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Apple Mouse Not Working: 12 Best Ways to Fix

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Last updated: September 3, 2023

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If your Apple mouse isn’t working, the culprit may be as simple as low battery or a poor connection. We’ve all been there, and while it’s frustrating, it’s typically an easy fix. However, identifying the root cause is crucial for a successful resolution.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through 13 tried-and-true solutions to help you troubleshoot and restore the functionality of your trusty Apple mouse. So, let’s dive in and get that mouse working smoothly again.

Before We Begin

Sometimes the culprit begins a malfunctioning Apple mouse is malware. To prevent your Mac and its connected devices from getting infected with virus, its best to regularly scan it for malware. You can use MacKeeper’s antivirus feature to run a virus scan on your Mac and protect it against malware.

Why Is My Apple Mouse Not Working?

If your Apple mouse is not working, there could be several possible reasons behind it. Understanding the cause is crucial for troubleshooting and finding an effective solution. Here are some common reasons why your Apple mouse may not be working:

  • 🔋 Dead or Low Batteries: If you’re using a wireless Apple mouse, the batteries may be low or dead. Replace or recharge the batteries and check if the mouse starts working.
  • 📶 Weak or Disrupted Bluetooth Connection: Wireless mice connect to your Mac via Bluetooth. If there’s a problem with the Bluetooth connection, it might cause the mouse to stop working. This can happen due to interference from other devices, distance from the computer, or even software glitches.
  • 💥 Hardware Issues: Physical damage to the mouse or a faulty cable (in case of a wired mouse) could be the reason behind it not working. Make sure the mouse and cable are in good condition.
  • 🧹 Dirt or Obstructions: Dust and dirt can accumulate on the bottom of the mouse, particularly on the optical sensor or the laser, making it unresponsive or erratic. Clean the sensor area with a soft cloth to remove any obstructions.
  • 🖥️ Software Glitches: Sometimes, software issues on your Mac can affect the mouse’s functionality. It might be a corrupt driver, conflicting software, or a recent system update causing the problem.
  • ⚙️ Wrong Settings: Incorrect system preferences or mouse settings on your Mac can cause the mouse to behave abnormally. Check the mouse settings to ensure everything is configured correctly.
  • 📱 Interference from Other Devices: Other electronic devices near your Mac can cause interference with the Bluetooth connection, affecting the mouse’s performance.
  • 🖱️ Mouse Pad Issues: Using a mouse on an incompatible surface or a damaged mouse pad can result in poor tracking or unresponsiveness.
  • 🔄 Outdated macOS: Running an outdated version of macOS might cause compatibility issues with your Apple mouse. Make sure your operating system is up-to-date.

By identifying the specific reason behind your mouse not working, you can apply the appropriate solution and get your mouse up and running in no time.

Before Your Start: Enable Mouse Keys

Before you start troubleshooting your Apple mouse, it’s essential to have an alternative way to control the cursor, especially if your Mac trackpad is not working. Enabling Mouse Keys on your Mac allows you to navigate the cursor using your keyboard’s numeric keypad or arrow keys.

Here’s how to enable Mouse Keys on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. In the System Settings window, click Accessibility in the left sidebar and select Pointer Control on the right.
click accessibility and then pointer control
  1. Under the Alternative Control Methods, toggle on the Mouse Keys switch.
go to the alternative control methods toggle on the mouse keys switch

Now, you can use the numeric keypad or arrow keys on your keyboard to move the cursor around the screen.

Enabling Mouse Keys will temporarily disable the normal functions of the keys used for cursor control. Once you’ve finished troubleshooting and your mouse is working again, disable Mouse Keys.

Quick Fixes For Your Apple Magic Mouse

Before diving into more advanced solutions, it’s always a good idea to start with basic fixes that often do the trick. Below, I’ll walk you through three straightforward methods that could potentially save you time and get your Magic Mouse back in action without any hassle.

1. Turn the Mouse Off and On

The first quick fix to get your Apple mouse working is to turn it off and on. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the power switch on the bottom of your Apple Magic Mouse and slide it to the off position (no green showing).
locate the power switch and slide it to the off position
  1. Wait a few seconds and then slide the switch back to the on position (green showing).
  2. Check to see if your mouse is now responsive. This simple step can sometimes resolve minor connectivity or performance issues.

2. Toggle Your Mac’s Bluetooth Off and On

The next quick fix is to turn off your Mac’s Bluetooth and turn it on again. Doing this often removes any corrupt setting and restores Bluetooth to a fresh state.

Here’s how to toggle your Mac’s Bluetooth off and on:

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the top-right corner of the menu bar.
click control center in the menu bar
  1. In the Control Center, click the Bluetooth icon to turn it off.
click bluetooth in control center
  1. Wait for a few seconds, then click the Bluetooth icon again to turn it back on.
  2. Once your Bluetooth is back on, try moving your Magic Mouse to see if it’s working.

3. Unpair and Re-pair the Apple Mouse With Your Mac

Unpairing and re-pairing the Apple Mouse with your Mac resets the connection between the two devices. When you unpair the mouse from your Mac, it clears any existing connection settings, including any potential errors or conflicts that might have developed over time.

By re-pairing the mouse with your Mac, you’re establishing a fresh connection, which can resolve any previous connectivity issues. Here’s how to unpair and then re-pair your Apple mouse with Mac:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Bluetooth in the left sidebar.
  2. In the Bluetooth settings window, locate your Apple Magic Mouse in the list of devices, right-click it, and select Forget.
in the bluetooth settings window locate your apple magic mouse right click it and select forget
  1. Once unpaired, turn the mouse off and then back on.
  2. Your Mac should detect the Magic Mouse as a new device. Click Connect to reconnect the mouse.
  3. Test your mouse to see if it’s working now.

These quick fixes can resolve common issues with your Apple Magic Mouse. If your mouse still isn’t working after trying these solutions, there might be a more complex issue that requires further troubleshooting.

How to Fix Apple Mouse Not Working Issue

If you’ve tried basic troubleshooting and haven’t found a solution, or you’re dealing with more complex mouse behavior issues, below, I’ve shared comprehensive approaches to getting your Apple mouse back to optimal performance.

Let’s explore these methods in detail to get you back to a smooth and trouble-free computing experience.

1. Recharge or Replace the Mouse Battery

If you’re using a wireless Apple Mouse, make sure the battery is charged or replace it with fresh batteries. A weak battery can cause erratic behavior or make the mouse stop working altogether.

Check if your Apple mouse has a built-in rechargeable battery or uses removable batteries. The original Magic Mouse uses removable batteries, while the Magic Mouse 2 has a built-in rechargeable battery.

For Built-in Rechargeable Battery (Magic Mouse 2)

  1. Locate the charging port on the bottom of the mouse.
magic mouse charging port
  1. Plug the Lightning cable into the charging port and connect the other end to a USB port on your Mac or a power adapter.
  2. Let the mouse charge for at least 15 minutes. It’s preferable to charge it fully if you have the time.
  3. Check the battery status by going to System Settings > Mouse on your Mac. The battery percentage should be displayed in the Mouse settings pane.

For Removable Batteries (Original Magic Mouse)

  1. Turn off the mouse by sliding the power switch to the Off” position.
  2. Turn the mouse upside down and locate the battery compartment cover.
  3. Open the battery compartment cover and remove the old batteries.
  4. Check the battery compartment for any debris or foreign objects. Clean it if necessary.
  5. Insert new batteries, making sure to align the positive and negative ends correctly.
  6. Replace the battery compartment cover and turn the mouse back on.
  7. Check the battery status by going to System Settings > Mouse on your Mac. The battery percentage should be displayed in the Mouse settings pane.

Remember to always use high-quality batteries or a reliable charging source to ensure optimal performance and longevity for your Apple mouse

If recharging or replacing the batteries didn’t resolve the issue, try other troubleshooting steps explained below.

2. Double Check Mouse and Trackpad Settings

Before diving into hardware troubleshooting or searching for potential issues, first confirm your mouse and trackpad settings are appropriately configured. Verify the settings are configured correctly and no accidental changes have been made.

Here’s how to check mouse and trackpad settings on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. In the System Settings window, click Mouse or Trackpad to open the mouse or trackpad settings.
click trackpad in system settings
  1. In the Mouse settings, go to the Point & Click tab.
click the point click tab
  1. Adjust the Tracking speed slider to your preferred speed. This setting determines how quickly the cursor moves across the screen as you move the mouse.
tracking speed slider
  1. In the same Point & Click tab, ensure Secondary Click is enabled if you want to use right-click on Mac. Choose the option that corresponds to how you want to perform a secondary click (e.g., Click or Tap with Two Fingers).
select an option from secondary click menu
  1. After making adjustments, test your mouse to see if it works as expected. If it doesn’t, you may want to try resetting your Mac’s PRAM or SMC, or consider other troubleshooting steps.

3. Check Other Paired Devices

If you have other Bluetooth devices paired to your Mac, they might interfere with your Apple Mouse’s connection. Try disconnecting or turning off other devices to see if it resolves the issue. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Check for nearby Bluetooth devices like headphones, keyboards, speakers, or other computers that might be paired with your Mac.
  2. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click the Bluetooth tab to open your Bluetooth settings.
click bluetooth in system settings
  1. In the Bluetooth settings, you’ll see a list of devices currently paired with your Mac. Review this list to identify any devices that might be causing interference with your mouse.
  2. If you suspect another device might be interfering with your mouse, select that device in the list and click the Disconnect button.
select device in the list and click the disconnect button
  1. After disconnecting the device, test your mouse to see if the issue is resolved.
  2. After testing your mouse, reconnect the devices you previously disconnected one-by-one, testing the mouse after each reconnection to identify the specific device causing interference.
  3. If a specific device is causing interference with your mouse, check the manufacturer’s website for firmware updates that might address the issue.

4. Check the Sensor Window and Desktop Surface

Dirt or debris in the optical sensor window at the bottom of the mouse can cause it to behave erratically. Examining the sensor window and the desktop surface can help diagnose and fix issues with your Apple mouse’s tracking and performance. 

Here’s how to do it step by step:

  1. Turn off your Apple mouse and turn it upside down.
  2. Look at the bottom of the mouse where the sensor window (laser or optical sensor) is located. This is the part of the mouse that detects movement.
magic mouse sensor
  1. If you notice any dust, lint, or debris in the sensor window, gently remove it using a soft, lint-free cloth or a small brush (like a paintbrush).
  2. If needed, you can use a can of compressed air to blow away any remaining particles.
  3. Look at the surface where you use your mouse. It should be clean and free of dust, dirt, or other obstructions. Wipe down the surface with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  4. Ensure the surface is not too glossy or reflective, as this can cause tracking issues with optical or laser sensors. If your desktop surface is not suitable for the mouse’s sensor, consider using a mouse pad.
  5. If your mouse still doesn’t work properly, try using it on different surfaces to see if it makes a difference.
  6. After cleaning the sensor window and desktop surface, test the mouse to see if its performance has improved.

5. Check for Signal Interference

Electronic devices, Wi-Fi routers, or other Bluetooth devices near your Mac can cause interference with the Bluetooth connection. Here’s how to check for and mitigate potential signal interference step by step:

  1. Identify potential sources causing interference with your mouse’s wireless signal, like Wi-Fi routers, cordless phones, microwaves, wireless speakers, other Bluetooth devices.
  2. If possible, rearrange your workspace to create distance between your mouse and potential sources of interference. For example, move your Wi-Fi router away from your computer and mouse.
  3. If your Wi-Fi router is a potential source of interference, try changing the Wi-Fi channel it operates on. Access your router’s settings by typing its IP address into your web browser (commonly 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) and logging in. Then, find the wireless settings and change the channel.
  4. Reduce the number of electronic devices in your immediate workspace, and unplug or turn off any devices you’re not currently using.
  5. Take your Mac and mouse to a different location (e.g., a different room, office, or even outside) and test the mouse’s performance. If the mouse works better, it’s likely that something in your original workspace is causing signal interference.

6. Reset the Bluetooth Module

Resetting the Bluetooth module on your Mac can help resolve issues related to wireless devices, including Apple mice. Here are the steps to reset the Bluetooth module:

On macOS Ventura and Monterey

The only way to reset Bluetooth on macOS Ventura and Monterey is via Terminal. Here’s how to use Terminal to reset Bluetooth on your Mac:

  1. Open Terminal from Applications > Utilities.
launch terminal from utilities
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo pkill bluetoothd
type the following command and press enter
  1. Enter your admin password when prompted.

On macOS Big Sur and Earlier

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar.
  2. Hold down the Shift ⇧ + Option ⌥ keys and click the word Bluetooth.
  3. Select Reset the Bluetooth module.

7. Update Outdated Apps

Sometimes, outdated apps can cause conflicts with the operating system or mouse drivers. Update any outdated apps on your Mac to ensure compatibility. You can do that automatically by using a third-party software, like MacKeeper as well as manually.

Here’s how to update apps on your Mac using MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Launch MacKeeper and click the Update Tracker tab in the left sidebar.
click update tracker under performance
  1. Click Scan for Updates.
click scan for updates
  1. MacKeeper will scan your Mac for outdated apps and display a list. To select an app, check the little box next to it or click Check All to select all apps.
select individual apps or click check all
  1. Click Update All.
click update all in update tracker
  1. Wait for the updates to complete. This can take a while, depending on the number and size of updates.
wait for the updates to complete
  1. You’ll get an Update Completed notification. Click Rescan if you want to update more apps. 
click rescan to run the scan again

If you don’t have MacKeeper, you can also update apps on Mac manually by following these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and select App Store.
click apple icon and select app store
  1. Click the Updates tab in the App Store window.
click updates in the left sidebar
  1. If updates are available, you will see a list of apps that can be updated.
available app updates in app store
  1. Click the Update button next to each app that has an update available.
click the update button next to an app
  1. And just like that, you’ve updated an app on your Mac. Now, follow the same steps for all apps to get them up to speed.

8. Check for System Update

Checking for system updates is an important step in troubleshooting any issue with your Apple mouse. Updates often include bug fixes, performance improvements, and compatibility enhancements that can resolve problems with your mouse.

Here’s how to check for system updates on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click General and select Software Update.
click general and select software update
  1. Install any available updates by clicking the Update Now button.
click the update now button

9. Delete Mouse Property List Files

Deleting the mouse property list (plist) file can help reset the mouse settings to default and resolve any issues you may be experiencing. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the Finder icon in your Mac’s Dock to open a Finder window.
  2. Click Go in the menu bar and select Go to Folder.
click go in the menu bar and select go to folder
  1. In the window that appears, type the following path and press Enter:
~/Library/Preferences
type library preferences directory in the box
  1. Find the following files in this folder and move them to the Bin:
    • com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse.plist
    • com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist
    • com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist 
  2. If you want to permanently remove the files, right-click the Bin icon in your Mac’s dock and select Empty Bin.
right click the bin and select empty bin
  1. Restart your Mac to apply the changes and allow the system to generate a new mouse property list file with default settings.
  2. After restarting, test your Apple mouse to see if the issue has been resolved. Configure the mouse settings in System Settings as needed.

Bonus Tip: Scan Your Mac for Virus With MacKeeper

Even with the best of precautions, your Mac may still fall prey to unwanted viruses or malware that can cause your Apple Mouse or other peripherals to stop functioning correctly. That’s why it’s important to regularly scan and protect your Mac against these harmful invaders.

As a bonus tip, I recommend using MacKeeper, a robust antivirus software designed specifically for macOS. MacKeeper is equipped with an array of features to detect and remove harmful software, optimize your system, and safeguard your Mac against future threats.

Here’s how to use MacKeeper to run a virus scan on your Mac:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Launch MacKeeper and navigate to the Antivirus tab in the left sidebar.
click antivirus under the security section
  1. Initiate an instant virus scan by clicking the Start Scan button.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus
  1. If any viruses are detected during the scan, click the Fix Items button to resolve the issues.
  2. If your system is threat-free, you’ll see a No threats found message. You can tap the Restart button to run the scan again.
no threats found in mackeeper antivirus
  1. Enable real-time antivirus protection to safeguard your Mac from future threats by clicking the Enable button.
click enable to allow real time protection

Once you have configured your security settings, MacKeeper will continue to operate in the background, diligently scanning for threats and actively blocking any malicious activity.

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides running a virus scan and updating apps, MacKeeper can remove login items from your Mac, delete duplicate files, and remove cache files from your Mac. Check out my MacKeeper review to learn more about its features.

How to Fix an Apple Mouse that Isn’t Scrolling Properly

When you encounter scrolling problems on your Mac, there are several steps you can take to address the issue. With a bit of troubleshooting, you might be able to resolve the scrolling issues with your Apple mouse.

Try the following tips:

  1. Adjust the scrolling speed of your mouse by going to System Settings > Mouse and using the Scrolling speed slider.
  2. Try enabling Natural scrolling, accessible within the Mouse settings pane. This feature reverses the scrolling direction in documents and web browsers.
  3. If your Magic Mouse’s touch detection is affected by grease or other substances, giving it a thorough wipe can make a difference.
  4. Check the settings of the apps you’re using. Some apps have specific scrolling options that could be affecting the behavior.

How to Fix an Apple Mouse that Won’t Turn On

When your Apple mouse doesn’t power up, there are several potential culprits to consider. By addressing these issues, you may be able to identify and resolve the underlying problem.

Start with the following steps:

  1. If you have an original Magic Mouse with removable batteries, try taking them out and re-inserting them. Sometimes, simply refreshing the connection can get your mouse back up and running.
  2. Inspect the battery compartment of your mouse for any foreign objects. Dirt, dust, liquids, or other substances can hinder its proper functioning.
  3. Clean the metal contacts on both your batteries and Magic Mouse using a contact cleaning solution or 70-90% alcohol.
  4. Test your mouse with brand-new, non-rechargeable batteries if possible. This can help you rule out depleted batteries as the source of the issue.
  5. If you own a Magic Mouse 2, which features a built-in battery, charge it for at least 15 minutes before attempting to reconnect it.

What to Do If Your Apple Mouse’s Tracking Isn’t Working Correctly

Mouse tracking governs the speed and precision of your cursor. If your cursor is moving too quickly, too slowly, or not responding as expected, the following steps could provide a solution:

  1. Examine the sensor on your wireless mouse. If you notice any debris or lint obstructing it, clear it away, preferably using a can of compressed air.
  2. Adjust the tracking speed in macOS by navigating to System Settings > Mouse and moving the slider between Slow and Fast to find your preferred setting.
tracking speed slider
  1. Be aware that third-party software can influence the behavior of your Apple mouse. Check your Mac for applications that might be altering mouse settings.

What to Do If Your Magic Mouse 2 Won’t Charge

The Magic Mouse 2 has done away with disposable batteries, which is a positive change. However, there have been instances where the device abruptly stops charging.

If you’re certain your charger and Lightning cable are functioning correctly, inspect the charging port. Much like USB-C, the Lightning port’s design can accumulate dust and debris over time.

Every time you plug in the charging cable, you may be pushing more particles into the port. A solution is to gently remove the accumulated debris using a thin object like a wooden or plastic toothpick.

Exercise caution as you attempt to remove any obstructions from the port. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable about doing this yourself, a local computer technician should be more than willing to assist you.

Let Your Apple Mouse Work Like Magic

Now that you know how to fix an Apple mouse not working issue, you’re ready to stary scrolling on your Mac without any obstacles. Here are some more tips for you:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is my Apple mouse not connecting to my Mac?

    Your Apple mouse may not be connecting to your Mac due to factors such as low battery power, interference from other devices, or issues within the Bluetooth settings on your Mac. Ensure your mouse has sufficient battery power, check for nearby electronic interference, and try resetting the Bluetooth connection.

  2. My Apple mouse is connected but not responding. What should I do?

    If your Apple mouse is connected but not responding, try turning it off and on again, or unpair and re-pair it with your Mac. Also, check your mouse and trackpad settings in System Preferences. If these steps don’t work, consider resetting the Bluetooth connection or updating your macOS.

  3. Why is my Magic Mouse 2 not charging?

    Your Magic Mouse 2 may not charge due to a dirty or blocked charging port, faulty charging cable, or a dead battery. Clean the charging port gently, test with a different cable, or contact Apple Support for battery-related issues.

Pawan Singh

Author

Pawan is your go-to tech buddy with over 4 years diving deep into the world of Macbooks and cool gadgets. He's written a ton of articles, blending his tech-savvy expertise with a dash of friendly banter. When it comes to the latest in tech, Pawan's got the scoop and isn't shy to share it. Trust him, he's been around the block a few times!

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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