How to Completely Disassemble a MAC Mouse - Clean/Repair/Mod




Introduction: How to Completely Disassemble a MAC Mouse - Clean/Repair/Mod

Your MAC mouse scroll ball is not scrolling correctly, whether it be down as in my case or up or around in general.

Action (Multiple Choice):
A) Buy a new mouse.
B) Clean the little bugger.
C) Only use the track-pad (Laptop only option)
D) Slam the mouse around and hope to dislodge the dirt. Usually resulting in only Option A as the choice.

This Instructable is for those of you would like to clean, mod, or otherwise see how the thing works without destroying your MAC mouse, hopefully. It's broken anyway, so what do you have to lose.

Contrary to some research and references that I have read online, a dremel is unnecessary. I used the dremel during my repair process to carve out the Apple symbol on top of the mouse.

Best of luck.

An Exacto knife or sharp knife from your silverware drawer.

A small tipped Phillips screwdriver.

A small tipped Standard screwdriver.

A multimeter if you fancy making sure the 5v power connection is still working properly.

A small amount of quick dry glue or super glue.

Patience, patience, patience.

Step 1: Tools and Completed Disassembly

The tools used are pictured.

The disassembled mouse is also shown for reference.

Step 2: The Hardest Part - Teflon Ring and Plastic Ring

The purpose of this step is remove the two rings on the mouse to expose the two front plastic clips and rear clips in the body of the mouse. It is also the most important step and takes the most patience.

With an Excto knife, gently pry the edges up of the Teflon Ring surrounding the main base of the mouse. This is kind of tricky because very small plstic columns hold the ring in position around the entire base of the mouse.

The pictures illustrate how small they are, so just go slow and the teflon ring will come out intact. If columns break, then super glue is an alternative when putting the teflon ring back on the base of the mouse.

The hardest part is removing the plastic ring around edge of the mouse body. Glue is strategically placed around the plastic ring.

However, at each of the buttons, there is no glue. Use the small flathead screwdriver to gently pry your way around the edge of the plastic ring. Wedge a little under the ring and gently lift a bit all the way around. Take it slow and it will not break. If it breaks, then super glue will be needed to put it back together.

You will notice that the buttons on the sides of the mouse are pulled out a bit. That's because you can use the small flathead screwdriver to pop them out a little bit and gain access to the unglued edges in order to take off the plastic ring on the main body of the mouse.

Step 3: Opening the Mouse - Be Careful of the Flat Cables and Side Buttons

After the rings are removed, the mouse will want to fall apart if you turn it right-side up.

The Side Buttons have two arms that sit underneath the PCB and you will see hinged from the base. Carefully remove them.

Two flat cables run from the mouse ball enclosure and another on the top of the mouse. Use the small flathead to disconnect the flat cable from the clip on the PCB.

Once disconnected, the mouse can be fully opened.

On the top of the mouse is the housing of the mouse ball.

On the bottom, the PCB hides the USB cable underneath and is connected by the connection on top of the PCB.

Step 4: Disassembly of the PCB

Once the mouse is open the rest is pretty easy. Just keep track of all the parts.

The PCB is held together by three screws.

Take notice of how the side buttons of the mouse attach underneath the PCB.

The USB cable is held onto the bottom with a couple of strategically placed pieces of tape.

The Optics of the laser will fall out when you take the PCB off. Try not to lose it, scratch it, and DO NOT try to clean it. Just set it aside for when you put it back together.

Step 5: Disassembly of the Mouse Enclosure

On the top of the mouse is the mouse ball enclosure. It is held together with three small screws.

Note: The mouse ball enclosure screws are longer than the PCB screws. When you put the mouse back together, the shorter screws go into the bottom to hold the PCB board.

The mouse ball enclosure and scroll wheels are held into place by a delicate plastic white covering. Take special notice of the orientation of this part. It only fits on ONE way.

The four scroll wheels are oriented around the mouse ball. They are held in place by small ferrite wheels on the plastic posts. The wheels are pictured in the order that can be seen when looking at the small grey covered plastic magnets in the enclosure.

These pieces are super small, so be careful not to lose them.

To clean the posts, gently remove the grit, grime, and gunk with the edge of the Exacto knife or your finger nail, whatever works.

Step 6: Congratulations - Now Put It Back Together

If you have gotten this far, then you have hopefully been able to successfully disassemble your MAC mouse.

As I shared at the beginning, I used a dremel to carve out the Apple Logo. I like it and was going to piggy back an LED onto the 5v USB cable, though I thought I'd do that some other day.

To put the mouse back together. Just follow the steps you took to take the mouse apart in reverse.

You may not have had to take off the PCB or cable, so your job if half over.

Just be careful with the mouse buttons and flat cable installations. The flat cables can take a bit of fanagling.

The Plactic Ring around the base of the mouse should be the last piece reinstalled on the mouse. Use a couple of dabs of super glue or quick-dry glue and you're done.

Be the First to Share


    • Jewelry Challenge

      Jewelry Challenge
    • Fix It Speed Challenge

      Fix It Speed Challenge
    • New Year, New Skill Student Design Challenge

      New Year, New Skill Student Design Challenge



    12 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! Thanks!, there is however something else people may want to try before undertaking this one, unplug the mouse (or turn it off if its bluetooth) Then get a clean piece of paper, turn the mouse upside down and firmly roll the ball around on the paper...


    Reply 1 year ago

    Almost considering to disassemble the mouse, but it turns out following your advice work good enough to clear all the gunk inside. Thanks a lot


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your feedback. This is a great suggestion. Your suggestion is actually one of several non-intrusive solutions that I tried doing though the issue remained so I started researching online for how to disassemble the little bugger and found nothing useful or comprehensive. With respect to unplugging the little guy, I somewhat presumed that would be something already done prior to wanting to throw the thing away or out the window or against a wall or smooshing it with my foot.


    5 years ago

    Thank you for posting this instruction! I was able to clean up my mouse and get it working beautifully, once I got those pesky rings off! I have a suggestion for an all-purpose tool. I like to use those bamboo skewers that you make kabobs on - they won't conduct, you can't hurt anything, and they get into the little cracks and crevices beautifully. I use them more for cleaning electronic things than I ever do for cooking.

    iApple guy
    iApple guy

    9 years ago on Step 3

    Do you know why they put a pizo buzzer on that board? I have neaver heard a apple mouse make sounds!?!?


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    Replicate the tactile and auditory sensation of a "non-mac" or windows mouse. If you have an old PS2 mouse that you can tear down, you will see the internal gearing that give the windows mouse a tactile feel and clicking sound. The Mac mouse internals are smooth, so no clicky-clicky. The piezo provides a nearly inaudible though present sound that lets the user know they are scrolling. There isn't any tactile vibration though. I hope that's a helpful response. I also googled other responses though I think they were WAG-ging the dog.


    I have had to use the mouse with no scrolling action - I really like your instructable, very clear pictures. I tried something else which worked for me, I sprayed lots of electronic cleaner through the hole where the ball sits (using plastic safe electronic cleaner) held the mouse down (do this with the moused unplugged) and rolled the ball quite vigorously and using a lint free cloth to wipe up the gunk that came out of the hole and my mouse has worked perfectly since.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    although i do like this guide, i think you might be better off springing for the magic mouse. i have used the mighty mouse (brand new and crudded up at the library) and i own a magic mouse, and the magic mouse beats the mighty mouse any day.


    11 years ago on Introduction

     Thanks so much for this. I've struggled mightily w/ bad scrolling, but can now save at least one mouse-buying episode (depending on how hard it is to get the plastic ring off again once super-glued). 

    One possibly helpful note is that if you're just trying to fix scroll wheel, you don't need to disconnect any ribbons or unscrew boards (you can skip steps 3-4). It's easy to access the three screws of the ball enclosure, lift it out, and clean/air-spray it's innards. Worked for me. 

    Love the dremeled logo.  :)



    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad that you figured out that you can leave the ribbons on without disconnection. This was more to help completely deconstruct and reconstruct the mouse in an effort to reassure that the parts go back together right.I have since taken this mac mouse apart three times to clean the accumulation of dirt/oil/gunk from the wheels. Similar to spot welding, you can spot super-glue your mouse for easier maintenance in the future. Glad you liked the logo.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    very very good. my original idea was to make it a backwards mouse so everything was backwards but there was the problem of clicking which was impossible so instead im making a custom body out of a mint container and i will be put up a instructable for that =). 

    one suggestion thoe would be stating to slowly take the top off the bottom i didn't and i ended up breaking a little green wire. not sure what it does because i plugged it in and it worked just fine.

    Thanks soo much for this awesome instructable