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How to repair a worn out clicker on an optical mouse

Picture of how to repair a worn out clicker on an optical mouse
After five years in a university computer lab, this mouse wouldn't respond to clicks very well, but after this two minute repair job, it's as sharp as it's first day!

All you need is a bad clicky mouse, like the one pictured, a phillips screwdriver, and a nail file.
 
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Step 1: Remove the screw

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There's only one screw in this model.

Step 2: Take the top off

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Using gentle pressure and careful motions, start at the back, and wiggle the mouse unti the top comes off. The top is attatched pretty tightly but it's just snapped together, you can pull it open, but be careful not to break it!

Step 3: Remove the buttons

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The buttons are one piece of springy plastic, held in to the top by a couple of springy plastic barbs. Push the barb back with your thumb and pull it past with your other finger.

Step 4: Chck it out!

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Make sure you're careful not to get the scroll wheel loose of it's springs. It's very hard to put back.

If you look at the back of the buttons you'll see some little indentations. These are caused by constantly being crushed into the little actuators inside the mouse by ham fisted, computer illiterate, college "students," whose parents money would have been better spent renting them an apartment in Mexico and sending them daily beer deliveries. These also are the root of the clicky-no-clicky problem.

Step 5: File it flat and reassemble

Picture of File it flat and reassemble
Use the nail file to flatten the surface where the indentations are. Be sure no raised areas exist which might prevent the actuators from being depressed once it is assembled. Reassembly should be easy unless you took the scroll wheel out. Now is also a good time to clean out any bits of people that have accumulated inside the mouse (icky!).
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kokh24 days ago
check this blog, it may be helpful.
http://home-fixed.blogspot.com/?m=1
sos_sifou1 year ago
If this solution doesn't work for you and if you have some soldering skills? you can switch between the two buttons of the mouse, it means that the right clicker will be soldered in the left and left clicker (which is the defected one) will be soldered in the right (it is less used than the left one).

I hope this bit helps :)

Yes, I've done this a couple of times and installed "new" microswitches from cheap thrift shop mice.

You can make your computer switch the left and right click. On my Control Panel there is a section labeled MOUSE where you can choose what the left and right side of the mouse do so you don't have to physically reverse them.

This switch is also useful if you want to change the hand you use for the mouse or if your having fatigue problems with your clicking finger.

fernan.myatt3 months ago

I ve got a Red Dragon Centrophorus Mouse. It is more modern but it has no screw and i have found no way of getting into its insides. Help me plz :D

Hi. Try to remove some of the "scratch-protectors" under your mouse. I found mine under these, but i bet you will need new ones after removing those.

ac9jg3 months ago

Thanks for the advice, I will try it tonight so I can use my computer again, but it better work!

keeboudi3 months ago

Usually the microswitches get worn out (internally) and you need to replace them. Also, if you file the actuators down *too* much, I would imagine they would no longer be able to push the switch plunger properly.

Caveat emptor!

EricS58 months ago

Wow! I have a 12+ year old Logitech MX500 mouse whose LMB became stubborn about a year ago. At first I kept spraying contact cleaner to the microswitch but it didn't really help that much.

Then I saw this article and this prompted me to look at the back of the LMB. And by golly, it really has worn down!

Anyway, instead of filing down the back of the button, I got some superglue and put a well aimed dab right smack in the part that was worn out. After the glue dried, it filled in the cavity.

Thanks for the tip!

PhillipS3 EricS55 months ago

This is excellent advice, which I have just put to good use (two layers of superglue) on a very cheap Advent mouse (sold by Currys in the UK) on which the clicker started to misbehave after about 7 months use. I actually bought a similar replacement just before doing the repair, as I did not want to be mouse-less if it didn't work, but I will now revert to using the old mouse and keep the new one as a spare!

Is it weird that I read your comment in a Stewie voice? :D

Perfectly normal.

I was proofreading my original comment in Stewie's voice too. :)

cazidutoit EricS57 months ago

Thanks so much to Eric and the writer of this all fixed yay =D

Scott2741 year ago

This problem is caused less due to ham fisted, computer illiterate etc users and more due to the use of smaller sized mice compared to the user's hand. When a user works with smaller mice, he/she gets used to gripping the mouse with fingers rather than controlling with palm, which causes the harder clicks and the clicker wearing out in shorter time. We also have less choice nowadays with mice being manufactured smaller and smaller.

Thank you for posting this. I watched a Youtube video and lost the url that showed how to make the scroll quiet I took out the spring and had to use your photo to put the black piece on the wheel back to together so thank you for helping me :)

Digholoi1 year ago
I am an avid gamer and had this problem with the right mouse button on a very expensive mouse. As an alternative to filing i built back up the groove using a hard plastic glue. It takes longer because you have to wait for the glue to set up but I think it's worth it to not have a change in the depth of the button press.
romanyacik1 year ago
Repairing a mouse with a nail file! Lol! Reminds me of an old joke. "How did you fix the TV?" "Nail file!"
Oh my... if I knew it was this easy I'd have fixed my beloved Logitech TrackMan weeks ago. I was preparing to replace the button itself. Sure enough I looked closer at that little plastic bit and there was a tiny little grove eaten into it where the button made contact.

It was easier to build it up than sand it down, so a tiny piece of duct tape later it's as good as new.

6+ years later and you're still awesome. Thanks. ;D
krish0ty092 years ago
hi, i'm muthu krishnan. My cursor is not moving when i use it on a flat surface table. But , it is working on my lap(leg) or in my palm.
Worked way better then I expected, thank you!
evoken3 years ago
Thanks, this tip was very helpful. Just repaired my left click. :)
It is funny because the mouse you used is the same exact model I have, very helpful!
ive got the problem of the left clicker hardly working i know its the case not the actual button inside its deffo the case button but i dont see how this will fix it as the mouse needs them sticky out things to push the button how is making them smaller going to fix it ive got blue tac on mine to make 1 of them sticky out things longer so it hits the button better
I was able to fill in the dimple with super glue. It creates a flat surface and just let it dry before reassembly. So far it is working great. I hesitated actually making the whole surface flat by remove height. Granted that i added height to the whole surface.
gurcharan884 years ago
my Microsoft mouse is deffer from the mouse shown here what should i do it has two problem 1 double click on left click and the other one is pointer not respond
kkko8 years ago
Thanks, that is great
Do you know how to put the springs back in?
I'm sure you already found this out, but this page has a few mouse diagrams on it: http://www.dansdata.com/moremouses.htm

And another instructables site here may help:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-mouse-wheel-not-click./step4/Reassemble/
ntoogood4 years ago
Thank you so much, that worked perfectly! I was surprised, because the divot/indentation was so small, but filing worked great. There were several small raised portions of the surface, at the corners of the area to be filed, that looked like they were part of the original manufactured part. However, filing those off did not cause a problem with clicking.
tahibabal5 years ago
wow it worked!!!.. my mouse broke, i click the left-click once but i went double click.. now, my mouse back to normal.. thx a lot ! , saved me 8$ or 75 thousand indonesian rupiah
lbrewer425 years ago
 This is brilliant, but I think I found a slightly easier way.  Since the parts you are filing off extend slightly higher than the dented area, I *think* these side parts are are there to prevent someone who is pushing down too hard from damaging the micro switch.  To eliminate the need to file anything, I simply cut a piece of duct tape into a tiny strip that would fit over the tiny indented area.  Of course I let some overlap so the tape does not come off and "form fitted" the tape along the sides of the plastic tabs so that it will stay there.  I just used a toothpick to press the tape down the sides of the tab.

I am thinking the duct tape will have enough cushioning to it that even if someone does press down too hard, the side projections can still help the switch not be ruined.

Of course I may also be wrong in my assumptions - however, the duct tape does work.  I did this to a Logitech Trackball mouse.  

Thanks for making this 'ible!
sl33p5 years ago
SIR I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, YOU ARE A GENIUS. I HAVE SEARCHED HIGH AND LOW FOR THE PAST YEAR FOR AN ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM. AND NOW YOU, GREAT GOD, HAVE FOUND THE ANSWER!
Fatcat875 years ago
Do you think you could take a few close up pictures of the "hard to put back" springs. I received a bag of parts for this mouse and a very sweet please and one of the springs has me stumped
Puoskcud6 years ago
The more Modern Dell (aka Logitech) Optical Mices have FOU (4) screws - two under the front sliding pad and two in the battery compartment under the "+" and "-" signs. They also have about a jillion parts, including a couple of springs on the side buttons, so dissamble them over a nice white sheet!
admiral0017 years ago
Thanks for the great tip. I tried this on my Logitec trackball and it worked like a charm. i was about ready to buy a new one, you saved me $40.
jeandeau7 years ago
Thank you for reminding us that often the problem is an easy fix of a less than obvious connection. I threw out my mouse thinking I would not easily find a replacement microswitch.
royalestel8 years ago
This is a cool little idea. Thanks! I thought for sure you'd show how to replace a microswitch, but I like this much better!
Dang!!!.... I just replaced the micro switch of my mouse.
Cinshine7 years ago
the wheel and springs fell out. I know it hard to put them back can you send me a picture on how they are supposed to go back in
benjgvps8 years ago
heh, i just replaced my dell mouse because it would not work at all. the light won't work,buttons don't work, scroll wheel dosent work. i gutted it and it's in my junk box now.
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