Lost Your Wireless Mouse USB Dongle? Here’s Your Fix

Logitech MX Master 2S mouse

Lost Your Wireless Mouse USB Dongle? Here’s Your Fix

Key Points

  • Wireless mouses rely on batteries for power and connect via a USB adapter or Bluetooth.
  • Some wireless mouses use proprietary wireless connections that require a special adapter.
  • To connect a Bluetooth mouse, enable Bluetooth on your computer, put the mouse in pairing mode, and complete the setup process.
  • If your mouse does not support Bluetooth, you can use a universal mouse USB dongle to connect it.
  • If all else fails, you may need to find a replacement wireless mouse USB dongle.

A wireless mouse is perhaps the most important computer peripheral that you can buy, that is, until you lose the USB dongle. Not all wireless mouses work the same, but generally, they rely on batteries for power and connect via a small USB adapter or Bluetooth. In the case of Bluetooth, you really don’t need the mouse’s USB dongle, although some are bundled with one.

However, certain brands use proprietary wireless connections that do require a special adapter. While losing a dongle is definitely frustrating, there are a few ways to get the mouse working without it. The steps outlined below will walk you through identifying the type of mouse you have and then alternative methods for connecting it to your PC or Mac.

Determine Wireless Connectivity Technology

First, you must determine the type of wireless connectivity that the mouse uses. This will indicate whether or not you can connect it with Bluetooth or if you must use a different adapter. The best way to do this is to look at the bottom of the mouse or inside the battery compartment. There should be a label with an FCC ID, model number, or even the word “Bluetooth.”

For instance, Logitech wireless mouses often do not have a label on the bottom, but they do have a gear logo, which tells us that it must connect to a USB Unifying Receiver. In contrast, a Bluetooth mouse can connect directly to the computer. If there are no obvious ways to identify the mouse’s connectivity, then perform a search using the FCC ID or model number.

Lost Mouse Dongle
Determine the type of wireless connectivity the mouse uses by checking the label on the bottom or inside the battery compartment.


Method 1: Connect the Mouse with Bluetooth

If you have a mouse that supports Bluetooth, you’re in the right place. If not, proceed to Method 2. The first method we will go over is connecting to your computer’s Bluetooth.

Step 1: Enable Bluetooth

On a PC, under Settings, go to Bluetooth & devices to make sure Bluetooth is turned on. If you have a Mac, make sure Bluetooth has been enabled in System Preferences.

Lost mouse dongle
On a PC, go to Bluetooth & devices and toggle the switch to turn on Bluetooth.


Step 2: Put Your Mouse in Pairing Mode

Put your wireless mouse in pairing mode by pressing the button on the underside. Sometimes, the pairing button is hidden inside the battery compartment. Once your mouse is in pairing mode, you can connect it to your computer. Your computer must have Bluetooth connectivity, which is common in laptops. A standard USB Bluetooth receiver will also work if you prefer using a dongle.

Lost mouse dongle
Press the pairing button on the bottom of the mouse so it is discoverable by your computer.

©Randi Putra 20/Shutterstock.com

Step 3: Connect Your Mouse and Complete the Setup Process

Click the “Connect” button when the notification pops up for your mouse, then wait for it to finish setting up. If you do not get a notification, go back to Bluetooth & devices, then click the “Add device” square at the top of the page. Next, select “Bluetooth” and wait for your computer to discover your mouse to complete the setup process. Now you’re ready to use your mouse again.

Lost mouse dongle
Go to Bluetooth & devices, click Add device, then select Bluetooth and wait for your computer to discover your mouse.


On a Mac, Click the “Control Center” icon and then “Bluetooth.” Next, choose your wireless mouse from the list of nearby devices to pair it. From now on, your wireless mouse should automatically connect to this computer without needing a dongle.

Method 2: Get a Universal Mouse USB Dongle

As we noted above, a standard USB Bluetooth receiver will work if your mouse supports Bluetooth. However, if it does not, you’ll need to go another route. Some manufacturers use a special channel to broadcast their wireless signals, but the same channel is often used for all the company’s devices. This is true for Logitech, which uses a couple of different dongles for its mouses and keyboards. The most common is the USB Unifying Receiver, which easily connects a number of popular Logitech devices.

The exact steps will vary between brands, but you first need to get one of these universal adapters for your brand of mouse. You may already have one from another device, such as a keyboard. Otherwise, you can find them online. Since Logitech devices are very popular, we will use them as an example.

You must download the dongle’s control software, which is known as “Unifying.” Then, connect the dongle and launch the application. In Logitech’s Unifying software, you will need to choose the connectivity type before going through the setup procedure. When finished, your mouse should be paired with the dongle.

Lost mouse dongle
If you do not have a Bluetooth mouse, you will need a universal adapter that works with your brand of mouse.


Method 3: Find the Proper Replacement Mouse USB Dongle

If all else fails, you will need to locate a replacement wireless mouse USB dongle. In some cases, you may not be able to find a dongle. Try checking sites like eBay for old or rare USB dongles. Unfortunately, many cheap, wireless mouses have the same problem, and it will oftentimes be cheaper to purchase an entirely new wireless mouse rather than search for a replacement dongle.

Lost mouse dongle
If you have an older device, you may be able to locate a replacement dongle on eBay.


How to Avoid Losing Your USB Mouse Dongle

The best way to avoid going through the steps above is by not losing your mouse’s dongle in the first place. That is obviously easier said than done, but it is also the reason that most dongles are very small. Keeping them compact means they can stay plugged in and out of the way.

If you don’t use your wireless mouse all the time and need to take the dongle out, then you should check to see if there is a place to store it inside the mouse. Many mouses, including ones from Logitech, have a special slot in the battery compartment to hold the dongle.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, your mouse is now connected and working again. If not, be sure to check out our guide on the best wireless mouses. Additionally, you should consider whether you really need a wireless mouse or if a wired one will do the trick. Finally, remember to regularly check the batteries in your wireless mouse, as it can lead you to believe there is a connection problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a USB cable with a wireless mouse?

No, a wireless mouse is designed for wireless connectivity and does not have a USB port. However, there are a few mouses that support both wired and wireless connections.

Are wireless mouse USB dongles universal?

Some wireless mouse USB dongles are universal, such as Logitech’s Unifying dongle or Bluetooth dongles. However, many off-brand mouses do not come with a dongle that works with other brands or models.

Can your wireless mouse and keyboard share a USB dongle?

Many USB wireless dongles support more than one device. Check the manual that came with your mouse, but many will at least accept a keyboard in addition to the mouse.

Do you need a USB dongle if your computer has Bluetooth?

You may still need a USB dongle if the wireless mouse uses a different form of communication. For instance, many Logitech mouses use the Unifying dongle and are not compatible with Bluetooth.

Does Apple's Magic Mouse need a dongle?

No, Apple’s Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your computer. If your computer does not have Bluetooth, then you can purchase a USB Bluetooth dongle.

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