Mouse Not Working on Your Mac? 10 Tips to Fix It

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Do you have trouble getting your mouse to work correctly on your Mac? Whether it’s a Magic Mouse or a third-party Bluetooth, wireless, or wired mouse, you’re bound to run into issues at some point.

Below, you’ll find several tips and fixes that should help your mouse function properly on your Mac again.

Before Your Start: Enable Mouse Keys

Mouse Keys is an accessibility feature that allows you to use your keyboard to navigate around macOS. If you don’t have another input device (such as a trackpad), you may want to activate it before working your way through some of the fixes that follow.

Start by pressing Cmd + Option + F5 to bring up the Accessibility Shortcuts menu. Then, press the Tab key repeatedly to highlight the Mouse Keys option. Press Space to select it, followed by Esc to save your changes.

With Mouse Keys enabled, use the 7, 8, 9, U, O, J, K, and L keys (or the 7, 8, 9, 4, 6, 1, 2, and 3 keys on a numpad) to move the cursor around. You can use the I key (or the 5 key on the numpad) to replicate a mouse click.

1. Turn Your Mac’s Bluetooth Off and On

If you use a Magic Mouse, minor glitches with Bluetooth can result in your Apple wireless mouse not working. The same may occur with third-party mice that work over Bluetooth. In that case, disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth on your Mac can help. To do this:

  1. Open the Bluetooth status menu from the menu bar. If you don’t see it, open the Control Center and expand the Bluetooth control.
  2. Turn off the switch next to Bluetooth.
  3. Wait for a few seconds and turn it back on again.

If your mouse doesn’t connect automatically, select it from the Devices section of the Bluetooth status menu.

2. Remove and Re-Connect the USB Receiver

If you use a standard wireless mouse, try disconnecting the USB receiver, rebooting your Mac, and re-connecting the receiver to it. That could end up resolving unexpected issues with the device.


If you use a USB hub, you should also try connecting the receiver directly into a USB port on the Mac itself. That should ensure the USB receiver has sufficient power to function correctly.

3. Recharge or Replace the Mouse Battery

Did you recharge or replace the battery on your mouse recently? A near-depleted battery can prevent your mouse from connecting to your computer. Even if it does connect, you may experience unpredictable cursor behavior.

If you use a Magic Mouse 2, try recharging it via its Lightning port for at least 15 minutes. If you don’t see a charging port (which is the case with the original Magic Mouse), remove the battery compartment cover and replace the battery (or batteries) inside.

4. Turn the Mouse’s Power Switch Off and On

Turning your mouse off and then back on is another way to fix a malfunctioning device. Look for an On/Off switch—you can usually find it on the mouse’s underside.

In the case of Bluetooth mice (such as the Magic Mouse), you may need to manually connect it via the Bluetooth status menu after turning it back on (as mentioned above).

5. Pair the Bluetooth Mouse With Your Mac Again

If you use a Magic Mouse or another Bluetooth mouse, remove it from your Mac and try pairing it again:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Control-click your Bluetooth mouse and select Remove.
  4. Select Remove again.
  5. Turn your Bluetooth mouse off, wait a moment, and then turn it back on.
  6. Choose the Connect button to pair your mouse with your Mac again.

6. Check Your Mac’s Mouse Preferences

Does the cursor move very slowly on your Mac? Do you find it impossible to perform a right-click on the Magic Mouse? Is your mouse scrolling in the wrong direction?

In these cases, it’s best to head over to the System Preferences panel on your Mac and make sure everything is appropriately configured:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Choose Mouse.
  3. Use the configuration options within the Mouse preferences to determine how your mouse works.

For example, if you use a Magic Mouse, check the box next to Secondary click to enable right-clicking, or drag the slider under Tracking speed to determine how fast the cursor moves on the screen.

You can also switch to the More Gestures tab to enable or disable any conflicting gestures that result in your Apple mouse not working as intended.

7. Install Support Software for Third-Party Mice

If you use a third-party mouse, it may need extra software installed on your Mac to function correctly. For example, the Logitech Options app provides additional settings to help you configure how Logitech mice work on your Mac.

Search the manufacturer’s website (Logitech, Dell, HP, and so on) for driver or software downloads, and install any support software for your mouse that’s available.

8. Debug the Bluetooth Module on Your Mac

If you keep experiencing connectivity or other issues with a Bluetooth mouse, try debugging the Bluetooth module on your Mac. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Press and hold both the Shift and the Option keys simultaneously and open the Bluetooth status menu. You’ll see more details and options than usual.
  2. Select the Reset the Bluetooth module option.
  3. Select OK.

Your Mac will debug the Bluetooth module automatically. As it does, your mouse (as well as any other Bluetooth devices) will disconnect, then reconnect after a few seconds. If that doesn’t happen correctly, try restarting your Mac.

If you use macOS Monterey or later on your Mac, you may not see an option to reset the Bluetooth module. In that case, open Terminal (open Launchpad and select Other > Terminal) and run this command instead:

sudo pkill bluetoothd

9. Update the Operating System on Your Mac

Check if your Mac has any pending operating system updates and install them. That should fix any known bugs or other issues that prevent your mouse from working correctly.

Here’s how to check for updates:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. Select Update Now to install available updates.

10. Delete Mouse Property List Files

Deleting the Property List (PLIST) files that contain your mouse preferences and configuration settings is another way to fix a malfunctioning mouse. While it won’t end up breaking anything, this is a somewhat advanced fix. Hence, it’s best to create a Time Machine backup before you go ahead. Once you’re ready to proceed:

  1. Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type ~/Library/Preferences and select Go.
  3. Select the following files and move them to the Trash:
    • com.apple.AppleMultitouchMouse.plist
    • com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist
    • com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist

After this, restart your Mac. It will then automatically recreate the deleted PLIST files. Assuming your mouse starts to work properly afterward, head over to the Mouse preferences pane (System Preferences > Mouse) to reconfigure it again.

You can also follow up by resetting your Mac’s NVRAM and SMC.

Next Steps for Defective Mice

Hopefully, the mouse you’re using with your Mac works properly now. If not, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a defective mouse.

To make sure, connect the mouse to another Mac. If you continue to experience the same issues, you should repair or replace your mouse. Opting for a Magic Trackpad instead is also a good idea.



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