Magic Mouse is a good accessory if you do not like to use the default trackpad in MacBook laptops. It comes as part of the package with iMac desktop models and will cost you $79 (white) or $99 (black) when purchased separately. If you want to purchase the mouse or if it does not work on your existing setup, here are some beginner’s tips. Also, check out some beginner tips for Magic Keyboard.
Apple Magic Mouse
It’s a multi-touch surface device without any split buttons or wheel. I don’t know why the black color costs $20 more than the white, though both look identical. You will get a USB-C to lightning cable as part of either the accessory box or desktop package.
1. Check Mac’s Compatibility Before Purchasing Magic Mouse
You can use the Magic Mouse with supported MacBook, iMac and iPad models as listed in the compatibility section of this page. Though you can connect the device without cable, you need a USB-C port on the Mac for charging the mouse. Otherwise, you need a separate charger which is inconvenient. For example, I have old MacBook Pro Retina Early 2015 model which does not have USB-C port. In such a case, it does not make sense to buy an adapter and Magic Mouse. Probably, you can go for a cheaper third-party device that works on your Mac.
2. Wireless and Bluetooth
It’s a wireless device that needs Bluetooth connection both on the mouse and Mac to pair. Though this is not a problem with a new Mac, you may have connectivity problems with old Mac if the Bluetooth connection is not strong. This will be annoying on iMac, as it will be impossible to work without mouse or trackpad. If the mouse is disconnected, simply click the mouse, turn on/off the Bluetooth or wait for some time to get it reconnected. You will see a splash mouse icon on the display showing the device is connected or disconnected.
3. Check Battery Percentage
Magic Mouse has an internal battery which however needs to be recharged. Frankly, the battery holds for many weeks and you can find the battery percentage by clicking on the Bluetooth icon on top menu bar of your Mac. If you are not finding Bluetooth icon on the top bar, go to System Settings (System Preferences on old macOS setup) and check in Bluetooth section.
4. Can’t Use Mouse While Charging
The device has a plugin point at the bottom for charging. Important thing is the mouse will NOT work while you are recharging. You can’t even slide the finger at the bottom sensor and move the pointer on the screen. It will be completely dead when charging.
Magic Mouse also has a switch at the bottom to turn off the Bluetooth. If the device is not working, make sure someone did not turn the switch off.
5. Using Single Finger Swipe / Tap
Other than scrolling up on down, you can use also finger swipe or tap with the mouse.
- Use single finger swipe to move the horizontal scroll bar.
- On browser apps, swiping single finger on left will go back to previously visited webpage and swiping right will forward you to next page.
- Double tap on the mouse with single finger to zoom in the content (called smart zoom).
6. Using Double Finger Swipe or Tap
Like single finger, there are also double finger options available with Magic Mouse.
- Tap on the mouse with double fingers to open Mission Control (F3). You can quickly view other app windows or go to another virtual desktop from there.
- Use double fingers to swipe left or right to navigate through full screen apps.
7. Enabling Right-Click on Magic Mouse
Similar to trackpad, by default Magic Mouse considers all the clicks on the surface area as a left click. You need to hold the control key on keyboard and click for getting right-click context menu. You need to enable separate right-click on Magic Mouse if you need.
- Click Apple menu and go to “System Settings” option.
- Go to “Mouse” section and navigate to “Point & Clicks” tab.
- Click the dropdown against “Secondary click” heading and select “Click Right Side” option.
- Now, you can use left and right clicks separately on the mouse without holding additional keys.
8. Configuring Touchpad and Mouse
On MacBook laptops, you need to make sure the Magic Mouse and Trackpad are configured same way. For example, if you are using natural scrolling then both devices should use natural scrolling to track finger movement. Otherwise, when you slide the finger up, your trackpad will move the content up and the mouse will move the content down.
Also, you can disable certain options like zooming in with double tap using single finger. Because you can’t zoom out easily without keyboard or app’s option. As explained above, go to “Mouse” setting and configure all options under “Point & Click” and More Gestures” sections.
Trackpad settings can be configured separately under “Trackpad” section on MacBook laptops.
9. Connecting Multiple Devices Nearby
It is also possible to use the same Magic Mouse on multiple devices. Make sure the devices are connected to same Wi-Fi and turned-on Bluetooth and available nearby.
- Go to “Apple menu > System Settings…”.
- Select “Displays” section and click “Advanced” button.
- On the pop-up, enable “Allow your pointer and keyboard to move between any nearby Mac or iPad” option.
- You can also enable “Push through the edge of a display to connect a nearby Mac or iPad” option. This will help to move the mouse pointer from the edge of one device and then move on another nearby device.
Make sure your Mac supports the Magic Mouse and has a port before you purchase the device. If the mouse came with your iMac, you may occasionally face connectivity problem due to Bluetooth pairing. Other than that, Magic Mouse is a cool device which you can configure in the settings and use as per your need.
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