I recently wrote an article on how to right-click on the keyboard and many people found it helpful. However, I was increasingly asked questions about how they can control the mouse cursor using the keyboard. If your laptop’s touchpad dies or your desktop mouse stops working, it’s worth knowing how to move your mouse cursor until you get your system back to normal.
Obviously, the first step to navigation without a mouse is to use the arrow keys and press Enter and Tab to move between elements and open elements. ALT + TAB will also let you switch between programs and return to the desktop. ALT + F4 will allow you to close programs.
For example, when you are on the desktop, pressing TAB will take you to the Start button, where you can then press Space or Enter to open the Start menu “. If you keep clicking on the tab, it will take you to items pinned to the taskbar and then finally to the notification area before returning to the desktop icons. Then you can use the arrow keys to move.
Now that you can move around a bit, let’s talk about controlling the mouse using the keyboard. P>
First option: Mouse Keys
Fortunately, Windows has a built-in feature called Mouse Keys that lets you use the numeric keypad on your keyboard to move your mouse around the screen. It even lets you simulate right-click, double-click, and left-click. On desktop computers, you will use the keyboard to the right of the keyboard. On laptops, you may have to enable Num Lock, or press and hold the function key before pressing numbers.
To enable mouse keys in Windows, open Control Panel and click Accessibility.
At the bottom in the “View all settings” section, you will see the link “Make the mouse easier to use”.
Now click the Enable Mouse Keys box. This will enable the use of mouse keys on Windows. You can also enable mouse keys without going into Control Panel by simultaneously pressing Alt + Shift Left + NUM LOCK. Note that you must use the left SHIFT key as the right one will not work.
Click Customize Mouse Keys to customize all options and settings. You can adjust the pointer speed if it is too slow or fast, and you can also check the box to use CTRL and SHIFT to move the cursor faster or slower, respectively.
Another important parameter to look out for is in the Other Settings section. By default, mouse keys will only work if the NUM LOCK feature is enabled. You can change this value to Off if you like. If you are using mouse keys, you should see a small mouse icon in the taskbar, otherwise it will have a red cross over the mouse cursor.
Here are the controls, assuming you have a numeric keypad, to trigger the mouse keys. Now you can only move the cursor using the keyboard. To click something, first press /, – or * to select the corresponding mouse button. Then press 5 to click or right-click, depending on which button you selected.
To double-click something, you need to select the left mouse button (/) and then press the + (plus) sign. You can also drag items by first hovering over the item and then pressing 0 to start dragging and. (period) to lower it.
- 2 = Down
- 8 = Up
- 4 = Left
- 6 = Move Right
- 7 = Move diagonally up left
- 9 = Move diagonally up to right
- 1 = Move diagonally down left
- 3 = Move along diagonals bottom right
- 5 = After selecting the button it will be
- / = Select the left mouse button
- – = Select the right mouse button
- * = Select both buttons
Option 2: NeatMouse
By far the best option for mouse control is the mouse keys, as you don’t need to install anything and they pretty much allow you to have full mouse control. However, if for some reason you don’t like the mouse keys or they don’t work, you can download and install a third-party program called NeatMouse
I’ve already mentioned this program in my list of tools for customizing your mouse, so I won’t go into detail on it here. It basically works the same as mouse keys, except you can change the hotkeys to something else if you like. It also has a keyboard modifier for scrolling that is not present in mouse keys.
So next time you get stuck without a mouse, there is nothing to worry about! You can easily control your mouse pointer with the number keys on your keyboard. If you have any problems using mouse keys, feel free to leave comments. Enjoy!