Mac Pro owners having problems with Magic Mouse Bluetooth connectivity

magicmousejaudrius

Even if Leander can’t quite figure out how to use it, the multi-touch capable Magic Mouse is quite a stride forward for Mac owners… especially given Apple’s execrable history of making decent mice. Still, no new piece of gear is without its technological problems. No surprise, then, that the Apple support forums have become the petri dish in which isolated Magic Mouse troubleshooting complaints have been allowed to multiply into a wider culture sample of product failure.

The issue seems to be widespread amongst Mac Pro owners, who simply can’t get the Magic Mouse to play nice with their machines. Pair a Magic Mouse with a Mac Pro and your experience will be rife with stuttering cursors and suddenly lost connections… a situation made even more frustrating because the device works without a problem when connected to other computers.

Unfortunately, the problem seems to be endemic to the design of the Mac Pro itself. It appears that the Mac Pro’s Bluetooth antenna is hidden on the underbelly of the machine, under a plastic cover. According to Mac site HardMac, this causes the Mac Pro to have much spottier Bluetooth reception than other computers with better placed Bluetooth antennas, and the Magic Mouse is particularly fussy about it.

The only fix? Pick up an aftermarket Bluetooth module and plug it into a USB port. That’s hardly the “It just works” solution you’d hope for in an Apple product… let alone one with the word ‘magic’ right in the name.

(Creative Commons Image via jaudrius on Flickr)

  • Oldredboots

    I just moved my MacPro ten feet into the machine room. I had a Bluetooth module sitting around from the old days. Thanks for providing the fix! Fabulous.

  • harry_the_horse

    I am having the same problem with a jumpy magic mouse. Just spoke to Applecare and they are going to replace it- sounds like there may be an issue.

  • Aldo Borzoni

    I did what you suggest. I purchased a USB micro adapter at OWC. Plugged it in a USB on the side of the keyboard and 2 things happened: I got a warning that the device required more power and my Magic Mouse died. The poor rodent couldn’t be resuscitated until i restarted my mac pro. Then I plugged the adapter directly into one of the computer’s USB ports. Nope. Could kinda be detected but not put to work (and the second I plugged the adapter in the mouse died again, of course). Mine is an original Mac Pro from 2006. I recently upgraded to Lion. And I waited until Lion was released to get the Magic Mouse because it was to be mi wonderful intro to the world of “gestures”. So, no. It didn’t work and I have a nice looking useless new module. Any ideas?

  • Caleb Land

    I just bought this one, and have it plugged into my apple aluminum keyboard, which is plugged into my 30 inch cinema display, which is then plugged into the mac pro… my magic mouse is smoother, and everything seems to be working correctly.

    http://www.amazon.com/Medialin

  • Troy

    I had the opposite problem – I had a USB bluetooth module plugged into my keyboard that I used to use with a Mac Pro – the Magic Mouse (or the MacBook {Pro) must have been confused with both Bluetooth devices.  When I unplugged the old USB bluetooth module everything started working.

  • phototristan

    While a USB Bluetooth Mini adapter works, you have to re-pair every time you wake your Mac up from sleep or restart it, which requires a wired mouse. Hardly a real solution unless you never turn  off your sleep your Mac…

  • Alex Harker

    I have a very large desk at work so I moved the Mac Pro tower up onto the desk surface against the wall and behind the monitor. It’s better to be sure, but still has bad days with a lot of cursor stutter. It’s sad, I will need to find a better solution because I’m not about to dust off one of the old Dell mice lying around here.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Apple, Mac Pro | Tagged: , , , , |