What is a computer mouse?

A mouse is an input device used to input data into the computer using one’s hands. It controls the movement of the cursor which is displayed on the computer screen and is used to select things by clicking on them or dragging things. For a mouse to operate, it needs a fully flat surface or a mouse-pad.

The mouse can move your cursor in any direction in the screen and looks like a robotic version of an actual mouse. It comes with a fist-sized body with buttons and (sometimes) a cord and a scrolling wheel. Mice can be customized for different users differently which makes them a very versatile gadget.

A Brief History of the Computer Mouse

Douglas Engelbart invented the mouse in the year 1963 and named it a “mouse”, because, well, it looked like one. However, it was the Apple Lisa computer that actually used the mouse for the first time. This mouse was made out of wood and had a ball in it to track movement.

This version of the mouse was connected to the computer with the help of cords or cable wires. They used optical technology and a light beam that might or might not be visible was used to track the cursor’s movements.

Now the mouse has evolved into being wireless and changed its form considerably since the first model to suit different people and their needs. Some people today believe that ‘mouse’ is an acronym for ‘manually operated user select equipment’ but it was just named after the rodent.

What is a Computer Mouse Used For?

A mouse is used for a wide range of tasks if you really think about it. It is almost at par with the keyboard and without it, one would face considerable difficulty in using a computer. So let us discuss some of its functions.

  1. It moves the mouse pointer on the screen of the computer to drag, select, cut, copy, etc. when and in whichever direction you need it.  
  2. It helps the user select a text, file, or any folder to work with.
  3. It helps to open or execute a program, a folder, an icon, or any other object on the screen so you can work on it. For this you can single click or double click.
  4. The mouse performs functions like drag-and-drop after you select something to move it from one location to the other.
  5. You can scroll up & down using a mouse when you are viewing a long web page or document.

Parts of a Computer Mouse

A computer mouse has a lot of parts that help it function and perform so many activities. The parts are as follows:


Almost all types of mice have a left and right button for selecting things and performing different activities. Some gaming mice come with additional buttons to carry out various tasks in games. Earlier, mice used to have only one button to communicate with the computer.

Ball, laser, or LED tracker

Mice use trackers to locate the location of the device and the cursor’s movements. Today, they can use laser, LED, infrared light, or even ball trackers. These trackers are located beneath the mouse to calculate the x-axis and y-axis movement.

Circuit board

A circuit board is used to transmit all mouse signals, clicks, and other information and is located on the inside of mouse chasses. It consists of all the electric components of the mouse. It also contains the microprocessor which is embedded in it and is also called the brain of the mouse.

Scrolling wheel

Most mice have this scrolling wheel today which is used to scroll up and down the page.

Cable or Wireless Receiver

This is used to connect to the computer and communicate with it by sending input signals.

Types of Mouse

There are a wide range of mice available in the markets today which makes this an easy device to use by almost everyone. The various types of mice are:

  1. Wired mouse
  2. Wireless mouse
  3. Roller-bar mouse
  4. Wheel mouse
  5. Trackball mouse
  6. Touchpad
  7. Vertical mouse
  8. Bluetooth mouse
  9. Finger mouse
  10. Optical mouse
  11. Laser mouse
  12. 3D mouse
  13. Magic mouse
  14. Mechanical mouse
  15. Ergonomic mouse
  16. Presentation mouse
  17. USB mouse
  18. Gaming mouse
  19. Blue track mouse
  20. Pen mouse
  21. Track-point mouse
  22. Foot mouse


  • Comes along with a computer and no need to but it separately.
  • No need for training to use it efficiently.
  • Can complete a lot of functionalities more easily than a keyboard.
  • Freedom for movement and flexibility.
  • Room for customization, personalization and optimization according to the user’s needs.
  • Wide range of varieties available in the market.
  • Highly portable and compact to store.
  • Best suited device for graphic, designing, gaming and applications areas.
  • Some multi-function mice provide more flexibility for movement.
  • Very little input time.
  • Low cost and cost effective.


  • Need a flat surface to operate and sometimes even a mouse-pad.
  • Need services on a regular basis.
  • The body is very prone to accumulating dust.
  • Dragging operations can be a hassle to some users.
  • Easily damaged.
  • Need space to move around.
  • Can cause pain in alms after constant usage.
  • Are not useful to give text input to computers.
  • Can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Prone to accumulating germs and contracting diseases if used by many.
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Mayank Patel Author At Gadgetrates

About Mayank Patel

Mayank is a tech product expert at GadgetsRates. He is frequently written about computers, laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets.

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