I noticed my CPU usage skyrocketed when I moved my mouse. And it stays like that for about 10 seconds. It’s quite annoying while doing work that requires fast mouse movement and processing.
You might think there’s something wrong with your mouse and your CPU, right?
So why does CPU usage goes up when moving mouse?
CPU usage can rise while moving the mouse because of DPI settings or a high polling rate. It becomes a problem when the CPU rises to 60%+. To solve this issue, lower the polling rate of your mouse with the dedicated mouse software. If you’re using an old CPU, use a cheap mouse with a 125Hz polling rate.
In the article, I discussed more of this issue and provided solutions. Keep reading to find out!
- CPU usage and mouse usually don’t have any significant correlation. However, your PC might be facing high usage in general which raises the issue when you move your mouse.
- Check whether the CPU usage is high when you’re using some apps. If the usage is not high then you should go for mouse troubleshooting.
CPU Usage Goes Up When Moving the Mouse: Is It a Problem?
Let’s check out two scenarios when there’s high CPU usage with mouse movement.
CPU Usage Going Up to 10% While Moving Mouse:
CPU usage going up whenever you move the mouse is natural when the usage is very low. Look at the task manager and you’ll see that it goes up by only 1-3% at best. Even if your CPU usage spike is as high as 10-11%, it’s normal.
You might be wondering why CPU usage spikes when moving mouse while watching the task manager.
The reason is, when you move your mouse the CPU has to process the movement of your mouse. That’s why when you move your mouse or click something, the CPU usage goes up.
When CPU Usage Goes Up to 90% While Moving Mouse:
Spike in CPU usage when moving the mouse becomes a problem when the CPU does not process the mouse movement as fast. When the CPU usage spikes to 60 to 90% when moving the mouse, it’s definitely a problem.
Another common issue regarding CPU and mouse movement is the mouse lag when CPU is under load. Or when you’re working on something and the mouse doesn’t move as fast.
A similar scenario can happen when you’re playing a game and your mouse doesn’t respond smoothly.
There are a few reasons and solutions to this issue. Reasons include automated mouse acceleration, high polling rate, and a big gap between CPU and mouse generation.
Let’s talk about the reasons and solutions in the next section.
3 Reasons for High CPU Usage When Moving Mouse
Now, let’s go through 4 different reasons why you might observe high CPU while using your mouse.
Reason 1: High Polling Rate
Does your mouse have a polling rate of 500 and above? It could very well trigger a spike in your CPU usage.
So, what is the polling rate? The polling rate is the refresh rate of a mouse every second.
And how does the polling rate affect CPU usage?
A polling rate of 125Hz means your mouse refreshes 125 times per second. And the CPU has to process the refreshes each second. Hence, the higher the polling rate of the mouse, the more processing work for the CPU. As a result, a high polling rate spikes CPU usage when moving the mouse.
Solution? Let’s find out.
Solution 1: Decrease the Polling Rate
Here’s how to decrease the polling rate of your mouse –
- Remove the pre-installed mouse drivers and software to avoid mishaps
- Download the manufacturer’s software for your mouse.
- Open the software, and a window will open. And you’ll see a bar for polling rate.
- Lower the polling rate to 125Hz.
Disabling the polling rate will drop your CPU usage to a normal rate. Now open the task manager and watch your CPU usage as you move your mouse. It should be low.
Your mouse cursor may also be offset in which case you may try resetting the mouse driver.
Solution 2: Reset the Polling Rate
Unplug your mouse or disconnect the dongle of your Bluetooth mouse. Press the numeric keys 4 + 5 together at once. This will reset the polling rate of your mouse. Now plug in the mouse again.
Open the task manager to observe the CPU usage as you move your mouse. The usage rate shouldn’t increase by more than 3%.
Reason 2: Mouse Acceleration
Does your moving mouse cause CPU spike in windows 10? The reason could be that your mouse accelerates too fast on its own.
How Does Mouse Acceleration Affect CPU usage?
When the movement of your mouse automatically accelerates as it studies your mouse movement speed. As the mouse acceleration increases, the CPU has to keep up with processing the movement. As a result, CPU usage spikes from 30 to 50%.
This is a big inconvenience for gamers and editors. Disabling the mouse acceleration will put less pressure on your CPU.
Solution 2: Disable Mouse Acceleration
Open the control panel from the search bar. Or press the Windows and R buttons and write ‘Control’. On your left, you’ll see a list of categories. Select ‘hardware and sound’.
It will navigate you to a new window. There you’ll see an option for the mouse.
A new window will pop up. It’s titled ‘mouse properties’. Look at the bar on top of the window. And go to the ‘pointer options’ panel.
In the first box, there’s written ‘motion’. Below the bar for changing the mouse pointer speed, you’ll see a tickbox. Besides, there’s written ‘enhance pointer precision’.
Untick the box and your mouse acceleration will be disabled. After this, your CPU usage should normally increase as you move your mouse.
Reason 3: Mismatch of CPU and Mouse
You’re using a high-grade mouse, a gaming mouse for instance. And you have a very back-dated CPU, like Intel Pentium or Celeron series.
The CPU usage spike is to be expected with a weak CPU. The reason is that your CPU isn’t equipped with a strong processor. That’s why it takes a lot of CPU usage to process the movement of your mouse.
Solution 3: Change Mouse or CPU
If you’re tight on money, get yourself a cheap mouse. A cheap mouse will put less pressure on your CPU. With a low polling rate, the CPU spike will not increase beyond normal.
And if you have enough money, upgrade your CPU to a better one. You won’t face trouble with CPU usage spikes. However, I can guess how tough it can be to upgrade your CPU in a flash.
So, go with the mouse replacement if possible. But make sure to properly maintain your mouse so that you don’t have to go through the same difficulties again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do You Fix High CPU Usage?
Start by opening the task manager. See which software is driving up the CPU usage. If they’re running in the background or not as important, close them. If the CPU usage is still high, close your chrome tabs. Then restart your computer after saving your work. And lower your mouse polling rate.
Why Is My CPU Usage High When It’s on Idle?
Oftentimes, CPU usage rises to 100% out of nowhere. This can happen because of sudden glitches in the task manager, and background apps. To eliminate the high CPU usage, open the task manager. Investigate which software is eating up CPU usage in idle mode. Close the software by hitting ‘end task’.
That concludes my article on CPU usage goes up when moving mouse. With the help of this article, you can get rid of the annoying CPU spike issue.
Bonus tip, a high polling rate such as 2000/4000Hz isn’t very useful so always keep it low.
Best of luck!