If you are experiencing a problem where you can’t click anything on the desktop screen in your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC or laptop computer, or if you are unable to even right-click on the desktop, there are several solutions that you can try to fix the issue.
If you are unable to click anything only in certain software such as Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Steam, Excel, Facebook, or any website on a browser on your Windows 10/11 desktop or laptop computer, try to force close and restart the software and see if the issue is resolved.
See also: Can’t Login to Windows 11/10.
Workarounds to fix “Can’t click anything on Windows 11/10” issue
Before diving into the specific workarounds, it is essential to first determine if the issue is limited to a single application or if it affects the entire desktop. In the latter case where the entire desktop is unclickable, the following solutions can help you resolve the problem and regain the ability to click on your Windows 11/10 desktop.
Kill and restart explorer.exe
One of the most common causes for not being able to click anything on your desktop in Windows 10/11 is a crashed or frozen Windows Explorer. This renders all actions, including left-click and right-click, unresponsive to mouse input. To overcome this, you can use the keyboard to open Task Manager and terminate the explorer.exe process.
Alternative solution: How to Restart or Shutdown Windows 10/11 With Only Keyboard
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use only the keyboard to navigate through Task Manager and end the Windows Explorer process:
- Press the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously to open the Task Manager.
- In the Task Manager window, navigate to the Details tab by pressing the TAB key repeatedly until it highlights the Processes tab, and then press the RIGHT ARROW key to switch to the Details tab.
- Use the UP or DOWN ARROW keys to navigate through the list of processes, and select
- To access the options for this process, press the OPTION key on your keyboard while
explorer.exeis highlighted. This will bring up the options for the process.
- Using the DOWN ARROW key, select End Task, and then press the ENTER key to execute the option. This will terminate the
explorer.exeprocess, and your screen may temporarily turn black.
- Next, press the ALT key to highlight the File option in the menu, and then press the DOWN ARROW key to highlight Run new task.
- Press the ENTER key to select Run new task. In the Open field, type
explorer.exe, and then press the TAB key until OK is highlighted. Press ENTER 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.
Related issue: Can’t Shut Down Windows 11/10 (Goes back to login screen)
Check your keyboard
It is advisable to check your keyboard for any broken or stuck keys. If any key, including commonly used keys such as the Spacebar, Shift, ALT, or CTRL keys, is being pressed and held without your knowledge, it can lead to unresponsive mouse clicking and cause you to be unable to click anything on desktop in Windows 11/10 on your PC or laptop.
To resolve this issue, you can temporarily unplug your keyboard from your computer and restart your system to check if it fixes the problem. If clicking works after removing your keyboard, it is likely that one or more keys were stuck and continuously held down without your consent. You may consider replacing your keyboard with a new one or attempting to fix the problematic keys.
It’s worth noting that some keyboard software or drivers can also cause issues with mouse clicking. In such cases, updating or reinstalling the keyboard software or drivers may help to resolve the issue.
Recommended Guide: How to Remap Keyboard Keys in Windows 11
Check if there is any software restricting you from clicking
If there is software on your computer that has the privilege to restrict or block your ability to click anything on desktop, it can cause unresponsiveness to mouse clicks until the software is closed or removed.
To troubleshoot this issue, you should check if you have recently installed any macro software, keyboard or mouse software, such as Razer Synapse, hotkey programs, or any other software that may have the capability to interrupt mouse clicking in Windows 11 or 10.
If you find any such software, try closing it or removing it from your system to see if it resolves the issue. You may need to update or reinstall the software if it is necessary for your system’s functionality.
Check your mouse
It’s important to note that all the solutions provided in this post assume that your mouse is functioning properly. If the issue is with your mouse in the first place, attempting the fixes mentioned above may not resolve the problem, and it would be a waste of time.
To confirm whether the issue is with your mouse or not, you can try using a spare mouse or borrowing one from another computer to see if it works on your system. If the spare mouse works correctly, it may indicate that your original mouse is faulty, and you may need to replace it.
Roll back Windows to a previous date
If none of the aforementioned solutions resolve the issue, you can try rolling back your Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system to a previous date. This can be done through a system restore, which will revert your system to a previous state when it was working correctly.
For detailed guidance on how to perform a system restore on Windows 11/10, you can refer to our article on “How to System Restore Windows 11/10 to a Previous Date.”
However, if your Windows desktop screen or any screen freezes entirely, and your keyboard input is also unresponsive, it could indicate a hardware issue such as a video card failure or a driver issue. When your screen freezes, and no input is detected, it can be a sign that your graphics card is starting to fail, leading to the inability to click anything on desktop in Windows 10/11. In such a case, you may need to replace the graphics card or update the driver software to fix the issue.