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Troubleshooting Apple Wireless Mice

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 5/31/2011

Despite how great a lack of wires can be, sometimes more complex technology also means more complex problems. Here are a few things you can try before calling the pros about your Apple wireless mouse.

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    Broken Mice: Permanent or Temporary?

    So you're sitting at your computer, working feverishly to get that new paper done or to complete that spreadsheet in time for work tomorrow when your Apple Mac Pro cordless mouse stops moving. You frantically look around for the issue, bang the mouse on the table, and ultimately recoil in defeat; you're done for. You'll be fired from your job or fail that class, and it's all because your stupid mouse is stuck. Fear not, however, because most wireless mouse issues aren't actually the sign of a broken mouse at all. More often then not, it's a temporary issue that can be fixed with just a few minutes of troubleshooting.

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    Check Your Bluetooth!

    "What!?" you exclaim in a rush of hurried excitement, "What can I do to fix this!?"Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 10.44.00 PM 

    First, you'll want to check that your Bluetooth didn't (for whatever reason) get shut off. Up in the top right of your screen is the Bluetooth icon, which sort of looks like a little Greek letter, and if you click it you can ensure that the check mark is next to the "Discoverable" option. If it is, you'll want to open up Bluetooth preferences down at the bottom.

    When you see the menu to the right, look for your mouse on the left hand side. If you see it, then the issue is something other than Bluetooth, but if you don't, it's time to re-setup your mouse! Simply click the "Set Up Bluetooth Device" button and follow the on screen instructions. You'll be back in business in a snap!

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    Low Battery? Blocked Laser?

    "Great." You say, once again feeling defeated, "That sure didn't help me..."

    Another interesting thing people tend to forget, despite the fact that your computer will remind you, is to change/charge the batteries in your mouse. Check the power display in the upper right to make sure you still have battery power, and if it's full, flip the mouse over the check the laser output. Sometimes dust and dirt, or even paper and tape, can get stuck in between the laser and the surface it tracks over, causing your mouse to be unresponsive or behave erratically. Clean off your laser with a swift blow or a wipe with a tissue and then try it again.

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    Restart and Retry!

    Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 10.49.35 PM 

    "Okay, forget it. I'm doomed!"

    At the end of the day, you're never doomed when it comes to computers, but the Golden Rule about everything that breaks (for computers anyway) is "Restart and Retry". Sounds simple, but in all my years of helping people with computers, this solution works at least 75% of the time. Simply save your work, quit all applications and restart your computer. This won't tell you why your mouse broke, but most of the time it will jog your computer enough to fix the issue on its own and save you a whole lot of trouble.

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    References:

    - All information comes from author use of the aforementioned methods.

    - All images are screenshots taken by the author.