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Picture of Silence a mouse's scrollwheel
Whether it's at the office, or the home, Any (well, most) computer has a mouse to go with it. With every mouse, comes that handy scroll wheel wich allows you to, almost effortlessly, scroll through documents, websites, and games.

Although handy, after a short period of time, that constant clicking can become the bane of one's existence when working on a project or playing a game for more than 5 minutes. Luckily, it isn't difficult to get rid of that incessant clicking in most cases, and doesn't affect the performance of the mouse in a negative way. In fact, it can actually enhance the ease of the scroll wheel
 
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Step 1: What you'll need

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A mouse to silence
A phillips head screwdriver
Needle nose pliers (not always needed, not shown)

Step 2: Crack it open

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Most mice only have one screw to contend with, so taking it apart is incredibly easy. The screwdriver i had pictured was the tiniest bit too big  (1/4" dia.) so i used the one in my leatherman multi-tool.

Step 3: The insides

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Since i knew that non-optical mice are almost extinct, i decided to take apart the DELL mice along with a broken optical one i had laying around. They come apart the exact same way, so just apply the previous step to both kinds of mice.

Once you've gotten the mouse open, take a quick look around to locate your scroll wheel, it should be glaringly obvious. If you have an optical mouse, just pull it up out of its bracket, making sure not to loose any of the springs attached to it. The wheel on the optical mouse can be pulled out by pulling it sideways from it's post. I've found it best to remove the PCB board from the plastic tray to do this. Most aren't screwed on, but some may be

Keep in mind that not all mice are exactly the same, so use your head when it comes to taking apart anything internal, or you may be purchasing a new mouse very soon.

Sorry for the shakiness of the second image, The lighting was bad and the auto focus wasn't working well because of it.

Step 4: Silencing the wheel


If you look carefully at one side of the scroll wheel in the non-optical mouse, you'll see that it's spoked. These spokes are the reason for the clicking. Now, instead of breaking all of the spokes out, we'll just take the little spring that hits each spoke as you rotate the wheel. If you have the Dell mouse that i'm using, you'll notice that there are two springs, one wraps around the post in the center of the wheel, and one is situated in the small plastic piece the wheel rotates around. Leave the first one alone, it aids in clicking the scroll wheel down. Just take the one that goes inside the wheel out. Once the spring is gone, just nest everything back together and slide the scroll wheel assembly back into place

If you have an optical mouse, notice that there are little metal arms that warp around the post that the axis of the wheel was through, you can either pry these open with a screwdriver, or use needle nose pliers (which i found easiest) to open the enough to pull the post away from the arms, and remove the black plastic wheel, and metal insert the makes contact with the grooves in the wheel. once you've taken the metal insert out, replace the black plastic wheel and use the pliers to put the metal arms back in place. After the post is secure again, push the wheel back where it was.

This will require some force, but don't go crazy, as we're dealing with small plastic parts.

Step 5: Reassembly

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Once the scroll wheel is back where it belongs, simply screw the casing back on, make sure not to break the tabs off in the process, as they help secure the front of the mouse to the bottom. Make sure the USB cable is where it belongs, so you don't cut it with the edges of the plastic.

I've noticed that the metal insert that we took out of the optical mouse acts as a spacer so that the scroll wheel doesn't make contact with the plastic. If your scroll wheel  seems to be slower, look at the hole in the top and take some sandpaper to it if necessary.
jmeyer142 years ago
You have just made my wife's day.
Reffner3 years ago
I always left the metal "spring" in place and put a small piece of heat shrink tubing over the part that fits inside the wheel. Not totally silent, but still offers some resistance and keeps the wheel centered in place where it belongs.
Stormed Wolf (author)  Reffner3 years ago
I suppose that would work, but I just wanted a quick and simple way to get rid of all the noise. Since the wheel isn't on any bearings of any kind, there's still some resistance due to friction between the center of the wheel and the axle it turns on.

I only ran into the problem of the wheel not staying centered when the center button is one the side of the wheel, not underneath it. I tested out another optical mouse with the button underneath the wheel and there weren't any problems.