Introduction: 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.

Step 1: Remove the Screw

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There's only one screw in this model.

Step 2: Take the Top Off

Picture of Take the Top Off

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!).


dialsamai (author)2017-07-14

Wait a moment. You tell us to file the raised areas down. That means, as I understand, that the actuators will be touched not by the indentations, but by the flat surface behind it. It also means we will get deeper and longer clicks, doesn't it?

If that is the case I guess your solution works. In my case, my kitty thought it was a real mouse LOL and pawed it a while before throwing it to the floor. The fall is short, but it was enough to remove the whole square thingy out, meaning I now forcefully need to replace it somehow... Be it with blue tack, super glue or pill blister aluminium... Well your article did help a lot, thanks!

gudzcualah (author)2017-01-19

funny how this most of all time don't work when the real culprit is
the metal inside the a result of wear and tear that metal got
so sensitive it got displaced/bent just a little from its sweet spot
and it ruin my gaming experience..ya those little fu**** easy to disassemble and
always cure my cancer when im done puttin it back

Erika GraceG (author)2016-08-17

I was so annoyed with my Logitech mini mouse because i had to click a couple of times before it works. This is helpful thank you but instead of using a nail file, I cut a blister pack which is made of aluminum and added one layer of it to the button area where it hits the "clicker", and just used double sided tape. i tried two layers but it wouldn't move anymore haha. I came up with this cz i didn't have any super glue lol. Thanks so much for this!

GaryM129 (author)2016-07-04

I have a Dell / Logitech mouse. My problem is that it scrolls to the bottom of any page I go on. Is there a solution for this?

TheA17 (author)2016-04-09

I've done that.. now my mouse is "better" but it looks like my scrollwheel doesn't work as is should...

TheA17 (author)2016-04-09

I've done that.. now my mouse is "better" but it looks like my scrollwheel doesn't work as is should...

JpB5 (author)2015-12-08

i have the same kind of mouse

sos_sifou (author)2013-08-11

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 :)

MikeGrant65 (author)sos_sifou2015-06-09

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

ann.learner (author)sos_sifou2014-09-20

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.myatt (author)2015-03-07

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

JohanK4 (author)fernan.myatt2015-05-25

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.

ac9jg (author)2015-03-24

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

keeboudi (author)2015-03-24

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!

EricS5 (author)2014-11-02

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 (author)EricS52015-01-17

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!

InceptionSalt (author)EricS52014-12-05

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

EricS5 (author)InceptionSalt2014-12-08

Perfectly normal.

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

cazidutoit (author)EricS52014-11-25

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

Scott274 (author)2014-04-11

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.

happyskunky (author)2014-01-31

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 :)

Digholoi (author)2013-11-23

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.

romanyacik (author)2013-08-29

Repairing a mouse with a nail file! Lol! Reminds me of an old joke. "How did you fix the TV?" "Nail file!"

Knight Lamune (author)2013-06-17

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

krish0ty09 (author)2012-08-20

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.

Gmastefluffy (author)2012-05-15

Worked way better then I expected, thank you!

evoken (author)2012-01-16

Thanks, this tip was very helpful. Just repaired my left click. :)

een8egeweldig (author)2011-12-30

It is funny because the mouse you used is the same exact model I have, very helpful!

jmcguire pot farmer (author)2011-09-21

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

mitchellsingleton (author)2011-07-13

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.

gurcharan88 (author)2011-07-08

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

kkko (author)2007-04-14

Thanks, that is great

m_coomer146 (author)kkko2008-03-21

Do you know how to put the springs back in?

ntoogood (author)m_coomer1462010-12-16

I'm sure you already found this out, but this page has a few mouse diagrams on it:

And another instructables site here may help:

ntoogood (author)2010-12-16

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.

tahibabal (author)2010-06-11

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

lbrewer42 (author)2010-03-16

 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!

sl33p (author)2009-10-29


Fatcat87 (author)2009-10-27

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

Puoskcud (author)2009-03-10

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!

admiral001 (author)2008-03-30

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.

jeandeau (author)2008-03-25

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.

royalestel (author)2007-01-24

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!

Mojo_JoJo (author)royalestel2007-10-25

Dang!!!.... I just replaced the micro switch of my mouse.

Cinshine (author)2007-09-11

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

rnx (author)2006-11-19

one of your USB wires was cut.

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