HP Spectre x360 mouse cursor freakout bug SOLVED

A couple years ago our IT Director asked me to pick out a new laptop for myself. Given that I am a Windows guy and several of my colleagues use expensive Macbooks, and given that I am a remote worker and so act as my own helpdesk/hardware support system, I had a lot of leeway in what I picked.

I wound up going with the HP Spectre x360, a sexy-slim laptop with a 15″ touch screen and a hinge that lets you flip it backwards into pseudo-tablet mode. I think it was about $1600 at the time.

I LOVED this laptop for a couple of months, then the mouse cursor started acting up. It would jump to the dead center of the screen and them streak upwards. When it reached the top of the screen it would reappear at the bottom and continue moving upwards. At first this happened now and again but over the course of the next few weeks it got worse and worse.

I tried all sorts of things to fix it. I started by just tweaking the trackpad settings, then updated the trackpad driver, then disabled it completely, then went through the same routine with the touchscreen driver. Since the problem was somewhat intermittent I thought I’d fixed it many times, but the problem always came back.

Finally I went for the nuclear option and reinstalled Windows 10. That seemed to work for a while but eventually the problem returned, at which point I started thinking that maybe it was a hardware problem.

I decided I’d have to wipe the machine and talk to our IT Director about getting it sent in for service and then never did that because a) it sounded like a pain and b) I hated to admit to IT I’d encountered a problem I couldn’t fix. I set the laptop aside for… well.. 8 or 9 months? I had my own Surface to use when I needed to travel and most of my work I do on my personally owned desktop system with 2 big monitors…. don’t tell IT this since I’m not supposed to be using my own gear.

Last night for some reason I decided to give it another go. A lot of people who’ve had this problem (and it seems limited to version one of the x360 which was replaced by a newer version a while back) keep talking about the touchscreen being the problem, so once again I decided to try disabling the touchscreen. When I was in device manager my eyes landed on the Pen Driver. When IT bought me this laptop she also bought me an over-priced pen/stylus for it. I think I used it once and honestly don’t even know where it is. Out of sight, out of mind.

On a whim I disabled the pen driver and… poof, the problem vanished. Then I re-enabled the touchscreen driver and still, the problem was gone. Now I’m kind of kicking myself that it took me this long to consider doing this but I guess all’s well that ends well. At least I’m hoping it has ended well…it’s only been 12 hours or so.

So if you have an early edition Spectre x360 with a wonky cursor try this:

Windows+X, pick Device Manager from the list that pops up, then look under Human Interface Devices. If you have an “HD-Compliant Pen” driver, right click on it and choose Disable and see if that helps.

Of course if your cursor is as wonky as mine was, just doing this can be a challenge. It was like playing a video game, trying to fight the glitch long enough to get the pointer over to the item I wanted to disable.

Update, September 24th 2018: OK it’s been 6 months or so since I wrote this post and the problem is still solved. So it was definitely an issue with the pen driver. Now my only issue is that when Windows updates (and I put this machine in the Windows Insider program so it updates pretty often) the driver gets re-enabled and I need to go in and disable it again. Not a huge deal, though, and I’m back to loving this laptop.

16 thoughts on “HP Spectre x360 mouse cursor freakout bug SOLVED

  1. Wow, after trying everything including sending it back for 1 month without result I must have done this fix finally as it stopped. My computer was working great for a long time. I was just saying to someone else how I loved using my spectre 360 and the stupid problem came back. Obviously with an automatic update. Getting worse all the time. I couldn’t remember what I did last time to make it go away. I thought about the pen but was trying everything else and saw this post. Oh Yeah! This fix works instantly!

  2. Thank you…I prayed blessings over you just now for this post! This was terrible…hardly could use my computer and I needed it to work this week! Thank you again for this solution and this post!

  3. It’s June of 2020, and the system I just unboxed for a client is an HP Envy x360 15 — but the answer to the super-flakey cursor is still the same: disable the HID Pen Driver.

    Thanks for putting this up!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been dealing with the exact problem for over a year now. I tried everything as you described above… BIOS updates, drive updates, uninstalling drives, etc… So far disabling the pen has worked. Granted it has only been 10 min but already an improvement. I work from home and a portion of my work is graphic design, which having an erratic cursor makes everything very difficult and stressful. Fingers crossed the issue has been completely resolved by this simple solution. Thank you again!!!

  5. You are a fucking legend. I’ve had this problem since I’ve had the laptop but I was in the middle of a shitty mechanical engineering exam while it was spazzing out – was close to smashing my laptop. You’ve made my day.

  6. I have looked everywhere to try and solve this problem! Finally a solution that actually worked!! Thank you thank you!!

  7. THANK YOU!!! I had to have my HP Spectre 360 restored because of another issue and ever since then I have experienced my mouse spazzing out at random times m- jumping uncontollably around the page while blinking and flashing – it was impossible to control. At first, I thought it was the bluetooth mouse that I was using, but clearly it was not. This was the perfect fix. Sp glad you share your fix!!

  8. Pete, I have been struggling with this on our HP Spectre X360 for a long time, today I found your article, it was very challenging to follow the steps ue to “wonky” curser but finally I managed it. And Walah! the problem is solved. It’s been few minutes but what a relief, thank you so very much!

  9. I am so thoroughly grateful you posted this fix and I found it, three years later. My HP Spectre 360 laptop did this over the last day which basically rendered it useless and I could no work done. Solved the problem immediately! Thank you!!

  10. Thank you so much for writing this! I’m not a fan of having to disable functions that should work at the same time, but I will give this a try. I would like to use the pen that came with the machine. I searched on the HP website and did not find their solution very promising. I have only had this Spectre x-360 for a few days and immediately had this cursor problem. I’ve been using a HP Envy for the past few years and was surprised to have such an issue with this newer Spectre x-360. This problem is causing me to rethink my purchase because it is making my work very difficult and time consuming. I am spending too much time fighting with the cursor, ugh! I had high expectations. This was supposed to be an upgrade. Do you happen to know if Model # 15-eb1043dx is a version one?

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