How to Fix Magic Mouse Disconnect Problems

Magic Mouse Disconnects can be Caused by Loose Batteries

Magic Mouse and keyboard
There is magic in that mouse. Courtesy of Pexels and kaboompics

Ever since Apple released the first Magic Mouse in 2009, I've been a believer. The Magic Mouse both replaced my previous mouse (a Logitech model), and became my preferred pointing method, even when using a portable Mac. It is simply that good in my experience.

When the second generation was released, the Magic Mouse 2, I was slightly less enthused; not because the performance or general experience of using the Magic Mouse changed all that much; I just wasn't enamored by the built-in rechargeable battery, the requirement to use a lightning-to-USB cable to charge the mouse, and the fact that the lightning port is on the underbelly of the mouse, making it impossible to use while charging.

I liked the simplicity of simply swapping out rechargeable AA batteries whenever the power levels got low, instead of having to anticipate low battery levels and make sure the Magic Mouse 2 was recharged when I wasn't using the Mac.

Magic Mouse Problems

Both the Magic Mouse and the Magic Mouse 2 have a few problems that users have noted. For the first-generation Magic Mouse, short battery life and Bluetooth connection issues are the most often cited. And for the Magic Mouse 2, the inability to recharge the mouse while using it, along with Bluetooth connectivity issues.

We're going to address all of the cited issues, and show you how to get the best performance out of your Magic Mouse, no matter which generation of the mouse you're using.

Fix First Generation Magic Mouse Bluetooth Disconnects

There can be numerous reasons for a Magic Mouse to drop the Bluetooth connection, but in my experience, the most common reason is a loose battery terminal contact inside the Magic Mouse.

For me, the major cause of the Magic Mouse dropping the Bluetooth connection can be traced to the Magic Mouse's battery compartment, and what appears to be a weak design for the battery contacts. Essentially, it's possible for a small jolt, such as lifting the mouse to reposition it, to momentarily cause the battery terminal in the Magic Mouse to move, thus breaking the electrical connection.

No power, no Bluetooth connectivity.

This may be the result of a weak spring in the contacts, as well as a poor contact design. Either way, the fix is simple.

  1. Remove the batteries from the Magic Mouse.
  2. Cut a small piece of aluminum foil about ½-inch square in size.
  3. Wrap the aluminum square around the negative terminal of the battery.
  4. Re-insert the batteries into the Magic Mouse.

The extra thickness of the aluminum foil produces a bit of additional force wedged between the battery and the spring-loaded contact. This makes the battery less likely to be jarred away from the contact when you move the Magic Mouse around.

This may be enough to fix most Bluetooth disconnect problems, but if your Magic Mouse still experiences an occasional disconnect, there's one more modification you can try.

  1. Remove the Magic Mouse battery cover.
  2. Cut a piece of paper into a rectangle about 1 inch by 1-½ inches.
  3. Place the paper on top of the batteries, roughly centered. Tuck any excess paper around the edge of the batteries.
  4. Re-install the Magic Mouse battery cover.

The extra paper acts as a wedge between the batteries and the battery cover, to help hold the batteries in place.

These tricks worked for me. I haven't had any Bluetooth disconnect issues since putting these fixes in place.

Fix Magic Mouse Bluetooth Disconnects: Any Generation

While the first-generation Magic Mouse had a strange battery-related Bluetooth issue, both the first- and second-generation Magic Mouse can suffer from more conventional Bluetooth problems, including having the connection suddenly stop working, be intermittent, or most frustrating of all, having the Magic Mouse show up in the Bluetooth device list, but never actually connect.

You'll find solutions to most of these Bluetooth connectivity problems in our guide: How to Fix OS X Bluetooth Wireless Problems.

First-Generation Magic Mouse Battery Issues

The first-generation Magic Mouse made use of good old-fashioned AA alkaline batteries.

This conventional power source soon earned the scorn of some users, who complained of very short battery lifetimes; some users were seeing less than 30 days of life out of a fresh set of AA batteries.

If you're experiencing unusually short battery life, you can find some very good tips for extending battery life and reducing battery costs in our guide: Battery Life in Magic Mouse Pulls a Disappearing Act.

Magic Mouse 2 Recharging Issues

One of the most common complaints about the Magic Mouse 2 battery is the inability to recharge the mouse while still being able to make use of it. I made note of this issue in the introduction to this article, and that it's a reason why I haven't jumped to the second-generation mouse.

But while it's an issue for some of us, it doesn’t need to be a reason to avoid the Magic Mouse 2; in fact, it could be a desirable feature, at least for those of us looking for a reason for a quick coffee break, and I do mean quick.

It's true that because the lighting port on the mouse is on its belly, you can’t use the mouse while it's being charged. But what's often overlooked is that 60 seconds spent recharging provides enough power for the Magic Mouse 2 to operate for one hour. Double the recharge time to two minutes, and the mouse can go nine hours before it needs to be recharged.

Apple contends that the Magic Mouse 2 can run for about a month on a full charge, so even if you forget to charge it up, a two-minute charging coffee break is all that's needed to get you through a normal workday, allowing you to recharge the mouse in the evening to a full one-month charge.