Make Your Mouse Scroll Wheel Move Like Butter

About: UX Director, Product Manager, & Metal Sculptor w 3D scanning modeling printing, IoT electronics, SaaS prototyping

Intro: Make Your Mouse Scroll Wheel Move Like Butter

Hate that stiff, clicky wheel on your mouse? Give your mouse wheel a super slick, butter smooth spinning action in 10 minutes.

If you can operate a tiny screwdriver, you should be able to do this whichever way your mouse is put together.

Tools:
1 computer mouse
1 #00 Phillips head screwdriver (small)
1 X-Acto or utility knife

I have done this on the following mice:

  • iMicro MO-M128MI USB Optical Mouse
  • HP Wireless Elite Desktop Mouse
  • Logitech M-BD58 USB Optical Wheel Mouse

The first two are more recent mice and have similar guts. The logitech was the oldest but also easiest to mod.

Step 1: Find How to Open It

Most mice use a combination of click-together and screw attachments. To find any screws, look for screws under pads, stickers, and behind the batteries.

Under pads: using an exacto top, carefully pry these up and keep in a safe place to reattach later.
Behind stickers: rub your philips head screwdriver over the sticker looking for indentations. These indentations may be a sign of a hidden screw.

The logitech was simple: one screw and the whole thing came apart. The HP took some tricky moves...

Step 2: Pry Open the Case

Find a seam that looks like where it separates the important parts and pry it open carefully. I prefer a stiff plastic hotel keycard as it does less damage to the soft plastic.

Be very gentle, you don't want to break off any of the plastic tabs in the process.

So now that the cases are open, we can look inside.

Step 3: Identify Wheel Mechanism

Inside your mouse, attached to the wheel is a mechanism that records the spinning motion (often a potentiometer or optical encoder). Usually next to that is a spring that presses against a notched wheel. This is what we are interested in.

On the iMicro MO-M128MI USB Optical Mouse, the wheel and spring are easily visible.

In the HP Wireless Elite Desktop mouse, the easiest access to this wheel's spring mechanism was right on the top of the mouse underneath the buttons. I was tempted to disassemble further, but they made it rather tricky. Not wanting to break the thing I chose a different method–remove the notches from the wheel.

The Logitech mouse's spring is right in the middle of the wheel (already removed in picture) and could not be easier to mod.

Step 4: Flatten Spring, Remove Notches, or Remove Spring

It depends on what your mouse guts look like.

iMicro MO-M128MI USB Optical Mouse:

  • Wedge a utility knife blade into the space between the spring and notched wheel and twist to flatten the spring.
  • That's it! Take it for a spin!

HP Wireless Elite Desktop Mouse:

  • Use the same technique as above or...
  • Scrape off the notches from the wheel.
    I suggest holding the blade against the notched wheel at a 90° angle to the notches you would like to remove and spinning the wheel with your other hand. Continue until there are no more notches and the wheel is smooth.

Logitech M-BD58 USB Optical Wheel Mouse:

  • In this one, life was good. It was a simple spring that scrapes the inside of the mouse wheel.
  • Flick off the spring using your fingers and you are done.

You are done! Congratulations!

Step 5: Scrape Off the Notches

If removing the spring was difficult, another methods is to trim off the notches that the spring catches on to make the wheel step.

I suggest holding the blade against the notched wheel at a 90° angle to the notches you would like to remove and spinning the wheel with your other hand. Continue until there are no more notches and the wheel is smooth.

Step 6: Try It for a Spin

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6 Discussions

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Semiconducted

5 months ago

I appreciate the gratitude everyone, seriously! Keep making great stuff and hacking things that aren't (yet)!

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TimothyL45

2 years ago

I actually didn't have an Instructables account before this, here's the story:

1. I went to a store and tried out all the gaming mice

2. Loved them because they were freespin and not ratchet

3. Wanted to get a gaming freespin mouse, but it was too expensive.

4. Followed this tutorial for free! :) Thank you so much! I am enjoying it thoroughly!

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MiklósB4

2 years ago

Thank you for the tips! I just bought a Genius mouse whose wheel was unbearably hard to turn, that's why I searched and I found this page. I disabled the spring almost fully, and it works now perfectly!

I just want to thank you. Cuz it worked. However if you disassemble before scrolling down to where it says View All Steps then you're stuck lol

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carolmac55

5 years ago on Introduction

Looks handy for precision scrolling. Done deal. Thanks Awfully.

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fmiguel4

6 years ago on Step 6

thank you i really neaded that.....