Mighty Mouse scroll-wheel failure (#2): Fixes

Mighty Mouse scroll-wheel failure (#2): Fixes


Turn over the mouse and roll, clean scroll-ball One of the most effective fixes for Mighty mice that suddenly refuse to properly scroll is as follows: 

  1. Place a very lightly dampened cloth or paper towel on a flat surface
  2. Turn the mighty mouse upside down (optical sensor facing up)
  3. Gently place pressure on the mouse with the scroll-ball as the axis, and move it around, rolling the scroll-ball in various directions.
  4. Return the mouse to its normal orientation, and check for persistence of the issue

Apple offers similar instructions in Knowledge Base article #302417.

"Use a clean lint-free cloth lightly moistened with water. Wipe the ball and the surrounding area, making sure to rotate the ball itself to ensure complete coverage. If the scrolling feels rough or if the scroll ball isn't scrolling up, down, or side-to-side, hold the mouse upside-down and roll the ball vigorously while cleaning it to help dislodge any particles that may have collected on the internal hardware. [Video demonstration]

MacFixIt reader Brian Wilcox is one user who had success with this workaround:

"I, too, have had problems with the scroll ball where it would stop scrolling--including making the clicking sound--in the downward direction. I read somewhere to unplug the mouse, turn the mouse upside-down and press the ball into a slightly-damp and lint-free cloth as you move the mouse around forcing the ball to move in multiple directions and, thus, cleaning the little ball and it's tracking device.  I've had to do it 3-4 times over the past couple of years, but it has always worked for me."

Meanwhile, one reader notes the dangers of applying too much pressure when attempting this fix:

"I would just advise being careful with the amount of pressure used when rolling the nipple on paper - over time I had been too harsh with this and found that the nipple vanished inside the mouse because I had broken its mounting. This required disassembly and some internal glue-surgery to fix."

Sharp taps on desk Though its a workaround we hesitate to recommend because it can potentially cause damage that is not covered under warranty to units, some users have been able to revive non-scrolling Mighty mice by sharply tapping the units on a hard surface.

MacFixIt reader Kelly Davies writes:

"I have also experienced scroll wheel failure on my Mighty Mouse, again usually when scrolling downward. However, I have found that sharply tapping the mouse on the desk a couple of times restores scrolling. (Sharp taps are not the equivalent on pounding the mouse in frustration.)

"I wonder if at least some of the scrolling failures are the result of the normal accumulation of debris from use. I have thought about using a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to clean the scroll wheel, but I would appreciate it if someone could tell me if this is advisable."

Previous coverage:

  • #302417
  • [Video demonstration]
  • Mighty Mouse scroll-wheel ...
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