Apple Mighty Mouse clicks but won’t track

Mac Mighty Mouse FAQ: Help, my Apple wireless Mighty Mouse clicks but won't track properly; what's going on?

I’ve had a lot of problems with batteries with my Apple Bluetooth (wireless) Mighty Mouse, including this “tracking” problem, but fortunately everything just came to a happy conclusion.

Problem 1: Wireless Mac Mighty Mouse quits tracking on a semi-shiny surface

Within the last month my Mighty Mouse quit working on a semi-reflective dining room table I’ve used it on for several months now. I thought maybe it had gotten dirty, so I tried to clean the wireless Mighty Mouse area that projects the red light on the surface, but that didn’t work. I then tested it with a mouse pad, and it started working, so I started using the mouse pad, and eventually forgot about it. But then ...

Problem 2: Mighty Mouse quits tracking completely

This morning — after taking the wireless Mighty Mouse batteries out yesterday because I needed them for a camera — I put new batteries in, and then I couldn’t get the wireless Mighty Mouse to move (track) at all. I could use it to click (which is pretty worthless), but I couldn’t get it to track at all. Thinking those batteries might be bad, I put the previous batteries in, but the Mighty Mouse still wouldn’t track.

I read this Apple technical document, and then thought the two devices just needed to re-sync, so I tried turning the mouse off and on several times, but no luck there. I restarted the Bluetooth service on my MacBook Pro several times, but it still didn’t work. Finally, I shut everything down and re-booted my Mac, and when the mouse still didn’t work the idea of running the mouse over in the driveway kicked in.

While looking at the Bluetooth configuration on my Mac I happened to notice that the screen that shows the battery power for the mouse showed full power: green bars all the way across. So it couldn’t be a problem with the batteries ... could it?

Solution: Clean the mouse battery contacts

Finally, after reading this discussion thread I took the wireless Mighty Mouse batteries out once again, and noticed that the terminals (leads) in the mouse that contact with the positive end of the batteries had a very slight discoloration. It turned out to be a film of some sort (oxidation?) that wiped off easily with a paper towel.

After wiping off these wireless Mighty Mouse contacts and putting the batteries back in, the red light on the mouse started blinking two times again, and I thought I was doomed, when suddenly the red light on the mouse stayed on, and I knew the problem was solved. That little bit of film, or oxidation, on the battery leads had caused the Mighty Mouse not to track.

I’ve seen similar problems reported regarding wireless keyboards as well, so I’m wondering if the same solution will work for wireless keyboard users as well.

How about that mouse pad?

But wait — there’s more. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the mouse would start tracking on the dining room table again. Sure enough, I pushed the mouse pad to the side, and I could move the mouse all around on this semi-reflective surface!

The solution is amazing to me. A simple little problem like this first caused the Bluetooth/wireless Might Mouse to quit working on the table, then later caused the mouse not to track completely.