Apple mouse not working? 9 ways to solve

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Pau Monfort
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Don't worry with this article I will help you to fix Apple mouse not working problems. Apple sells two pointing devices: Apple Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. There are two generations of Magic Mouse, which are easily identified by the fact that Magic Mouse 1 uses a removable battery and Magic Mouse 2 has an internal battery that cannot be removed.

While both mice rarely fail, they can have exasperating problems from time to time. If your Apple mouse isn't working, here are some potential solutions.

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Why is Apple's mouse not working?

Before we start looking for solutions, let's first understand why the problem is! An Apple mouse that "doesn't work" can mean a few different things:

  • The mouse is dead and won't turn on.
  • The mouse turns on, but does not connect.
  • The mouse connects, but the pointer doesn't work well.
  • The mouse works for a while, but then disconnects for a few seconds.

Each of these examples is very different from each other and usually has different causes, so keep your specific problem in mind when reading the solutions.

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What to do if the Mac mouse doesn't work?

The next most important step in repairing your Apple mouse is to eliminate your Mac or mouse as the source of the problem. The easiest way to do this is to try the mouse with another Mac or iOS device and see if it behaves normally. If it works fine with a different computer, you can be sure it's a problem with the computer.

You can also try a different mouse (Apple-branded or not) with your Mac. There is always the possibility that the problem is the result of something odd between that specific Mac and the Apple mouse, but the odds are slim, so this is a reasonable diagnostic step that should save you time in troubleshooting the MAC mouse not working. After clearing the basic diagnostics, let's look at the most common problems and solutions.

1. Check your mouse and trackpad settings

Before you start messing with your hardware and running around looking for problems, check that your mouse and trackpad settings are correct. For example, are they configured to be too sensitive or insensitive? You can find the settings for both in Apple Menu > System Preference.

2. If the Apple mouse doesn't work, is it charged, turned on, and the batteries inserted?

Does your Apple Mouse have a charged battery? With the Magic Mouse you will have to use a new set of disposable batteries or use rechargeable batteries that are charged by an autonomous battery charger. 

This is usually only a problem if you don't use the mouse for a long time, as macOS alerts you when the battery is running low. Another known issue with the first generation of Magic Mouse has to do with the battery compartment. Many batteries are not properly secured. So when you perform the typical lift-and-replace motion with the mouse, the battery may momentarily disconnect. 

This is obviously annoying and there are various solutions on the net. In our search for the best, it appears that using oversized batteries may be a good solution. Other Apple Mouse users in your country will likely have a preferred brand of battery for this purpose.

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3. Magic Mouse 2 won't charge

The Magic Mouse 2 eliminates the use of disposable batteries, which is a good thing. However, we have found that the device suddenly refuses to charge.

If you know that the charger and Lightning cable are working properly, by testing them on another device, for example, you should check the charging port. Just like with USB-C, the Lightning port design allows for the gradual buildup of dust and other debris. 

Every time you plug in the charging cable, some garbage gets in. The solution is to use a thin object to collect the dirt. You will be able to solve it with a thin wooden or plastic toothpick.

Be gentle as you try to remove anything that prevents your Lightning cable from making contact. If you are not comfortable doing this, a technician may be happy to help you. It's even less expensive than buying a completely new mouse!

4. Turn the mouse off and on again

While it's not always clear why an Apple mouse isn't working, simply turning off the mouse seems to fix this problem more often than not. Both Apple Magic mice can occasionally have this strange problem which is solved by simply turning the power off and on again.

5. Turn Bluetooth off and on again if Apple's mouse doesn't work

This is another simple but often effective solution. Turn Bluetooth off and on on your Mac or iOS device and connect the Apple mouse again.

6. Is the mouse paired with something else?

If you can't see your Apple mouse in the Bluetooth device list, it's possible it was also paired with another device nearby, paired before your Mac had a chance. Make sure no other devices, such as an iPad or other Mac, are currently connected to the mouse. Then try again.

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7. Check for signal interference

Apple mice use Bluetooth technology, which works on the same wireless frequency as WiFi. While Bluetooth ignores all other radio waves that occupy airspace, there is a limit to this.

If you have a lot of WiFi or Bluetooth devices running in the same area as your mouse, try disabling some of this potential interference to see if things improve.

8. Check the sensor window and desktop surface

This is probably one of the most listened to by users. Check the optical sensor window of the mouse for dirt and other debris. One of the main culprits is human or animal hair. Look for curled hair carefully and carefully pull it out with tweezers. Long hairs may be so fine that you don't see them immediately, but they still wreak havoc with the mouse sensor.

Also pay attention to the surface you are using the mouse on. Glossy or glass surfaces can be a real challenge, so try your mouse on a different surface before assuming something is wrong.

9. Tips for MAC trackpad users

Most of the tips above apply to the Magic Trackpads and the Apple Magic Mouse, but there are a few things specific to the trackpad. 

The main cause of a trackpad not tracking properly has to do with the functioning of the device. Just like with an iPhone or iPad, the Magic Trackpad uses changes in conductivity as your finger touches its surface to track the pointer's movement. Anything that interferes with that conductivity can also make tracking erratic. 

Make sure the trackpad surface is dry and clean. Unplug third-party power supplies from your trackpad or Mac if you're using it while it's connected to the computer itself.

This article has offered you the most likely solutions when you are dealing with an Apple mouse that is not working. Don't forget that (if your mouse is still under warranty) you can also get help from Apple itself.

Further Reading:

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