How to Use a Mouse on Android for Better Accuracy
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How to Use a Mouse on Android for Better Accuracy

For some Android users, the touch controls are fine as is and give all the control they need. For others, touch controls aren’t as precise as they should be or aren’t good for specific tasks. I know that I’d rather have a mouse if I was designing a house (and a dime if I continue to rhyme).

To make this a reality, you can either make use of an OTG cable with supported devices or take advantage of Bluetooth functionality. I’ll explain how to use both, and even where you can get this magic little cable. Be careful: even if your Android devices supports OTG, your USB device may not.

Method 1: Using Android OTG to Connect a Mouse

Starting with OTG (On The Go) USB, you can use one small cable to connect any supported USB device to your Android phone. For this to work, both devices involved need to be compatible with OTG.

If you’re unsure your phone or tablet supports OTG, follow the first step below. If your phone does not support, OTG, make sure you have proper the drivers in place.

Step 1:

Firstly, let’s check to see if your phone is compatible with OTG services. The fastest way that I know of is to:

  • Navigate to your Settings
  • Go to Storage or Memory

When you’re in Storage, scroll down to, or look for any mentions of On-the-go USB storage.

otg storage

This will confirm your device has OTG functionality.

Additionally, you can download the app, USB Host Diagnostics, to confirm if you have OTG functionality.

otg usb host

After running a test in the app, your Kernel and Verdict sections will come back with a Yes or Full when your Android device has OTG functionality.

Step 2:

The next step is to buy, or locate an OTG USB cable. These are usually fairly cheap, and absolutely necessary to use OTG.

Step 3:

Next, you’ll need to confirm that your mouse works with OTG. The easiest way to figure this out is to plug your mouse into the cable’s USB port.

otg in use

If you can’t plug your mouse in for testing (if you were going to buy a new mouse for this purpose alone), you can find out of if you check this list.

Step 4:

If you’ve already plugged your mouse into the OTG cable, you’re good to go. You’ll see your cursor on screen and everything will work how it’s supposed to, surprisingly. Enjoy your newfound control method!

Method 2: Connecting a Mouse over Bluetooth

OTG is a great way to use mice, keyboard, and even gamepads, but what if you can’t get the cable required, or have no OTG support? Where there’s a will, there’s Bluetooth functionality.

mouse bluetooth

If your mouse supports Bluetooth, this is much easier than using OTG, and much more cost effective. Additionally, this makes shopping for a new mouse much easier when thinking of Android.

Step 1:

If your Bluetooth isn’t currently enabled, enable it through your Settings, or from your pulldown menu.

Step 2:

Turn on your Bluetooth mouse, and make sure your Android device accepts it. You can confirm this in your Bluetooth menu.

bluetooth devices mouse

Once your mouse has connected, you’re done, and able to do whatever you want with your connected peripheral.

Can I Connect More Than Just Mice?

Once you’ve confirmed you can use a mouse with your Android phone or tablet, there’s nothing stopping you from using other USB or Bluetooth devices. These devices can be, but aren’t limited to: gamepads, keyboards, laptops, printers, USB drives, and much more.

An OTG cable is an investment that will never go sour, so I can always recommend purchasing one if your Android device supports it. Even if your Android device doesn’t support OTG natively, drivers are still available for most other devices.

Conclusion

There are two ways to connect your mouse to an Android device, and both of them are easy enough to only take a minute out of your day with the correct setup. Once you’ve connected your mouse, you can do everything you could do with a touchscreen and more.

If you have any trouble setting up your mouse, you can leave us a comment and get help as soon as possible!

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20 Comments

  1. Hi, I stumbled onto your site trying to find a solution for my broken screen on my HTC One M9. I bought a 5-in-1 OTG adapter like the one you show on this page https://joyofandroid.com/unlock-android-device-with-dead-screen/ . It works great for the HDMI screen. I can verify that the phone works and powers on correctly. The time & location services are even working correctly but the phone is not recognizing any mouse I plug into the USB port on the OTG adapter. Any ideas on how to proceed?

        1. The mouse lights up when I plug it into the USB port but the cursor doesn’t appear when I move the mouse. Actually I tried 3 different mice. Maybe their all incompatible with OTG and I have to buy a new one but how can I be sure that it’s not some other problem and that the new one will work?

          1. You should be able to use any mouse as long as your device supports OTG. If you have Android 4.0 and Up, go to Settings > Developer Options (you have to enable this, it’s not on by default) > Pointer Location and toggle that on.

  2. Judy how am I able to get access to my settings and toggle it on if my screen is broken and it’s locked. The reason I need to use the mouse is because I need to fill in my password and unlock my phone. For next time just tell us immediately that basically it means you’re totally screwed when your screen is broken, phone is locked and settings weren’t set correctly beforehand.

    1. Hi B.Postma,
      Sorry about that. These methods have worked on many devices, but they are worth a try since you never know. I will keep searching for a possible solution.

  3. How can I solve this mouse problem? I have samsung galaxy s5, the OTG adapter was not cheap (€35) and my locked screen does appear on the tv, but there is just no reaction from my phone on the mouse, the cursor just won’t appear, whatever order or buttons I click. Meanwhile the mouse does show light while being connected to the OTG adapter and works on pc also. Judy says you should toggle something on (pointer location) but my phone is locked so how can I ever do that?

  4. Hi – I have a Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse SE for Surface. I can’t see the point on the screen even with Develop Options – show pointer location enabled. My phone also says it’s reading it as an external keyboard. Any suggestions?

  5. I am having the same issue as above. I have a mouse connected by the OTG adapter and my tablet screen is showing up on my tv, but I can’t get the mouse cursor to show up on the tv screen. How do I make the cursor show up? I can’t access the tablet without being able to unlock it, and I can’t unlock it unless I can get the mouse to work. Any ideas?

    1. Some tablets and phones have limitations. Might you get a USB splitter so you can plug in more than one device to the USB port? Could you try a Bluetooth mouse instead? I am not sure which tablet you have so I can’t be more helpful.

  6. Hi, i have a USB OTG cable and mouse that works fine with my Xiaomi Mi3 android phone. My screen is cracked however it still lights up and everything in the phone still functions, however, as the screen is completely unresponsive, i am unable to unlock my phone and retrieve my data. I have connected the mouse to the phone and the cursor appears and moves accordingly, however, my problem is that my phone requires me to slide to unlock which I am seemingly not able to do with the mouse. Please advise on this slide to unlock feature and how to work around it. Thank you.

      1. Yes, I’m having exact same issue. Phone is one plus one. Otg mouse cursor is moving perfectly but i cant slide to unlock.

  7. how do i navigate to the home screen, and also going back to the previous menu while using the mouse on my Tecno c8 because when i left click and right click it just selects

    1. Use an app to display home and back buttons on your screen. There are many, many apps that serve this function in the Google Play Store. Which is best just depends on your personal preferences.

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