5 Solutions if You Can’t Click Anything on Windows 10/11

You should start with a simple PC restart

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
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Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
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Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Mice have become so complex that they even come with drivers and updates.
  • However, this means they are more easily affected when said drivers become damaged or missing.
  • We recommend restarting Windows Explorer and the PC before taking on other solutions. 

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Sometimes you may experience issues with the mouse or trackpad disabling the right and left clicks in Windows 10 and 11.

For example, several users have reported that they can’t click anything after booting up the computer or when in the middle of something.

Using a GUI-based operating system like Windows is exceedingly difficult without a touchpad or mouse. The issue is even more common among users who use an external mouse device.

This error can occur if the Windows Explorer has crashed or if you have an old Windows build with a glitch installed.

This article has listed some troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the can’t click anything issue in Windows 10 and 11.

Why can’t I click on anything with my mouse?

Once you run into this error, here are the most common causes:

  • A crash of Windows Explorer – This affects many operations in the computer, including cursor movements and clicks
  • A broken mouse – Here is an excellent place to start because no fix will work if the mouse is broken
  • Corruption of System files – Corrupt files may freeze your computer and sometimes hinder the mouse from clicking
  • Pointing device drivers issues – A quick update of device drivers should be your best bet here
  • Incompatible third-party apps – Not all apps work perfectly on you; if you have one that counter-reacts, it may stop your ability to click on the mouse

Also, you may note that this problem may come in a few variations. Users have complained of the following:

  • You can’t click on certain parts of the screen in Windows 11
  • Can’t click on desktop or taskbar in Windows 10
  • Windows 10 mouse not clicking until Task Manager is opened
  • Can’t click anything on the desktop
  • Can’t click on desktop icons in Windows 10

Regardless of the situation, you should check out these fixes to get you back on track.

What to do if I can’t click anything in Windows 10?

1. Restart the explorer.exe process

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, navigate to the Task Manager using the Tab key, then press Enter.
    can't click anything Windows 10
  2. Press the Tab key until one of the processes is selected.
  3. Use the Down Arrow key on your keyboard to select Windows Explorer.
    can't click anything Windows 10
  4. Since the right-click is not working, we will use Shift + F10 (shortcut for right-click) to bring up the context menu.
  5. Use the Down Arrow key and select End task, then click Enter.
  6. Once the explorer.exe process is killed, you may see a black screen for a short time.
  7. Press the Windows key + R, type explorer.exe, and hit Enter.
    can't click anything Windows 10
  8. This will relaunch your Windows Explorer. Next, try using the mouse to click anything to see if the issue is resolved.

If your Windows Explorer has crashed or frozen, it may lead to the can’t click anything issue in Windows 10 and 11. However, ending and restarting the explorer.exe process can resolve this problem.

2. Check your keyboard for issues

Faulty keyboard keys can prevent the mouse from performing the right-click and left-click actions.

Check if your keyboard if it has any broken keys or long-hold keys that are pressed without your knowledge.

Spacebar is one of the standard keys to break or get stuck on your keyboard. So first, make sure the keys are working fine.

You may also unplug the keyboard and restart your computer to see if the mouse and clicking functions work.

Check the keyboard for faulty keys if the mouse works without a keyboard connected to your computer.

3. Check for pending Windows updates

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type update; use the Arrow key to scroll to Check for updates, then hit Enter.
  2. In the Windows Update section, use the Tab key to navigate.
  3. Select Download updates or the Download & Install option and hit Enter.
  4. Windows will download and install any pending Windows 10 updates.

Mouse-clicking issues in Windows 10 are pretty common. Ensure you are running the latest stable Windows 10 build to fix any problems caused by a glitch in the OS.

4. Check your mouse and third-party software

4.1 Try another mouse or your mouse on another computer

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Disconnect your mouse from the current machine and connect it to another computer to see if it works properly.

If it does, it means that the problem is from the original computer. Check the port in which is connected or try connecting it to another port.

You may also try to unplug the mouse and connect another mouse to your computer. Right-click on any app or desktop and check if the secondary mouse is working.

If the mouse works, you may need to replace the device with a new one.

4.2 Check for a third-party software

  1. If you had recently installed third-party software to customize a mouse or keyboard, it might create issues with the pointing device.
  2. Close any apps such as Razer Synapse or other customization software from the Task Manager.
  3. Disconnect and reconnect the mouse to see if that resolves the issue.

5. Use a restore point

  1. Press the Windows key, type restore, select Create a restore point, and hit Enter to open System Properties.
  2. Press the Tab key to select the System Restore button and hit Enter.
  3. Hit Enter to select the Next option.
    can't click anything Windows 10
  4. Use the Tab key to select a restore point, navigate to Next with the Tab key, and hit Enter.
  5. Windows will restore your system to its state before the date selected. However, the process may take some time to complete, so wait till the PC reboots and shows a success message.

Repeat the steps with an older Restore Point if System Restore is unsuccessful.

Windows 10 can’t click anything problem is most likely triggered by an unresponsive explorer.exe process.

Alternatively, you can use specialized software to try and repair this Windows error. Restoro is one of the best Windows repair software, it will scan all system files’ integrity for corruption or damage and repair them.

What can I do if the mouse moves but I can’t click on anything on Windows 11?

Many of the solutions listed above will still apply. There are three things you should be aware of, however:

  • You can navigate the different options on a Window using the Tab or Arrow keys.
  • Users can right-click using the Shift + F10.
  • You can click using the Enter key.

With these three elements, you can restart Windows Explorer on the computer or carry out any of the solutions listed above on Windows 11.

You probably noticed that File Explorer looks a bit different in Windows 11 but with minor additions, it’s the same app as Windows 10.

And if you can’t click on anything in Windows 11, the culprit is still, most likely, the File Explorer app, and ending its task will help you fix the problem.

Although it looks a bit different in Windows 11, File Explorer has the same core

Why is my mouse not working on Windows 11?

The reasons that apply in Windows 10 are still valid in Windows 11. They include:

  • A crash of Windows Explorer
  • A broken mouse
  • Corruption of System files
  • Pointing device drivers issues
  • Incompatible third-party apps

This concludes our troubleshooting, and we hope that after performing the steps, you have been able to fix the problem on your PC.

You might also find it helpful to read our article on how to fix File Explorer if it is slow on Windows 10 & 11 because it may help you understand the problem better.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have other suggestions or questions about this issue.

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