How to Fix Mouse Lag on Second Monitor?

Different sized dual monitor
Different sized dual monitor is appropriate for coding (Source: Pexels.com)

Isn’t it frustrating to find your mouse starts acting odd when you hook up a second monitor, especially when the cursor keeps lagging or stuttering?

The scenario would mostly occur when the cursor is moved from the main screen to the second monitor.

However, there is nothing to worry about as it is only a temporary glitch that can easily be fixed.

Fix the mouse lagging issue by adjusting the refresh rate of the second monitor, updating or enabling the graphics card of your laptop or computer, and repairing any peripheral problem (USB connection).

Cursor lag
Cursor lag (Source: Researchgate.net)

Many users who have been using two different monitors would agree that their mouse lags when moved to a second monitor.

Therefore, it is not a new phenomenon and can be solved within a few steps.

Read this guide to diagnose the problem with your second monitor and promptly fix the issue with your mouse.

Is It Common for the Mouse to Lag on Second Monitor?

It is uncommon for the mouse to begin lagging on the second monitor unless there is a problem with either the monitor or the laptop/computer.

In most cases, the mouse would lag or stutter due to a mismatch in the refresh rates between the second monitor and the laptop or computer.

However, other minor issues may be also causing mouse lag issues, which would require running a diagnostic to pinpoint the exact problem.

Why is your Mouse Lagging on a Second Monitor?

There are a few reasons why a mouse may be lagging on a second monitor.

1. Mismatched Refresh Rates

The mouse would lag when the second monitor has a different refresh rate than the laptop or computer’s main screen.

Refresh Rate: The times per second the display would take to render a new image, often measured in Hertz (Hz).

For example, if your laptop is running at a 144Hz refresh rate and the second monitor is at 60Hz, the cursor will begin to lag after moving it to the second screen.

Refresh rate difference
Refresh rate difference (Source: TechGeorid)

The laptop or computer, especially with a Windows Operating System, usually does not automatically detect and correct the refresh rate on the new monitor.

Therefore, this discrepancy in the refresh rate would result in cursor lagging or “resisting.”

2. Outdated Graphic Card

Another liable reason for mouse lagging in the second monitor is an outdated graphics card or driver (software).

Older models of laptops or computers with outdated graphics cards fail to match the new monitor, causing mouse lag.

On the other hand, the new device models with an outdated driver or software will also cause mouse lag because the driver is not up-to-date.

ZOTAC video card
ZOTAC video card that supports two external monitors (Source: Amazon)

Even when the refresh rates of two devices match, the outdated graphic card or driver could still cause the mouse lag.

Therefore, it is essential to fix the graphics card before trying to fix any other issue.

Find out how many external monitors can your laptop support.

3. Disabled Graphics Properties

Some laptops or computers would have disabled graphics properties, causing temporary glitches with the mouse.

It is not necessarily a problem with the graphics card or the driver but the settings. You can try fixing this issue by re-enabling or troubleshooting the graphics card driver.

Driver disable or enable feature
Driver disable or enable the feature

4. Connection Port Issues

Although a minor issue, the interference with the connection with the wireless mouse may also cause mouse lag.

The wireless mouse adapter’s USB port may be faulty, dusty, or slow compared to other USB ports.

Wireless mouse adapter
Wireless mouse adapter (Source: Amazon)

How to Fix Mouse Lag Issues?

Let us delve into solving the respective issues causing the mouse lag in the second computer.

1. Change Monitor’s Refresh Rate

Start with changing the refresh rate of your second monitor, especially when it is lower than that of the laptop or computer.

  • Right-click on the desktop to find Display Settings.
  • Tap on it to open a pop-up window. Select the monitor from available options that are experiencing the lagging issue.
Dual screen display
Dual-screen display
  • Scroll down to find Advanced Display Settings.
  • Tap on it and scroll down to find Display adapter properties display “number.”
Advanced display setting
Advanced display setting
  • Click on Monitor from the dialog box and scroll down to find Screen refresh rate.
  • Tap on it to find the appropriate refresh rate matching the main screen’s refresh rate, and then click OK to save the setting.
  • In some cases, the second monitor may have a higher refresh rate than the main screen.
  • To solve the lagging issue, you would need to lower the monitor’s refresh rate to match that of the main screen.
Screen refresh rate
Screen refresh rate

2. Update Graphics Card or Driver

It may be slightly trickier than just fixing the refresh rate.

If your laptop or computers’ graphic card is quite old, it will stop supporting additional monitors.

The only solution is to upgrade your device with a new graphic card model.

On the other hand, the problem with an outdated graphic card driver can easily be solved.

  • Start with updating the driver, manually or automatically.
  • For automatic updates, download and install Driver Easy app on your computer and click Scan Now to detect the outdated driver.
  • Click Update to automatically the driver software.

Alternatively, right-click on the Windows logo and click Device Manager to update the driver manually.

  • From the pop-up menu, tap on Display Adapters to open the list of available drivers.
  • Double click on the driver. Select the Driver tab to find the Update Driver option on the pop-up menu.
  • Tap on Search automatically for updated driver software to locate the software update online.
Search for driver updates
Search for driver updates pop-up
  • Once the search is complete, proceed with installing the updated software.
  • Otherwise, search for the software on Google for download if the previous step fails to find the updated software.
  • Download the software from the respective driver’s website and install it to update your driver.

Here is a video explaining the manual steps in detail.

3. Re-enable Graphics Card

It is pretty simple and can be done in a few easy steps.

  • Right-click on the Windows logo and click Device Manager.
  • From the pop-up menu, tap on Display Adapters to open the list of available drivers.
  • Right-click on the graphics card and select Disable Device. The screen will blackout for a while.
  • Now, right-click on the graphics card again and select Enable Device.
  • Follow the same step again if there are two graphics cards installed.
  • Restart your device to let the changes take effect.
Driver disable or enable feature
Driver disable or enable the feature

4. Fix the Connection Issue

Uninstall or eject the wireless mouse adapter from the USB port. Insert it to another USB port and see if there is any improvement with the mouse movement.

Otherwise, consider cleaning the USB port to remove dirt and dust that may be preventing the connection.

Pro Tip: If none of the above steps work, consider installing the latest Windows update to fix issues that may have been causing the mouse lag.

Final Verdict

Mouse lagging on the second monitor is usually a harmless problem that can be fixed within a few easy steps. All you must do is follow the above methods to fix the issue immediately.

If none of the steps seem to fix the issue, you may, unfortunately, have a faulty monitor that needs replacing.

Related Article: Should Dual Monitors be the Same Size?

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