Apple Magic Mouse not working? Here’s how to fix it

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Apple Magic Mouse on a desktop next to a keyboard.
Stefan Holm / Shutterstock.com

Apple’s Magic Mouse is simple and easy to use, but when things go wrong, fixing it isn’t as simple or easy as we’d like. If you’re having trouble with your Magic Mouse, these tips will help you get it working again.

Quick fixes for your Apple Magic Mouse

Before we start looking into the more in-depth fixes, there are a few basic things to check out that might get your Magic Mouse working again. These will be power and connectivity issues.

Check power and battery

First, turn the mouse over and check that the on / off switch is green for On, not red for Off. Assuming the switch is on, the Magic Mouse may have run out of battery. Your Mac will warn you when the battery is low, but if it runs out overnight, you may not know.

If it’s an older Magic Mouse, replace the AA batteries. Otherwise, if it is newer Magic mouse 2 with a built-in battery, charge the mouse via its Lightning port for a few minutes, then try turning it back on. If it works, you are in luck. If not, double check that Magic Mouse is still paired with your Mac.

Check for pairing problems

If you are not using a MacBook, you will need to connect another mouse or use one that is already paired. Go to Apple Menu> System Preferences, then click “Bluetooth”.

First, try spinning Bluetooth on and off. Click “Turn off Bluetooth”, then wait a while. Now click “Turn on Bluetooth”. If that doesn’t work, try it reconnect the mouse.

Click the “x” icon on the right side of your Magic Mouse or right click and select “Remove” to unpair, then click “Remove” to confirm. Now turn your Magic Mouse off and on again.

If everything works fine, you should see the mouse appear in your Bluetooth preferences. Using the trackpad or another mouse, click “Connect” to pair your Magic Mouse again.

The best mouse from Apple

Apple magic mouse

Magic Mouse combines standard mouse functionality with trackpad-style gestures to make your Mac easier to use.

Right-clicking doesn’t work on your magic mouse

A common problem with the Magic Mouse on a Mac is that right mouse button (or secondary click as Apple calls it) doesn’t work. Fortunately, this is often a simple fix.

Open System Preferences, then select “Mouse”. Under Point and Click, make sure the Secondary Click checkbox is enabled. Now click the drop-down menu here and make sure “Right-click” is selected, assuming you want the traditional right-click behavior.

Enable secondary click on the Magic Mouse

If that doesn’t work, make sure you’ve tried unplugging and re-plugging your Magic Mouse as suggested first in this article. While right-click actions don’t work it’s frustrating, you can get around it on a Mac using the Ctrl + click action.

Left click doesn’t work on your magic mouse

As frustrating as it may be not being able to right-click, it doesn’t stop you from using your computer. If the left click or primary click doesn’t work, however, it makes it difficult for you to use your computer.

The first thing to check is simple. If the left click acts like a right click, you may have accidentally selected the left click as a secondary click in your mouse settings.

Go to System Preferences, then Mouse. Here, under Point and Click, make sure “Secondary Click” is set to “Click Right Side”.

Confirming the side of the secondary click on Magic Mouse

Reset the Bluetooth module

Resetting the macOS Bluetooth module can fix a number of Bluetooth problems. On macOS versions earlier than Monterey, this is simple. Hold Shift + Option, then click the Bluetooth icon in the macOS menu bar. Then select “Reset the Bluetooth module”.

With the introduction of macOS Monterey, this menu may be missing for some people. In this case, open the Terminal app, then type the following command:

sudo pkill bluetoothd

Enter your password when prompted. You will see all connected devices disconnect, then log back in. Now, hopefully, your Magic Mouse should reconnect as well.

If that doesn’t work, we have a whole guide for troubleshooting Bluetooth on macOS which can help.

Problems scrolling with your magic mouse

If your Magic Mouse suddenly it does not flow as you would like, this is an easy fix.

Open System Preferences, then go to Mouse. Select the Scroll Direction checkbox here. By default, macOS uses “Scroll Direction: Natural” which makes scrolling work almost like it does on an iPhone or iPad.

Scroll direction Magic Mouse on macOS

Try scrolling to a web page. If the behavior doesn’t work the way you want, check or uncheck the box until scrolling works the way you want.

RELATED: How to disable Apple’s “natural scroll” backward on your Mac

Do you need to replace your magic mouse?

If you’ve tried everything and your Magic Mouse still doesn’t work, it might be time to think about when you bought it. Though well built, the Magic Mouse will begin to wear out after about 100,000 clicks.

Keep in mind that 100,000 is a lot of clicks, so it’s very likely that you’ll replace the mouse for another reason before you hit that number. Even so, if you’ve been using your Magic Mouse for a while, it might be time to replace it.

If you’re not sure you want to stick with an Apple mouse, be sure to check out our favorite mice for productivity and gaming.

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