Should I Turn Off My Wireless Mouse When Not in Use?
Unlike its classic wired sibling, a wireless mouse depends on a set of onboard batteries for power. If you are negligent and don’t track the battery status, your trusty wireless mouse might give up on you in a most importune moment.
It can leave you stranded in the middle of a ranked CS:Go match or an important office or class project.
On the other hand, the longevity of the onboard batteries is constantly increasing, often surpassing twelve months. This begs the question: Should you turn off your wireless mouse when not in use? Read on to find out more.
Wireless Mouse Types
Similar to keyboards, wireless mice are made with two technologies – RF and Bluetooth. They both commonly rely on the standard AA and AAA batteries but they differ in the way they communicate with the computer. Also, largely dictated by the price, RF and Bluetooth mice can vary widely regarding battery durability. Here’s a quick overview of each type.
The RF mice use the regular radio frequency technology. They have built-in radio transmitters through which they send movement and click data to the computer. On the other side, there’s a standard USB receiver. The RF mice operate at 2.4GHz, a frequency shared by a wide range of other devices, such as keyboards, baby monitors, and others.
The other major group uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with the computer. Like the RF models, Bluetooth models work at 2.4GHz and use the standard AA and AAA batteries for power. Bluetooth mice have built-in transmitters and rely on receivers built into computers for communication, thus leaving the USB ports free.
In general, wireless mice are slightly more expensive than their wired counterparts (wired gaming mice being a notable exception), though the gap is getting ever smaller. The cordless models also tend to have a somewhat bigger lag, though these issues are becoming less and less prominent with the advances in wireless technology.
To Turn Off or Not To Turn Off?
New wireless mice feature an ever-increasing battery life, as well as various power saving modes. Some of the latest models boast battery life well over 12 months. With that in mind, one can’t help but ask should I turn off wireless mouse when not in use?
The short answer to this question is yes. Yes, you should turn off your wireless mouse when not in use. The first and the most obvious reason to turn the mouse off would be saving energy. Though some might find it unnecessary (due to a generally long battery life), turning the mouse off is recommended.
If you hibernate your computer instead of shutting it down, you should consider turning the mouse off as well. This is because your cordless mouse might interfere with the computer’s hibernation if accidentally moved. To prevent that from happening, turn the mouse off or configure hibernation so that the movement of the mouse won’t interrupt it.
How to Turn It Off
Many commercially available models come with on-off switches. These switches are most commonly found at the bottom of the mouse, next to the battery compartment. They are usually black and have two positions – “ON and “OFF.” When shutting down/hibernating your computer, remember to flip the switch to the “OFF” position.
However, some wireless mice (usually the more affordable models) don’t have the on/off switch. The only way to shut them down is to take the batteries out. To do that, carefully open the battery compartment and take the batteries out one by one. Don’t forget to put them back in before the next use.
Other Tips for Longer Battery Life
Aside from turning it off when you’re not using it, there are other ways to increase your mouse’s battery life. Here are some of them.
- When you’re using the mouse, make sure it’s as close to the computer as possible. This is because battery consumption increases with the distance from the computer
- You should replace your black/dark blue mouse pad with a bright-colored one, as the batteries of your mouse drain faster when tracking on dark-colored surfaces. It is worth mentioning that tracking on glass also depletes batteries faster than PVC, wood, or metal
- Make sure you’re using alkaline batteries instead of the regular ones. Also, it is advisable to get a charger and a set of rechargeable batteries. This will save you money, as well as improve battery life
A wireless mouse, like all battery-powered devices, has a limited endurance which depends on both the quality of the battery and the quality of the mouse itself. Another thing to factor in is how much you use the mouse, as it can have a big impact on the battery life.
Turn off the mouse when you’re not using it. That includes every time you shut down the computer or put it into sleep/hibernation mode. Reduced battery spending, longer battery life, and avoiding possible interference issues make the answer to the question “Should I turn off wireless mouse when not in use?” a resounding “Yes!”