Most modern computer mice are optical. Some may refer to them as using laser technology but the underlying tech is still optical. A computer mouse uses an LED light to project onto the surface of a mouse pad or something similar. 

This light is reflected in what is called a CMOS sensor. All the CMOS sensor has to do is change that reflected light into an electrical current, which relays information in binary. It sounds simple enough and some mice use a laser to do the trick instead of an LED.

Either way, LED lights, and lasers sound like they would generate a lot of heat, especially if you’re using them extensively or using your mouse for gaming. Gaming mice often have a number of lights for aesthetic purposes as well.

So do computer mice get hot and if so, can they overheat to the point where it’s a serious issue?

Can A Computer Mouse Overheat?

A computer mouse should not overheat during normal use but may become too hot if there is a fault. If your mouse is overheating, it is most likely because of an issue with the USB connection on your computer, a short circuit, or the battery in the mouse getting too hot.

Each of these situations can potentially be serious. The mouse should be unplugged, turned off/batteries removed, and allowed to cool down and the fault should be identified and fixed or replaced.

There can sometimes be some heat generated from the lights on gaming mice. This usually isn’t a cause for concern but if it feels like it’s getting a little too hot, see if you can turn down the lighting effects in the settings for the mouse and that should help.

Wired Mouse

A well-made, modern wired mouse won’t overheat on its own. There simply isn’t enough going on within the mouse to generate that kind of heat. Older-style, non-solid-state USB drives may generate too much heat through the wire.

Some internal problems with the USB drive could be a factor as well. It could also be the electrical connectors inside the port causing an increase in heat. You should try your mouse in a different port to see if the problem is just with that one drive or port. 

If it is, you need to have it repaired or replaced. Just because you don’t have something plugged into it doesn’t mean it’s no longer problematic.

Related Article: Can A Computer Mouse Get A Virus? (And What To Do)

Wireless Mouse

There is usually only one thing that’s going to cause a wireless mouse to get hot and it’s the batteries. Even if the batteries are bad, the odds of it making your mouse overheat to the point of permanent damage are slim and none. 

It’s easy to tell if you have a bad battery because it will be the one generating the heat and you should get rid of it immediately. Batteries, even small ones, are capable of exploding if something is wrong with them. 

The likelihood of a AA or AAA battery exploding is slim but it has happened. It can be enough to start a fire or cause injury, possibly serious injury.

What to Do if Your Mouse is Overheating?

The first thing you should do is unplug your mouse and allow it to cool. Try the mouse once more in a different USB slot and if it doesn’t overheat, the problem could be with the USB connection on your computer.

If your wired mouse is getting hot and it’s not the USB slot on your PC, It may be a short. If it’s shorting so bad that It’s getting noticeably hot, then it’s time to stop using it until it gets repaired or replaced.

Voltage is moving along that USB cable, after all, and even a low number of volts can get pretty hot if certain conditions are met.

If your mouse is wireless and getting hot, it could be an issue with the battery and that can be very dangerous. If a battery feels hot to the touch, you should remove it from your mouse straight away and leave it somewhere to cool down.

After that, don’t use the battery again. Take it somewhere to be recycled and get your mouse checked to make sure there’s no fault with it.

If the fault is with the battery, your mouse will be safe to use as long as it hasn’t been damaged, but if the fault is with the mouse or charger it will need to be fixed or replaced.

Bottom Line

A computer mouse may seem pretty sophisticated and, in some ways, it is, but not so much that it’s capable of generating enough heat on its own to overheat the mouse.

If your mouse is overheating, it’s probably being caused by something related but apart from the mouse itself.

It’s not something you should ignore either. Overheating is can get worse and the source of the problem can grow worse as well.