Mouse Lag in Video Games after Upgrading to Windows 8.1

After upgrading to Windows 8.1, some PC gamers have discovered an issue with their mice no longer moving correctly. If you’ve ever experienced mouse lag, a jittery mouse pointer, or your mouse freezing, you know how frustrating this can be. (Especially when you’re just about to shoot a virtual enemy in a game.) Microsoft has released a few fixes and workarounds.

The three following issues are addressed by a fix we have provided in KB 2908279:

  1. Mouse jitters (jumps forward and back) as you move it through a game – This occurs in some games because Windows 8.1 introduced changes to mouse input processing for low latency interaction scenarios and this causes some games to respond differently to mouse input than in previous releases of Windows.
  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. Note: if you previously encountered issues with measuring the polling rate you will need to follow the instructions in KB 2908279 to ensure that, not only the patch is installed, but also the app used to measure the polling rate has an appropriate registry entry to enable the fix for that specific executable.

We have also included workarounds here for the following issues:

  1. Mouse may not be able to reach all areas of the game window – This may occur with games that do not use DirectX, when run in window mode. See KB 2907016 for the workaround.
  2. Can’t left-click with an integrated pointing device immediately after pressing a key – This is a setting for touchpads, like those used on laptops, to make typing easier. You can work around this by changing the mouse delay to zero, but this may make typing more difficult. For instructions to change the setting, see KB 2907018.

Some users have also reported success in older games and apps by turning on compatibility mode. To try that:

  1. Right-click the game’s icon.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab.
  4. Select the version of Windows for which you want to run the game in compatibility mode.
  5. If you want to apply the settings for that program to all accounts on the PC, click Change settings for all users. You might be asked for an administrator password or to confirm your choice.
  6. When you’re done, tap click OK.