Windows 8.1 causes mousing issues; fix incoming

Still on the fence about upgrading to Windows 8.1? If you’re a gamer, you may want to hold off a little while longer. As PC World reports, the latest Windows release causes a number of mouse-related issues, including jittery movement and lag.

Microsoft acknowledged the issues in this Microsoft Community thread last week. Moderator Naman R explained, "The ‘mouse lag’ issue is actually several different issues that could vary based on the game, input methods used, etc." Three scenarios are being investigated, he says:

1. Mouse jitters (jumps forward and back) as you move it through a game – This occurs in some games because Windows 8.1 handles the games’ checks for the mouse status differently.

2. Mouse movement is not to scale even after acceleration is turned off – If you have turned off acceleration to make the distance on the screen match the distance you move the mouse, that may not work correctly anymore.

3. Measured mouse Polling Rate has a lower reporting frequency than expected – If you have a gaming mouse that has a high frequency, when you test it, you may find it is reporting a lower frequency than you expect.

Those problems can affect games in different ways. One user in the community thread complained of "random mouse movements in League of Legends/DOTA," "unresponsive/inaccurate mouse movements in most FPS (including far cry 3 and BF3)," and "camera lag/jerkiness in World of Warcraft." I haven’t noticed any problems myself, but I wouldn’t want to be caught playing a multiplayer game like BF3 with flaky mouse input.

Happily, a fix is on the way. Naman R says Microsoft is "working to get these issues resolved as quickly as possible," though he adds, "we don’t have a date yet for the release of a fix."

In the meantime, Naman R suggests a number of workarounds, including disabling DPI scaling, turning off compatibility mode, and, for touchpads, reducing the mouse delay setting to zero. You’ll find detailed instructions for these workarounds here in the Microsoft Community thread.

Comments closed
    • christos_thski
    • 7 years ago

    Another poor showing from Microsoft. Having said that, I have to note that I’ve been experimenting with home linux and have been shocked (SHOCKED!) to see configurable wheel scroll speed missing from the most popular Linux distros, still.

    If Linux distros get their act together Microsoft is in for a rough ride, as they’ve been losing sight of their target group lately.

    • jstern
    • 7 years ago

    I’m shocked by the reaction here. You would have thought that a major part of the OS stopped working for everyone using Windows 8.1, rather than some gaming mouses not working correctly under certain conditions. Something that will be patched soon.

    I mean, when I first started reading TechReport it was because unlike other places on the internet, the people in the comment section just seemed more reasonable than the average person everywhere else. Instead we have these tantrums over things that won’t affect them, rather than the reasonable curious people who would be more interested in the technical reason why this is happening with Windows 8.1. Perhaps techreport is getting too big and too many average people are joining.

      • Star Brood
      • 7 years ago

      I’d say a fair amount of users here are using gaming mice, and they are such a common thing that a company as large as Microsoft absolutely should be running tests with them to make sure.

      As for why the issue is happening, hang on while I go check Microsoft’s source code.

        • jstern
        • 7 years ago

        If those heavily complaining where having a problem, then they would be mentioning in their rants. Obviously they are not.

        And your sarcastic comment at the end. People don’t have access to source codes when they speculate what could be causing a problem with software and hardware. I rather for people to be curious as to what the cause of something is, rather than just defaulting to bashing. That’s my point.

          • Pwnstar
          • 7 years ago

          And Star’s point was that we can’t know the cause unless we have access to the source code.

        • LostCat
        • 7 years ago

        Here’s my official 8.1 gaming mouse test: Everything works fine.

        I’m wondering what hardware is actually broken here.

          • Star Brood
          • 7 years ago

          The DeathAdder that I use has trouble even outside of gaming after updating to 8.1. I notice I have to slow down my mouse movement because it skips pixels when it didn’t use to.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            Shhhh. He just wants everyone to know he thinks anyone who complains is an errant child on a tantrum. He’ll be alright once we let him get it all out of his system. Just smile at the nice employees and try to keep him from grabbing the LARGER canned goods. I’m sure he can’t make too much of a mess here in the canned goods aisle if we keep the GIANT cans of peas out of his hands. Oh, look out, he found a jumbo can of green beans. Oh, that looked like it might have hurt…

            That’s right, folks. Nothing to see here. Just a tantrum from someone thinking that because he has no problems, clearly no problems exist. Yeah, another one. Yeah, I know, can’t walk two feet without running across another one, I hear you! Let’s just take this out of earshot because otherwise he’s going to escalate to dumping everything off the shelf…

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      While I agree that techreport has become more polarized and less intelligent in the comments, I feel I may share some of the blame. When I started I was really the only majorly obnoxious poster, but over the years the ranks of the annoying have grown. Now we must cull the herd, starting with everyone that joined after me.

        • Grape Flavor
        • 7 years ago

        SSK! You’re back! It’s been a while, welcome!

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        At least you acknowledge your role. Now you must account for your actions. Paypal offerings will do nicely.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 7 years ago

      There seems to be a huge influx of people lately whose only reason for being on TR is to hysterically rant about how much they hate Microsoft. Of the upvoted “Top Comments” on the side of the page, it’s not uncommon for ALL of them to be snarky Microsoft bashing.

      I find this so offputting that I’ve started to avoid coming here. Not merely because I do not hate Microsoft with such fervor, but because it is drowning out by volume all other discussion on the site. It is tired, predictable, and repetitive, and frankly I resent having to scroll through it all to get to the interesting discussion that was dominant in the good old days.

    • FireGryphon
    • 7 years ago

    The questionable choices and the outright blunders are not the hallmark of a veteran company that’s been at the top of their field for the last 30 years.

    After confidently winning the last 20 years of “PC vs. Mac” arguments, I’m shocked at the last few years of products from Microsoft. Up to and including Windows 7, I preferred the OS for its usability, customization, and compatibility with huge numbers of programs. Everything from Windows 8 onward seems like it’s from a different company, not the Microsoft I knew.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 7 years ago

    Look’s like the left click doesn’t know what the right click is doing at Microsoft these days.

    • credible
    • 7 years ago

    Well that explains my weird camera issues in wow, but I had the new monitor and mouse so I was not sure, this is exactly what I am experiencing.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    See it wasn’t AMD’s drivers after all πŸ˜‰

      • Pwnstar
      • 7 years ago

      Heh…

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 7 years ago

    I’m certainly not trying to downplay this, but if “disabling DPI scaling” is a work-around to some of these issues I’m guessing the majority of desktop users are not actually experiencing those ones as there are few desktop monitors available with a high enough DPI to trigger scaling in Windows.

    And let’s not pretend that DPI scaling and mice has worked well on any previous iteration of Windows either… IIRC Starcraft 2 for instance the menu is completely misaligned and unusable if DPI scaling is >125%. In fact, few games have even tested let alone properly supported DPI scaling to date, so I’m not surprised in the slightest to hear of these issues. I doubt they are very new TBH, just Windows 8.1 claims better support for DPI scaling and with the increased focus on mobile high DPI displays I imagine they are being looked at somewhat more seriously now.

    That said, #1 definitely sounds the most serious and like an “actual issue”. The way #3 is worded it’s not clear whether there’s an actual issue or just the typical ways of measuring stuff are no longer producing reliable results (perhaps due to the tick-less kernel changes? One would have assumed that would affect 8.0 as well though). I wouldn’t be surprised if it was related to power saving features though, as high polling rates are fundamentally a bad idea unless you’re actively running a game. Really the whole way that mice interact with operating systems needs a re-think if people actually need to run them at 500+Hz. Polling is completely unacceptable at those rates going forward.

      • rodalpho
      • 7 years ago

      DPI scaling has been available for a very long time, but they changed the implementation in windows 8.1 to support multiple monitors with different scales.

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 7 years ago

        I’m well aware of that (and Win 8.1 adds additional scaling levels like 2x), but not sure how it affects my statements… my point was that games and DPI scaling have never worked well, not that DPI scaling is new.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Yup, some programs don’t work well with scaling, but that’s not MS’s fault, it’s the program’s.

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 7 years ago

        Agreed, although one could make an argument that the 200% case in 8.1 can probably be handled entirely in the OS (like on OSX).

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    Can it get any more obvious W8 is a tablet OS being force fed to desktop users?

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    Oh, good. I was just about to recommend upgrading a friend’s computer to Windows 8 due to some sort of OS damage sustained from a virus (mild, permanent symptoms, even after removing the cause), but we’ll reinstall Windows 7 instead.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      My rule of thumb would be use 7 if you have it, but if you need a new license, you might as well get 8. The Home versions are the same price, but 8 won’t have a pesky RAM limitation.

      Although if MS is going to keep breaking it…

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        Win 7 Home Basic 64 bit has an 8GB RAM limit and Home Premium 64 bit has a 16GB RAM limit. I don’t think RAM capacity is an issue. Those who buy home basic certainly aren’t power users, and Home Premium has a relatively large RAM limit.

        [url<]http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778%28v=vs.85%29.aspx[/url<]

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, 16GB should be good for most people (and anyone using more is *probably* using a Pro version). It just seems that if you’re buying a new license, you might as well get the version of Windows with a much higher RAM limit.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      This problem does not exist in Windows 8 it seems, which is odd but means that if you got Windows 8 it would be fine.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        No, I couldn’t do that to my friend.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 7 years ago

          friends dont let friends install win 8

    • ChronoReverse
    • 7 years ago

    If your game has Raw Mouse Input then it will sidestep this issue for now.

    Microsoft really screwed up this time.

    • leor
    • 7 years ago

    What was fun for me was having Windows 8.1 try to install on my computer totally without my permission. I let it download, and continued to use the machine for a couple of days intending to install over the weekend. This past Saturday I fire it up, and am greeted to a crash recovery telling me Windows 8.1 failed to install. Who asked it to try? It then “restored my previous version of windows” and I came to a blank desktop. I had to reboot 3 times all the while wondering if my windows install was destroyed before the computer started to work again.

    Fun times.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    This is Microsoft’s answer to the question some people have asked, “Why do we need SteamOS?”

    Rephrased, their answer translates from bug-ese to, “Because Microsoft doesn’t even QA their own OS for mouse users now.”

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Why do we need SteamOS when we have Windows 7?

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        Why do we need Windows 7 when we have Windows XP?

        Microsoft will eventually drop support for 7 just because they are a company, and eventually you have to stop supporting old products so that you have the resources for your new ones. The concern is that MS will continue to diverge from Windows 7, potentially developing an OS that gamers simply refuse to use. That is where SteamOS comes in…

        Side note, every time I see XP, I mentally imagine the emoticon instead of the actual name, making Windows XP one of the funniest OS names ever.

          • Flying Fox
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Why do we need Windows 7 when we have Windows XP?[/quote<] The hacked-up XP64 aside, I do want to use more than 3.25gigs of RAM?

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            The underlying kernel of Windows 8 and 8.1 are better than Windows 7. I want to use the underlying, improved tech of 8/8.1 over 7 just like we both want to use more memory in Windows 7.

            I just don’t see why Microsoft insists on taking a dump on the best version of Windows by saddling it with Metro/Modern UI and not QA’ing the absurd changes it makes NOT OPTIONAL for the most common users of Windows: mouse users.

            Windows 8.1 is 80% great (but all the great is the invisible part that’s beneath all the horrible user interface changes), but that last 20% has such a horrible stench that it overwhelms the entire olfactory profile of the entire OS.

            If they had released Windows 8.1 with JUST Windows 7’s UI (just a straight up C&P) and called it Windows 7.8, you would see everyone installing it because it would be fantastic. Look at the improvements Windows 8/8.1 have done for Battlefield 4 versus Windows 7 running it.

            Windows 7.8 would sell gangbusters. Seriously.

    • Star Brood
    • 7 years ago

    This explains a lot.

    • lethal
    • 7 years ago

    No guys, you have it all wrong.

    This is all part of MS plan to make people buy new consoles:

    “See? This controller actually responds like it should, not like that crappy mouse thing on windows that makes me miss on COD”.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      1/10

    • ascus
    • 7 years ago

    Gee MS, if you don’t want people use mouse anymore, stop being so obvious about it…

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      At least two of these mice were designed to double as doorstops. Or the contrary.

      One of them is even beautiful.

      [url<]http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/windows-8-compatible-hardware[/url<] What could possibly be more obvious than that?

        • Firestarter
        • 7 years ago

        Oh man, decades of ergonomically sound mice that sell by the millions are right there on their desks as inspiration and all they can come up with is a stinking [i<]wedge?[/i<]

    • rodalpho
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve seen this same problem in win8.1. It shows up in world of warcraft as a quick unintentional movement, like you pushed the camera all the way up, even though you didn’t, which is very jarring and caused my character to die a couple times. This happens intermittently, and there’s no clear trigger for when it will happen.

    I tried various things to fix it, including the compatibility mode for windows 8 and disabling DPI scaling on the executable (not the launcher, wow-64.exe) from other posts about the same problem. They did not work. What actually worked for me was going into the logitech setpoint settings and telling it to use logitech’s mouse movement implementation, rather than the OS. Obviously if you don’t have a logitech mouse that won’t work for you.

      • Duct Tape Dude
      • 7 years ago

      Is it only in-game? I can’t seem to replicate anything mentioned in the article.

      (Or at least it’s not bad enough for me to notice across two gaming mice and a touchpad)

        • rodalpho
        • 7 years ago

        Yes, it’s only in games.

    • talos_2002
    • 7 years ago

    It’s hard to have their attention and make them recognise a problem when it happens just to some people. Good that they acknowledge this one (a bit late though).
    Hopefully they will do the same for a not so rare text display issue. I ‘m one of the unlucky guys…
    [url<]http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-performance/poor-font-rendering-in-windows-8-blurry-text/f52a2002-d748-485c-8b9c-4862806ea94a[/url<]

      • oldog
      • 7 years ago

      My personal fix… When I fresh install a Win OS I always seem to get “blurry text”. The way that seems to help me improve the text resolution is to navigate to “system” in the control panel and open the “advanced system settings”. Under performance settings I uncheck “smooth edges of screen fonts”. After that I right click on the desk top and click on screen resolution and then click “make text and other item larger or smaller:. Then click “adjust clear type text”. Re-check the “turn on clear type” and “next” through to the end and finally hit “finish”.

      Voila. The type on the screen is suddenly much less blurry. By the way if you go back and check the “smooth edges of screen fonts” it is checked again. Go figure.

      Anyways, I found this helps going all the way back to Vista.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    “It ain’t broke, so let’s fix it!”

    ::sigh:: , at least now I know why my mouse occasionally goes all wibbly.

      • Ari Atari
      • 7 years ago

      Same here, and I thought it was the mouse.

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 7 years ago

    It’s bad enough we already have to use 3rd party mouse fixes to remove mouse acceleration from their OS (CPL mouse fix, MarkC mouse fix), now they go and screw it up even more…

    MS, I am disappoint.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    My coffee doesn’t taste any good as it used to since upgrading to 8.1 FIX IT MSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Goofus Maximus
      • 7 years ago

      … and why are you using your install media as a coffee filter, anyway?

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        It was download only, so there’s no install media. That’s the problem. πŸ™‚

          • stdRaichu
          • 7 years ago

          Ah, is that why so many new computers no longer come with cup holders?

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like MS is betting on steamOS being the future of gaming on PC πŸ˜›

      • alexandros
      • 7 years ago

      Seriously. I don’t think they realize the danger here, if Valve play their cards right we could see a massive gamer exodus from Windows in a few years.

        • ClickClick5
        • 7 years ago

        [styleOfGregorianChant] Xbox One will pave the way….mmmmm….Microsoft is for “gamers”. [/styleOfGregorianChant]

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 7 years ago

          oh yea. chant it, brother!

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 7 years ago

      Not if they sink Mantle and continue to make DirectX competitive against OpenGL…

      • hoboGeek
      • 7 years ago

      Microsoft’s next move is to hire Jedis to wave their two fingers in your face while saying “You will not use Steam OS for gaming”.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        I see more Emperor in Microsoft’s actions.

        “It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this Metro. I love Options. I love the Freedom of choice. Once this (Android) crisis has abated, I will lay down the limitations you have allowed me!”

        Alas, it is not meant to be.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 7 years ago

      The hilarious thing about that is that Valve has explicitly stated that SteamOS is going to be designed first and foremost to be used sitting in the living room with a controller.

      Oh the sad irony of all the KB+M worshipping MS hateboys who resent the optional touch-friendly interface added into Windows 8 so much, that they’ll flee to an operating system designed entirely for use on the TV with a controller.

      Then again, fanboys and hateboys of all stripes have never been the best at using consistent logic.

    • way2strong
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Happily, a fix is on the way. ... "we don’t have a date yet for the release of a fix."[/quote<] I don't think I'd describe that as 'on the way'.

      • willg
      • 7 years ago

      Defecation has the same promise and delivery schedule.

    • alexandros
    • 7 years ago

    For heaven’s sake Microsoft, get your shit in order. At this point it’s like you want people to hate your OS.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      We’ve had to kludge Microsoft’s incompetence with mouse input since the days of XP, or whenever that stupid “enhance pointer precision” feature first appeared.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        If only there were a setting to disable it…

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          I know man, I just uncheck the box and…

          [quote<]2. Mouse movement is not to scale even after acceleration is turned off – If you have turned off acceleration to make the distance on the screen match the distance you move the mouse, that may not work correctly anymore.[/quote<] ... oh

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            The post to which I replied said ‘every Windows since XP’, this article and your quote is specifically about 8.1.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          The setting to disable it was broken under XP, which is why registry workarounds existed.
          The exact same problem resurfaced in Early Vista and mouse-mapping in 7/8 is still broken because the slider for 1:1 mousing is in the middle of an unmarked, non-linear scale, not a clearly identifiable setting.

        • Melvar
        • 7 years ago

        Oh, they were incompetent long before XP. Back when Windows 9x was current, the default mouse sampling rate was 40hz, and you had to run a utility some guy made to change it to something faster than the framerate your game was running at.

        Also, I don’t remember if pointer acceleration was in 3.1, but I think it’s at least as old as 95.

      • jodiuh
      • 7 years ago

      So true. How do you fuck mouse movement up!?

        • adisor19
        • 7 years ago

        I actually got so used to the mouse acceleration curve on Windows that switching to OS X and its different acceleration curve was one of the most painful experience ever. Thank goodness I got over that.

        Adi

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          I see what you did there.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 7 years ago

        Well, it’s a touch-focused OS meant for tablets, phones, and touchscreen-laptops, and just happened to be ported to non-touchscreen laptops and desktops.

        Last week, I was studying with someone didn’t know my laptop was not a touchscreen, and she had a touchscreen laptop.

        “Um, excuse me… You’re going to have to use the mousepad…”

        On a flip side, when I borrowed her laptop to look at her work, I didn’t use the touchscreen and only the mousepad.

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