Help! My Mac mouse has suddenly stopped working. How do I fix a Mac mouse?

The answer to this query depends largely on what type of mouse is connected to your Mac. For most of this feature we're going to look at the wireless Magic Mouse, which is supplied with all new Apple Mac computers (unless you choose the Magic Trackpad instead). If you've got one of Apple's old wired mice, the issues will be somewhat simpler.

Apple's Magic Mouse is a wireless mouse that uses two batteries to hold a charge. It connects to Mac OS X via Bluetooth (a wireless communication technology). These things will be significant, as you will see.

See also:

How to diagnose and fix MacBook battery problems

Get Continuity on an unsupported Mac

How to use a mouse and trackpad on a Mac

Setting up a new Mac

How to fix a Mac mouse that isn't working: Check the power

Underneath the Magic Mouse

The first thing you need to do if you have a Magic Mouse is check that it's turned on. (It might sound obvious, but we've all been there.) Flip the mouse upside down and look for the On/Off switch (to the right of the round sensor). Ensure that it's flipped up and that the space behind the switch is green.

Above the On/Off switch is a green light. This should flash a few times while the Apple mouse seeks a connection to the Mac. Flip the mouse over and depress the surface of the Magic Mouse. You should see a connected symbol.

A good set of batteries lasts us about six weeks in a Magic Mouse, but you'll have to change them eventually. If you switch the mouse on and the green light does not flash then you may need to replace the batteries (OS X should also give you a warning when the batteries are getting low). Pull the tab at the bottom of the mouse down to open the battery cover, remove the batteries and insert new ones (the Magic Mouse takes two AA batteries).

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How to fix a Mac mouse that isn't working: Mouse still isn't working after changing the batteries

Open the Magic Mouse battery cover and remove the batteries. At the bottom are two metal springs that hold the battery in (they don't look like regular springs, but they push out like one). These sometimes don't push up hard enough to make a firm connection with the power connectors at the top.

We find this a problem when using rechargeable batteries, which are slightly smaller than regular batteries. It may also be a problem when using cheap unbranded batteries. We found buying a pair of Duracell batteries fixed it for us. Another trick is to try rotating the batteries around by rolling your fingers over them to ensure the spring is pushed out.

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How to fix a Mac mouse that isn't working: Green light is flashing

Remove the Magic Mouse from the Bluetooth Settings

If you have checked your batteries, and the power, what's next? If your Mac mouse has power (indicated by the light) but isn't connecting properly you may need to check the Bluetooth connection.

Annoyingly, this requires you to navigate System Preferences, which means you need to have a mouse connected to your Mac. There is an option called Mouse Keys in System Preferences that enables you to use the keyboard to control the cursor, but you need to have a mouse to turn it on (there is a keyboard shortcut; but it is turned off by default).

So dig out an old mouse with a USB connection (or borrow one from a friend) and connect it to your Mac. Follow these steps to reset the connection:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Bluetooth.
  3. Control-click the Mouse in the Devices window and choose Remove.
  4. Click Remove.
  5. Click the Show All Preferences icon (Command-L).
  6. Click Mouse > Set Up Bluetooth Mouse.
  7. Make sure your mouse is turned on.
  8. Tap the surface of the Mouse to wake it up.
  9. Click Continue.

Your Apple mouse should now be working again.

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