QUESTION The scroll ball on my Mighty Mouse keeps breaking. I really like that little scroll ball and would rather fix it than buy a new mouse. Is there any way to pull it apart, clean out the gunk, and put it back together again?
ANSWER Before you go to the trouble of ripping the poor thing apart, let’s be sure you’ve tried the usual solutions. First, flip your Mighty Mouse upside down and rub a water-dampened cloth over the scroll ball, rubbing both horizontally and vertically. With any luck, this will loosen the gunk that’s got trapped inside and is causing the problem.
If that fails, hold the mouse upside down, press the ball down, and blast a good couple of jets of compressed air into the space between the mouse’s top and the depressed ball while moving the ball around.
A blast of compressed air usually sorts out an errant Mighty Mouse scroll ball
If your scroll ball still isn’t working, it is possible to pull the Mighty Mouse apart, but it’s not easy, and it could ruin the thing if you get it wrong. You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver, an X-Acto knife, Super Glue, and the MacFreak guide you’ll find at macworld.com/3355. Take one look at those instructions, and you’ll see that this is not the simple operation that cleaning an old Apple ADB mouse was. You must surgically split your Mighty Mouse and then glue the bits back together after you’ve cleaned its innards.
For this reason, we suggest you try the other suggestions a few times first (and put some real effort into them). Then, if the thing still won’t work and you’re willing to replace it with another mouse if things go awry, give the risky surgical procedure a try.