working correctly.

run sfc scan step 2

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Disable Tablet Mode

In Windows 8, the Start screen and apps from the Microsoft Store might run in full-screen mode, even if you do not use a tablet or a device with touch. This has caused frustration amongst those using traditional desktop computers with a mouse and keyboard.

In Windows 10, Microsoft developed Tablet Mode, which is not enforced on all users, as it was in Windows 8. Windows 10 will actively notify you of Tablet Mode only if you have a device with touch. If, however, Tablet Mode is enabled on the Windows 10 operating system, it might cause issues with the right-click mouse operation. Disabling Tablet Mode might fix this problem.

To disable Tablet Mode, click the notifications icon on your taskbar (besides the time and date) and ensure that Tablet Mode is turned off.

disable tablet mode step 1

Another way to disable Tablet Mode is to go to Settings and select "System".

disable tablet mode step 2

In System settings, select "Tablet mode" on the left pane and select "Use desktop mode" under "When I sign in".

disable tablet mode step 3

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Remove Third-party Shell Extensions

Shell Extensions are in-process COM (Component Object Model) objects that extend the abilities of the Windows operating system. Most shell extensions are automatically installed by the operating system, but there are also many other applications that install additional shell extension components. One of the third-party shell extensions might prevent the context menu (right-click menu) from opening. Removing third-party extensions could potentially solve problems with the right mouse button. We recommend that you use CCleaner to delete or disable third-party extensions.

CCleaner is a small, effective utility for computers running Microsoft Windows that cleans 'junk' and issues that accumulate over time: temporary files, broken shortcuts, and other problems. It protects your privacy, cleans your browsing history and temporary Internet files, allowing you to be a more confident Internet user and less susceptible to identity theft. CCleaner can clean redundant files from various programs saving hard disk space, remove unneeded entries in Windows Registry, help you uninstall software, and select which programs start with Windows. You can download it here.

Once you have downloaded and installed CCleaner, open it and click "Tools" in the left pane and select "Startup". In the Startup menu, click on the "Context Menu" tab and you will see a list of shell extensions. Choose whether you want to delete or disable shell extensions by selecting a particular shell extension and clicking "Disable" or "Delete" on the right pane.

remove third-party shell extensions

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Adjust Power Management Settings for USB

If you are using a mouse that is connected to your computer via USB, try adjusting the Power Management settings for USB. To adjust Power Management settings, type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result to open it.

adjust power management settings for usb step 1

In Device Manager, find "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and expand it. Double-click the USB Hub device to open its properties.

adjust power management settings for usb step 2

In the USB Hub device's properties window, click the "Power Management" tab and uncheck the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" checkbox. Repeat these steps for all USB Hub devices on the computer. After completing these steps, your mouse should work properly.

adjust power management settings for usb step 3

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Restart File Explorer

File Explorer (formerly known as Windows Explorer) displays the hierarchical structure of files, folders, and drives on your computer. It also shows any network drives that have been mapped to drive letters on your computer. Using File Explorer, you can copy, move, rename, and search for files and folders.

Restarting File Explorer might fix the problem with the right button of your mouse. You will need to run Task Manager: press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard. In the Task Manager window, find "Windows Explorer" under the "Processes" tab and select it. Click "Restart", and Windows Explorer will be restarted.

restart file explorer

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Restore Your System Using Restore Point

The System Restore tool creates restore points. A restore point is a collection of important system files stored by System Restore on a given date and time. System Restore reverts everything to a saved restore point, but first, you must have one recorded. If a restore point does not exist on your computer, System Restore has nothing to revert to.

To use this tool, you must have previously created restore points. With a created restore point, this feature will bring your system back to the previous working state, without affecting your files and data.

To restore your system, launch Run by pressing Windows Key + R and type "rstrui.exe" in the Run dialog box. Press Enter or click "OK".

restore your system using restore points step 1

In the System Restore window, click "Next".

restore your system using restore points step 2

If there are restore points created, you will see a list of them. Mark the "Show more restore points" checkbox - this should display more restore points. Select the relevant restore point (depending on the time created etc.) and click "Next". Do not select a Restore Point during a period when your right mouse button was not working, since you do not want to revert to that state.

restore your system using restore points step 4

Click "Finish" and your computer will be restored to the state prior to the event shown in the "Description" field.

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Uninstall Third-party Software

This applies only to software that might affect mouse functionality. If problems occurred after you recently installed tools to adjust/customize pointing devices, then you need to uninstall this problematic software from your computer.

To uninstall it, go to Control Panel and choose "Uninstall a program" under Programs or press Windows Key + R. Windows will open the Run dialog box. Type "appwiz.cpl" and press Enter on your keyboard to launch the Programs and Features window.

uninstall third-party software step 1

In the Programs and Features window, you will see a list of installed programs. Look for any problematic software that might cause problems with your mouse, and uninstall it. Restart Windows to see if this helps to resolve the problem.

uninstall third-party software step 2

If uninstalling tools for pointing devices does not help (or, none was installed), but you have recently installed new software on your computer (after which your right mouse button failed), try uninstalling this software as well.

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Perform a Full System Scan

Malware might cause various issues on your computer, including mouse problems. Perform a full system scan and see if it detects any malware on your computer. You can use Windows Defender (a built-in antivirus program), which protects computers against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Alternatively, try other third-party antivirus software.

To run a full system scan using Windows Defender, type "defender" in Search and click the "Windows Defender" result.

perform full system scan step 1

Click "Open Windows Defender Security Center" on the right pane.

perform full system scan step 2

Then click "Virus & threat protection".

perform full system scan step 3

In the Virus & threat protection window, click "Advanced scan".

perform full system scan step 4

Select "Full scan" and click "Scan now". This will scan your system for malware. When the scan is finished, restart your computer and see if this fixes the problem with the right mouse button.

perform full system scan step 5

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Update Your Windows

Finally, you could update your current version of Windows: checking for updates for the entire Windows operating system might help. To check for Windows Updates, go to Settings and select "Update & Security".

update your windows step 1

You should be automatically directed to the Windows Update section. Click "Check for updates". Windows will start checking for updates. If there are updates available, install them and check for updates again - just to ensure that you have the latest updates on your operating system. Check if this fixes the problem with your mouse.

update your windows step 2

We hope that one of the solutions above helps to fix the problem with your mouse and you can now use right-click context menu without problems.

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About the author:

Rimvydas Iliavicius

Rimvydas is a researcher with over four years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. He attended Kaunas University of Technology and graduated with a Master's degree in Translation and Localization of Technical texts. His interests in computers and technology led him to become a versatile author in the IT industry. At PCrisk, he's responsible for writing in-depth how-to articles for Microsoft Windows. Contact Rimvydas Iliavicius.

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