How to Repair a Clicker on an Optical Mouse

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A computer mouse is the pointing device that allows a user to move a cursor around the screen. Physically, the mouse consists of an oblong, plastic shell, a scrolling wheel and one or two buttons or "clickers." It is quite common for a mouse's clickers to eventually wear out from overuse. Repairing them, however, is not complicated and requires only a Phillips head screwdriver and a metal nail file.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Metal nail file
  • Soft dusting cloth
  • Flip the mouse over to expose its underside. Remove any screws beneath.

  • Turn the mouse back over. Use gentle pressure and light wiggling motions to remove the mouse's plastic cover. Although the cover tightly attaches to the lower portion of the mouse, the 2 pieces are not adhered--they merely snap together.

  • Remove the buttons. The buttons are one piece of plastic held in place on each side by small, springy plastic barbs. Push the barbs back one at a time with your thumb and slide the button piece out from underneath.

  • Locate any unwanted indentations on the top area of the underside of the buttons--these are the root of the clicker's problem. These indentations form when users push the clicker too hard causing the buttons to improperly bump against small actuators in the mouse.

  • Buff away the indentations with the metal file. Your goal is to create a flat surface where indentations once existed. Use a soft cloth to clean inside the mouse removing any dust or gunk that has accumulated.

  • Realign the buttons beneath the springy barbs on the underside of the mouse's cover. Snap the cover back onto the bottom portion of the mouse.

  • Put the screw or screws back into the mouse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Manufacturers frequently hide a mouse's screws beneath little pads on the underside of the mouse. They do this to make the product look more streamline and to discourage disassembly by users. If your screws are covered, gently pry the pads off with a small knife or the nail file. Pop them back on when you finish the repair.
  • Do not aggressively force the mouse apart in Step 2. You must ensure that the interlocking snap closure remains intact so that you can put the mouse back together in the end.
  • Be careful not to loosen the scroll wheel from its springs during the repair. This wheel is difficult to realign in place.
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