Mouse Not Working in macOS? Use these Fixes

Mouse Not Working Mac Featured

If your wired mouse isn’t working, you’re probably out of luck. Those things are generally foolproof and rely on deep system tools like HID configurations to function. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably an issue with the hardware. Wireless mice, including Logitech mice and the Magic Mouse, are far more likely to suddenly disconnect. If your wireless mouse isn’t working with macOS, try these options listed below.

Where to Start Troubleshooting

Having anything go wrong with your computer can be incredibly frustrating. If your mouse doesn’t work, it can dramatically impact your productivity and not in a good way. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy fixes that can help you get up and running with a working mouse. Let’s take a look at the troubleshooting you can do before coming to the conclusion that your hardware is the issue:

  1. Check mouse batteries
  2. Try different sources
  3. Toggle on/off switch
  4. Improve your connection
  5. Reboot Bluetooth connection
  6. Third-party software
  7. Update macOS software
  8. Compatibility
  9. Scrolling issues

1. Check the batteries in the mouse

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If you have a wireless mouse, check the batteries. This is the number one cause of mouse pointer misbehavior. Replace the batteries with fresh batteries, but if you don’t have any, try an old TV remote trick: Spin the batteries in their cradle by rolling them gently with your fingertips. This can remove any built-up corrosion in the contacts. If that doesn’t work, try swapping the battery position and make sure the batteries are in the right way around. Even smart adults make that mistake from time to time.

Mouse Not Working Mac Magic Mouse 2

Alternatively, for the Magic Mouse 2, make sure you recharge using any available Lightning cable. This can be the same cable that came with your iPhone or older iPad. Recharging is fairly quick, and in 15 to 20 minutes, you should be back in business.

2. Try a different surface

Mouse Not Working Mac Surfaces

To fix a skipping mouse cursor, try using the mouse on a different surface. The ideal surface for a mouse is an even-toned mousepad, but most decent mice can track on most hard surfaces. The exception is with glass, as it is a terrible surface for a laser mouse to track on. Multi-color surfaces, like wood with a prominent dark grain, will sometimes confuse even modern laser mice.

3. Toggle the power on the mouse

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For mice with power switches, try cycling the power. Turn the mouse off, wait ten seconds, and turn the mouse back on. That will refresh the wireless connection and give a wireless mouse the opportunity to establish a more stable communication channel.

4. Improve your connection

If your mouse uses a USB receiver, like most Logitech mice, make sure the receiver is physically close to the mouse. Line of sight between the mouse and the receiver isn’t necessary for modern radio frequency mice, but it can help reduce the number of obstacles that may interfere with wireless transmission.

Mouse Not Working Mac Logitech Receiver

Also, make sure the mouse’s receiver isn’t plugged into a USB hub. This is another one of those things that doesn’t matter in 99 percent of cases, but sometimes the hub doesn’t handle mice properly. Ensure this isn’t a problem by connecting the USB receiver directly to the Mac.

If nothing helps, try a different receiver as well. While it’s rare, it’s not impossible for receivers to get damaged. If the device isn’t receiving enough power, it won’t be able to reliably pick up the wireless connection.

5. Reboot Bluetooth Connection

Mouse Not Working Mac Bluetooth

Sometimes a fast fix is nothing more than turning your Mac’s Bluetooth off and on again. You can do this by restarting your computer or by going to the Bluetooth status menu in your menu bar. Alternatively, you can also find the Bluetooth settings in Control Center and expand the Bluetooth controls. Locate the toggle or switch next to “Bluetooth,” wait a few moments, then flip the toggle back on again. Everything should reconnect automatically, but just in case, you can disconnect your mouse as well and reconnect for a double dose of troubleshooting.

Mouse Not Working Mac Module

If the above fails to fix whatever mouse issue is plaguing you, you can next try to reset the Bluetooth module. Hold down the Shift and Option keys, then click on the Bluetooth icon at the top right of your screen. Reset the module by clicking on “Reset the Bluetooth module,” then hitting OK. Now, reconnect your mouse via Bluetooth and see if your issue has been resolved.

6. Third-Party Software

As many Mac owners rely on third-party products like Logitech mice to use with their Apple hardware, it’s important to know that third-party software exists to help solve any lingering connectivity issues. The Logitech Options app, for example, ensures that you have all of the right settings for configurations.

Troubleshooting could involve something as easy as removing your mouse from the configuration utility, restarting the Mac, and then adding the mouse back again. Some mice also require driver updates to help ensure smooth connectivity with up-to-date macOS hardware, so having this software installed can be incredibly helpful.

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7. Update macOS Software

Mouse Not Working Mac Software Update

Staying up to date with macOS software is more likely to impact a third-party mouse than Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, but it’s just as important. Software updates can help resolve simple configuration issues that the rest of this list might not have a solution for. To check and make sure you are up to date, open the Apple Menu at the top-left corner and choose “System Preferences.” Next, locate the “Software Update” menu option and click on “Update Now” to check for updates. If one is available, install and see if it resolves your mouse issue.

8. Make sure your mouse is compatible

If you’ve tried all these options and none of them have helped, you should make sure the manufacturer says your mouse is compatible with macOS. All mice are compatible with macOS, but not all software runs on macOS. If the manufacturer’s configuration software doesn’t run on macOS, the Mac will detect the mouse as a pointing device, and extra buttons may not work properly. If that’s the case, third-party mouse management applications like SteerMouse can assign extra buttons to keystrokes and take the place of software that’s not Mac-compatible.

9. How to Fix Scrolling Issues

Mouse Not Working Mac Scrolling

Where previous iterations of macOS allowed for more configuration options for mice, Big Sur is more focused on adjusting tracking, scrolling and double-clicking speeds. These are still very helpful adjustments that can fix a variety of mouse-related issues. Accessing this menu and making adjustments is incredibly easy. Head to “Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Mouse.” Once you are inside this window, you can make a variety of adjustments to tracking, double-clicking and scrolling speed.

Conclusion: Hardware Failure

If your mouse is double-clicking, not sensing your clicks, or otherwise processing input incorrectly, it could be a hardware failure. After about 100,000 clicks, you can expect most mice to show some wear. This normally manifests as errant double-clicks in the primary click button. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace the mouse completely to solve the problem.

Since we are on the topic of your mouse, you should check out how to take screenshots with a mouse cursor on macOS. Also, keep in mind that we can help you fix problems with other MacBook peripherals too. We have guides to help you troubleshoot trackpad glitches, printer issues, and more.

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David David

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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