When you boot your computer or in the middle of something, suddenly, you can’t click anything on the desktop screen in Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC or laptop computer. In some cases, you can’t right click anything on desktop too. If that’s what you are experiencing right now, here’s what you can try to fix the issue.
If you can’t click anything on Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Steam, Excel, Facebook or any website on a browser, or other software on your Windows 10/11 desktop or laptop computer, try to restart the software and see if it works. Otherwise, the workarounds below may be able to help you fix the issue.
Fix: Can’t click anything on desktop Windows 10/11
Kill and restart explorer.exe
One of the most common causes of the can’t click anything on desktop Windows 10/11 issue is that your Windows Explorer has crashed and is frozen. That will render all actions including left click and right click from your mouse input unresponsive. Restarting the explorer.exe process would usually solve the problem. Here’s how to do it.
- On the Windows 10/11 desktop screen, press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC keys to bring up the Task Manager.
- In the Task Manager, go to Details tab by pressing the TAB key until it highlights the first tab – Processes, then press Right arrow key to switch through the tabs until it reaches Details tab.
- Next, press TAB key repeatedly again until it highlights one of the processes on the list. Then use your Down or Up Arrow key to navigate through the list of processes to select explorer.exe.
- We need to bring up the option of this process. Since you can’t right-click it, you will have to press the Option key on your keyboard to bring up the options while explorer.exe is highlighted.
- Next, press the Down Arrow key to select End Task, then press Enter key to execute the option.
- This will kill the explorer.exe process. It’s normal to see a black screen now.
- Now, in the Task Manager, press ALT key to highlight File from the menu.
- Press Down Arrow key to highlight Run new task and then press Enter key to select it.
- In the Open field, type explorer.exe and then press TAB key until it reaches OK. Hit Enter key to run it.
- This will relaunch your Windows Explorer.
After restarting your explorer.exe, retry left and right clicking with your mouse. If you still can’t click anything on your desktop in Windows 10/11, try the next solution.
Check your keyboard
Check your keyboard to see if there is any broken keys or long hold keys that you are not aware of. If any key especially the Spacebar, Shift, ALT and CTRL keys, is pressed and held without you knowing, it will make mouse clicking unresponsive, thus causing you to can’t click anything on desktop in Windows 11/10 PC or laptop computer.
You can try to temporary unplug your keyboard from your computer and restart your computer to see if it fixes the issue. If clicking works after removing your keyboard, in most cases there must be one or more keys that were continuously pressed and held without your consent. You may want to replace your keyboard with a new one or fix the problem keys.
Check if there is any software restricting you from clicking
When there is a software that has the privilege to stop or restrict you from clicking anything on desktop, you won’t be able to click anything unless the software is closed or removed.
Check to see if you have any recently installed macro software, keyboard or mouse software such as Razer Synapse, hotkey programs or other software that may have the capability to interrupt how mouse clicking works in Windows 11 or 10. Try to close the software or remove it and see if it solves the issue.
Check your mouse
All solutions in this post is assuming if your mouse is working as intended. If the problem is with your mouse in the first place, you should not have wasted your time trying all the fixes around.
Try to use a spare mouse or borrow one from another computer to see if it works on your computer.
Roll back to a previous date
If all else fails to fix your issue and if this happens is less than 10 days old, you can try to roll back your Windows 10 or Windows 11 to a previous date. For detailed guide on how to do a system restore, read – How to System Restore Windows 11/10 to a Previous Date.
If the Windows desktop screen or any screen totally freezes and not even keyboard input is responsive, it could indicate a hardware issue such as video card failure or a driver issue. When your screen freezes at wherever it is, nothing moves and no input can be detected, it can be a symptom signalling that your graphic card is starting to fail, causing you to can’t click anything on desktop in Windows 10/11.