What is a PS/2 Mouse?

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Updated November 15, 2022

If you are new to the world of modern computing, you may wonder what a PS/2 mouse is. Even the best computer mouse in the whole world may not be the correct fit for your unique computing system, which is where PS/2-compatible mice come in. So what is a vertical mouse, and what are the benefits of using one? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A PS/2 mouse connects via the Personal System/2 mouse port, which is a proprietary accessory port developed by IBM.
  • These were used in the 1980s and 1990s, although some modern IBM-compatible computers still include these PS/2 ports.
  • You can find used PS/2 connector accessories for cheap, and they offer a tried-and-true old-school design when compared to a standard USB port or USB mouse.

What is a PS/2 Mouse Exactly?

The Personal System/2 port (PS/2) is a proprietary accessory port developed by IBM if you are just learning how to connect a mouse to a computer. Obviously, this port connects accessories to IBM computers if you are wondering why you can’t see your mouse on your computer. The port features a mini-DIN plug with six pins which easily remain connected if you are wondering why your mouse light is on when your computer is off.

Insider Tip

Though efficient and easy to use, PS/2 mice do allow for a slightly slower connection when compared to USB mice.

This is an old-school connection type, though it is still found in some IBM-compatible computers allowing many to avoid learning the best USB-C mouse.

Benefits of Using a PS/2-Compatible Mouse

This retro technology still has some benefits, even for modern users. Let’s go over a few.

Inexpensive Mice

If you have an older IBM computer with a PS/2 port, you will have plenty of options for budget-friendly mice. You may not be able to find too many of these brand-new at the store, but don’t worry. You can find them online or at yard sales and often pick one up for just a few bucks. The same is also said for PS/2-compatible keyboards. The task is slightly complicated but not impossible if you are deadset on buying new. Look online, and you will eventually find some new mice in this design.

STAT: PS/2 is now considered a legacy port, with USB ports now normally preferred for connecting keyboards and mice. This dates back at least as far as the Intel/Microsoft PC 2001 specification of 2000. (source)

Tried-and-True Design

There is a reason why this type of port was so popular during the “olden days,” as it offers a stable and efficient connection for both mice and keyboards. If you are looking for a simple wired mouse that gets the job done and does not require too much maintenance, then look into a PS/2-compatible mouse design. These come from the days before mandatory driver updates, so you can typically use one of these mice for years without running into any issues.

PS/2 Mouse FAQs

What gender is the PS/2 port and plug?

The port is female, and the plug is male. This is true with any PS/2 connector, such as a keyboard port. As it stands, the same is mostly true when looking at a USB port.

Why are PS/2 ports still a thing?

Some computers still include PS/2 ports to support older technology and to maximize the availability of any remaining USB port or standard mouse port.

Should I use PS/2 peripherals?

This is up to personal preference, but if your computer has a PS/2 keyboard port or any of the other PS/2 ports, try it out and see if you like it. Some users prefer this to a standard USB port or USB mouse.
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