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What is an Apple® Mighty Mouse™?

Adam Hill
Adam Hill

The Apple® Mighty Mouse™ is a computer mouse made by the Apple® company. It can be wired or wireless, and was sold for the first time in the summer of 2005. The mouse is "buttonless," meaning it doesn't have any visible buttons on the top of it. Rather, it operates through sensors which detect the placement of a click by the user. It also has a scrolling function, in the form of a small rotating ball located in the topshell. Buttons located on the side of the mouse can also be programmed to allow the user quick access to certain programs or utilities.

Most of the mice used by computers that run the Windows® operating system have at least two buttons -- one to select an item, and another to view and select other options. All of the mice made by Apple® before the Mighty Mouse™ had one button only, used to select items on the screen. The function that computer users know as a right click could only be done with help from the keyboard, so the release of the Mighty Mouse™ was a notable milestone in the history of Apple®. The Apple® Mighty Mouse™ is made of white plastic, with a recessed image of the company logo in the top.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Like many newer computer mice, the Apple® Mighty Mouse™ uses an optical laser, rather than a trackball, to sense movement. This translates to a greater degree of versatility when it comes to the surfaces it can be used on. The scroll ball mechanism used by this device is unique, in that it can scroll at any angle, rather than just up or down. Other mice can operate in similar ways, but the Apple® Mighty Mouse™ is the only one that can do so without being moved.

Its many conveniences notwithstanding, the Mighty Mouse™ is subject to a few deficiencies and disadvantages. For one, the tiny scroll ball can become dirty over time, eventually causing it to stick, thereby rendering it useless. It can only be cleaned with difficulty, or by taking apart the mouse itself, which is a delicate process that will void the warranty even if successful. Also, a right click only registers as such when there is no pressure on the left sensor. This may necessitate a somewhat bothersome adaptation on the part of the user. Finally, as with many other Apple® products, if anything should go wrong with the device, the only repair solutions are usually a trip to the Apple® store or shipping it to a repair facility.

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Discussion Comments


My old Logitech mouse (which I have difficulty using with my new iMac, it seems) had this great feature that I can't see in my new Apple Mighty Mouse: the ability to close open windows with a simple click anywhere. Can the Mighty Mouse be programed to do that? Thanks

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