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Ask Jesse Your Own Question
Jesse, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2287
Experience:  Life-long Apple Geek & Power User, 10+Years Apple Experience
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Thinking I has a bad mouse, I just bought a new one only to

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Thinking I has a bad mouse, I just bought a new one only to find the same problem: Unless I turn off the side buttons in the system prefs, the computer thinks that i'm pressing the side buttons constantly...

There's a few possibilities. Have you tried plugging in the mouse with another user on the same computer, or connecting it to a different USB port on the computer or on the keyboard? Let me know if either of those help.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Changeing ports made no difference. My iMac is configured for only one user...
If changing ports doesn't effect the mouse, then it's likely a preference file issue. Are you familiar with how to Repair your permissions? If not, open a new Finder window and go into Applications->Utilities and open Disk Utility. From that window, select your Hard Drive on the left. You'll see an option at the bottom of the window to Repair Disk Permissions. Run that, restart your computer after, and try the mouse again. Let me know if that fixes it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ran Repair permissions, no effect, same problem... How could permissions be changed unless i did it anyway?
Permissions can change for a number of reasons without you doing it intentionally. Let's try creating a new account, logging into it, and testing the mouse. We need to figure out whether it's a user issue, or a system issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok... how do i make a new account... I've been using macs since finder 1.0 (yea. 1985) and never had to do that...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I Figured out the new account issue. easy enough. same problem. the mouse still acts up an either account if I don't turn off the side buttons.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Um, I have to head to bed, we'll continue this tomorrow evening. Thanks for youe help, Jessie...
This may sound like an odd question, but if you hold onto the mouse while the side buttons are malfunctioning, and touch the metal frame of your iMac with your other hand, does the issue stop?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I just got home from work, and went to try you suggestion, and I can't get the mouse to malfunction... Usually, the malfunction happens as soon as I turn on the side buttons. The computer is still "cold". Could the be a thermal issue?
There's been a recurring ground issue with some iMacs, and the Might Mouse side buttons seem to be sensitive to it. Do you hear a clicking noise at all, coming from the mouse when the buttons begin to malfunction?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I haven't really noticed. I'll keep by ears pealed. how do you correct a ground issue with a USB divice? Stick a 12 guage wire into the trackball socket?? : )
In this case, the mighty mouse is actually revealing a defect in the iMac. You could try taking it to the Genius Bar and telling them what you believe the problem is, it's all over Apple's forums. You're simplest fix is to start using a wireless Mighty Mouse. I realize that's not a great solution, but it's what you've got at this point. I can't guarantee that Apple will acknowledge or fix the issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yea, no Mfr likes to admit to problems with their equipment. A ground issue does make sense, even with apparent intermittent failure of the mouse. It is strange that iv'e had this iMac for just over two years and a ground issue is just showing up now?
The fact that only the side buttons on the Mighty Mouse are manifesting the issue, means that it's just a minor grounding problem. You could try plugging the iMac into another outlet to make sure it's not just a bad ground there, but over time, with constant use, there a vast number of reasons it could be presenting.
Jesse and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ya know, it wouldn't surprise me if it was in the wall outlet. This house is well over 100yrs old... Thanks!
No problem, and good luck! A quick note, I would pick up the new Magic Mouse if you end up buying a new one, they're wicked sweet.