Is A Mouse An Input Or Output Device?

A mouse is an integral part of a computer system. These devices have evolved over the years, from being two separate wheels to becoming cordless gadgets that use optical technology to move and select items on your computer screen.

But what type of device is a mouse? Is it an input or output device? Or does it fit in the category of output devices?

We invite you to read our article today. It’s an in-depth article that will help you understand what type of device a mouse is. Additionally, we will also try to answer more questions you may have about this device, such as the functions of a mouse, among other details. So, let’s get right into it.

What kind of device is a mouse and why is it such?

Next time someone asks you what type of device a mouse is, be sure to say that it’s an input device. Remember that an input device gives instructions to a computer or other device, and that is what the mouse does.

Whether playing a video game or doing a simple task such as dragging or selecting an item, you are using the mouse to send instructions to the computer and tell it what to do.

Aside from that, a mouse can never receive any instructions from the computer; hence, this disqualifies it as an output device.

What is a mouse of a computer and what’s its function?

A mouse is a handheld device that controls the cursor or pointer on the screen when the user moves it on a flat surface. It sends an electrical signal to the computer, and it’s up to the computer to interpret the instruction, compute it, and provide a human-readable output via the screen.

The gadget gets its name from the mouse (the animal) because of its size and the cable, which is similar to the rodent’s tail.

Over the years, these devices have evolved from metal balls rolled on two wheels coated with rubber to wireless gadgets that use laser beams to move the pointer.

Modern mice come with basic features: two buttons (right and left button) and a scroll wheel. The device can have extra buttons for added functionality, such as the DPI Button that you can use to change the mouse’s sensitivity.

Major types of mice include:

  • Mechanical mouse – They use a rubber ball at the bottom to track motion
  • Optical mouse – It’s a modern mouse that uses laser beams to detect movement
  • Wireless mouse – They connect to a computer using a USB receiver or Bluetooth connection

The main function of the mouse, other than controlling the pointer, was to reduce keyboard usage. If you have to rely on the keyboard alone, selecting an item can be cumbersome. Therefore, the mouse provides a simple way to select items on your screen and efficiently navigate from one part of the screen to another.

Other notable functions include:

  • Dragging and dropping an item from one point to another
  • Scrolling through a page

What other devices does a mouse work with?

Apart from your computer, your mouse can function as an input device with your smart TVs, tablets, and smartphones. They are an ideal alternative if you have an issue with your remote control device or touch screens.

You can connect the mouse to the device using a Bluetooth connection, USB cable, or a USB receiver.

Interesting reads:
Is a speaker an input or output device?
– Is A Microphone An Input Or Output Device?

What makes a mouse noisy or silent? Noise output device?

Any ordinary mouse will make a noise whenever you click any of the buttons. When the different components of the device touch each other, you will hear this noise.

Maybe that noise is the output of the mouse if you think about it.

However, nowadays, manufacturers are finding ways to ensure that this annoying sound is not audible. They use new mechanisms and materials that cushion the sound; hence, you can use the mouse in a public place or at night when everyone else is sleeping.

Some of the silent mice you can get in the market include:

  1.       Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Large Mouse (Link to Amazon to check price and availability)
  2.       ShhhMouse Wireless Ergonomic Mouse (Link to Amazon to check price and availability)
  3.       VEGCOO C10 Wireless Gaming Mouse (Link to Amazon to check price and availability)
  4.   Emopeak Silent Wireless Mouse(Link to Amazon to check price and availability)

What are some examples of input devices that act like a mouse?

Computer mice fall in the category of pointing input devices. It’s, by far, the most common pointing device, but you can find other inventions that function like it. They include:

  • joysticks
  • mouse touchpads for laptops
  • drawing tablets
  • game steering wheels
  • light pen
  • trackball
  • optical card reader
  • stylus
  • touch screen
  • and the keyboard


That’s all that we had for you today. We are grateful that you got to the end of this article. We hope that you now understand what a mouse is, why a mouse falls into the category of input devices, and some of the notable functions of this device.