Magic Mouse won’t connect or won’t scroll?

In many ways, Apple’s Magic Mouse is one of the most innovative mouse designs in recent history. However, as many users have experienced, it can also be a difficult mouse to interpret when it gets stuck.

If your Magic Mouse refuses to connect or it doesn’t work properly when scrolling or moving, here are some common Apple soap bar problems and fixes.

Everything Still On and Charged?

Let’s start with the basics. Is your Mac turned on? Is Bluetooth enabled? Is the Magic Mouse charged? If your mouse uses removable batteries, consider having them checked and replaced.

Basically, let’s go over the basics that seem too basic to ignore. It may feel a bit basic, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time troubleshooting only to realize it’s as simple as flipping the power switch on your mouse.

A pile of batteries

This is also something you should do as part of the basic troubleshooting process. Turn the power switch on and off on the mouse and check if the LED is blinking as expected. If not, and you have already replaced or charged the battery, you may need to contact Apple.

Is it the magic mouse?

Don’t assume it’s the mouse’s fault. Try to narrow down the problem down to the specific mouse or computer you’re trying to use it on. Connect the Magic Mouse to another compatible device to see if the problem persists.

If you have another mouse, you can also connect that mouse to the first computer to see if your mouse problems appear with another mouse. If you’re using a MacBook, make sure the trackpad is working properly, as some issues can be shared between the two pointing devices if the problem is with macOS itself. Here’s a quick way to find out which ingredient is the real culprit.

Check for loose battery connection

This only applies to the first generation Magic Mouse that uses a removable battery. These mice are known for developing loose battery connections. For example, if you lift and replace the mouse, the battery briefly disconnects, causing the mouse to reset.

A roll of aluminum foil

It’s super annoying, and there are tons of homebrew fixes out there. It seems that one of the most successful is placing a small, folded piece of aluminum between the battery terminal and the battery. Some rechargeable batteries are also slightly thicker and taller than disposable batteries, which can minimize problems.

Are the mice paired?

If this is your first time using the Magic Mouse with a particular Mac, you’ll need to pair it. If it’s already paired with another Mac, you’ll need to unpair it first.

The pairing process is also different for Apple’s newer Magic Mouse 2 and the original model. Since there are so many different device combinations you can have, it’s best to check out Apple’s official Setup Guide for Magic Mouses and other Apple wireless peripherals.

Is there a source of interference?

Your Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth, a form of digital radio. While modern digital radio connections are pretty good at cutting noise, if there are too many sources of interference on the same frequency, the mouse will have trouble connecting.

Cell tower

Lots of standalone WiFi hotspots, a large number of Bluetooth devices, and similar radio interference from strong power sources can all fail. If your Magic Mouse is having trouble connecting in one location, but not others, it’s most likely due to excessive interference. The only solution here is to reduce the noise or relocate your computer if possible. If neither is an option then you will have to use a wired solution instead.

Is mouse tracking correct?

If the problem isn’t your Magic Mouse not connecting at all, but rather the cursor moving in an erratic function, you might actually just have a dirty sensor. Optical mice use a small camera along with an internal light to look for changes in the surface of the moving mouse. All you need to do is use a damp earpad to gently clean the sensor lens.

Mac laptop on glass table

Tracking problems can also be caused by the surface you’re using for the mouse. For example, glass surfaces are often difficult to work with for mice. Try the touchpad or just your pants to see if the problem goes away.

Finally, another common cause of tracking problems is noise or a weak signal. Move the mouse closer to the computer or check for sources of interference as described in the previous section.

Common Magic Mouse Scroll Fixes

So your Magic Mouse scrolled fine the last time you used it, but now it suddenly doesn’t! There can be many different reasons for this problem, but there are some common fixes that people experiencing this problem often get. Most of them are quick and easy to try, so they’re well worth a try!

  • Turn off the mouse then turn it back on
  • Turn Bluetooth on and off on your Mac
  • Restart your Mac
  • Unpair and pair the mouse
  • Set mouse scroll to “non-inertial” in Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad

If none of these work, the last resort is to check for macOS updates, hoping that it’s some sort of bug that’s been fixed. If your Magic Mouse still won’t scroll on your Mac (or anywhere else) then you’ve probably done enough to ask Apple to look into it.

Magic Mouse Alternatives

If your Magic Mouse has really given up on digital ghosting, you might want to consider replacing it with an alternative. There are many great pointing devices out there that work well with macOS and even provide functionality that the Magic Mouse lacks.

Apple Magic Trackpad

We especially love Logitech’s MX Master Mouse series. They are ergonomically designed, feature many buttons, and provide quick switching between devices. We tested the MX Master 2S with a Mac, a Macbook and an iPad at the same time. Just press a button and you’ll instantly jump to the next device.

The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is a more advanced option than the Magic Mouse 2 when it comes to gestures and working with limited desk space. The trackpad isn’t suitable for use cases like playing video games, but professional users may find it a better overall choice than the Magic Mouse.

If you’re still using Magic Mouse 1, you’ll also be amazed by the improvements in Magic Mouse 2. Not the least of which is the end of those pesky liquid battery problems and a host of other little bugs that aren’t there. Apple fixed it with the second generation device.

Whichever way you choose, we hope you get back to work as soon as possible!

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