What do the Side Buttons on a Mouse Do? (In Windows Explorer & Gaming)

The first generation of the mouse just had a single button. Then they added the Right-click button and Middle-click button eventually. However, thesedays, you can even find a mouse with side buttons. You may have come across such a mouse and wondered What do the Side Buttons on a Mouse do?

Here we are going to explain how you can use the side buttons of the Mouse to improve your Productivity.

You can also check our another article on Types of Computer Mouse.

What do the Side Buttons on a Mouse Do:

The Side Buttons on a Mouse are actually called Programmable Buttons or Thumb Buttons. Some mouse has only two side buttons, and some gaming mouse can even have up to 12 side buttons. So, What do the Side Buttons on a Mouse Do?

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Use of Mouse Side Buttons in Windows Explorer:

A regular mouse has two side buttons in general. You can use them to go to the previous & next folder in Windows Explorer. While using any web browser, you can use these buttons to go to the next or previous page. 

There are also some computer mouse with multiple side buttons. Here, you can assign custom functions & commands to these buttons like copy, paste, volume controls, media controls, etc. 

Moreover, you can even assign Hotkeys. So, instead of hitting the keyboard combinations, you can simply use the command using a single mouse button.

Also, check out How to Switch Mouse Buttons.

How to Assign Action on Mouse Side Buttons:

In some cases, the Mouse manufacturer provides a CD along with the mouse that contains the software to customize the side buttons. You may also look at the manufacturer’s official website for such software if the CD is not provided. 

You can also use third-party applications like X-Mouse Button Control, Mouse Manager, Hydra Mouse, Remap Mouse, Clicky Mouse, etc. to customize all the mouse buttons (including the side buttons).

Use of Mouse Side Buttons in Gaming:

Gaming Mouse can have from two to twelve side buttons. You can assign any action to the keys based on the game and your gameplay convenience.

You can use the side keys for switching weapons, reloading, throwing items, activating chat commands, couching, leaning, sprinting, attacking, and many more. 

Moreover, you can even assign Macros. For example, while playing games like Mortal Kombat or Tekken, you need to press a combination of keys to perform an action. If you have played such action/fighting games, you know how hard it is to remember all the key combinations and use them during the fight. However, with the help of Macros, you can use a single button to perform the combination of attacks.

Note that, using Macros is not allowed in online competitive gaming as it gives an unfair advantage to some players.

Nevertheless, you can use them however you want while playing single-player & offline games.

Mouse with Interchangeable Side Plate:

The Razer Naga Trinity Mouse comes with 3 Interchangeable Side plates. One has two buttons as a standard mouse, another plate has seven buttons in a circular pattern, and the third plate has twelve side buttons. 

Final Words:

I hope you now understand What do the Side Buttons on a Mouse Do. In short, the two side buttons help you go to the previous and next window in Windows Explorer, and the multiple buttons will help you perform several other actions. Most gaming mouse have up to 12 side buttons, which can be customized in the game’s settings. 

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