Apple Mighty Mouse Won’t Scroll Down

Update: On October 20, 2009, Apple introduced the successor to the Mighty Mouse, the Apple Magic Mouse:

It eliminates the scroll wheel completely, so you’ll never have the scrolling problem again! The whole upper surface of the Magic Mouse is a multitouch touchpad. If you buy one through this affiliate link, I get a little percentage that helps me maintain this site and keep up on the latest technologies. Thanks! 🙂

A few times now, the Mighty Mouse on my Mac (the one with the tiny little scroll ball on it) has lost the ability to scroll down. It scrolls upwards, and horizontally, with no problem. Seemed like a software problem to me, and in the past, restarting the app I was using, or the whole Mac, seemed to fix the problem.

It started doing it again this morning, and this time, no amount of rebooting, unplugging/replugging, etc. would work. I figured it had to be a software (or maybe electronic) problem, since if it was just gunked up and dirty, I figured it would impair scrolling in all directions. Not just one.

Well, it turns out, when the Mighty Mouse scroll wheel gets dirty, it stops being able to scroll down. Apparently, it’s a common problem, as a quick Google search turned up tons of pages, like this one at

The fix? Blow compressed air around the scroll ball, or just push on it really hard and roll it around (that worked for me). If you’re lucky (I was), it will start working again. If it keeps doing it, though, I’m going to have Apple replace it.

What a weird problem. Design flaw? Who knows. I guess it would be better if it were easier to remove and clean the scroll ball. Apple’s official directions for cleaning it are “hold it upside down and roll it around”. Seriously. They even have a video to show you how to do it. 🙂


316 thoughts on “Apple Mighty Mouse Won’t Scroll Down

  1. Simonj says:

    Scrolled up OK, not down. Checked settings before looking at this, after unplugging, pushing wheel down hard and moving, PERFECT. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: My Mighty Mouse Won’t Scroll » …in some weird postmodern way…

  3. Colleen says:

    Thank you!  This just happened to my second mouse, but this time I was able to fix it!!!!

  4. Bobguy49 says:

    I shot compressed air into the ball hole while holding the ball down.  a few times and it works okay now.

    • Mrpang999 says:


  5. Lala_tosha says:

    I love my mighty mouse, when it works. I love the fact that I can scroll horizontally just as easily as vertically. But Like many of you, I have had to take it apart and clean it several times, and the last time I did it I guess I didn’t get it back together just right and now my right click barely works, oh well.

  6. Majorcynic says:

    Wow – this post is 6 years old – but it just saved my bacon! It did not even occur to me that the scroll ball could be affected only in one direction because it needed a cleaning. I’ve been scratching my head for months wondering why I could no longer scroll down… found your page – and problem solved! Thanks, mate!

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