Fix your Trackball Mouse

Trackball mouse vs standard mouse

I’ve been using a Logitech Trackball mouse for years now. I love them. I am a video editor so having a move anything more than my thumb can be tiring after awhile. I love them so much, that we are a trackball mouse only studio. All of our editors also edit with the trackball mice, and are big fans as well. The learning curve is shallow, and it does wonders for anyone prone to carpel tunnel.

After a few months of getting my first trackball mouse, and subsequently falling in love with it, I was convinced that it had completely crapped out on me. The movement was sporadic, the arrow would jump all over the page and sometimes it just didn’t respond at all to movement. So I ordered a new one, assuming that the first one was simply defective.

Troubleshooting trackball mouse issues

I got my new one in the mail, and we were off to the races. Everything was going fine until I noticed this one started to have weird movements as well, maybe two months after ordering. I have always had great success with Logitech products, so I was pretty surprised that I would end up with two defective mice. So, I did the only thing I knew to do: I took the whole thing apart. It was once I popped out the actual trackball “ball” that I realized the issue. The sensors were dirty. There are three sensors inside the seat of the ball that collect anything and everything. If you ever have dry skin, or eat while working (we are all guilty of that, don’t feel bad), or even just work somewhere that collects dust from time to time, this is going to happen.

To pop out the trackball, simply press with your finger (if you have small to medium hands) through the hole on the bottom of the mouse. The ball will give some resistance, but keep pressing. It’s meant to come out that way. If you have meaty mitts, use the eraser end of a pencil to pop it out. Be ready to catch it as it literally pops out, however the balls are very durable so if they bounce a couple times, it won’t be the end of the world.

Trackball mouse
Trackball removed
Dirty trackball mouse sensors

There are a couple ways to fix your mouse once this happens. One way is to get some compressed air and spray each individual sensor. This is probably the most effective way to handle the problem.

Next option is to use your own air in your lungs, and blow mightily on the sensors until they come clean.

Lastly would be to take a tissue and wipe the sensors. You don’t want to mess with the sensors too much, because that’s when you could start having actual issues with your mouse.

You can avoid this problem by washing your hands a lot, and not eating near your desk, but let’s be honest. It’s going to happen. Just be prepared once it does, and you should have a long lasting relationship with your trackball mouse.

On a side note, after figuring out what was wrong with my second mouse, I went back to the first and cleaned it, and now have a backup mouse that works like a charm!

If you have any other tips for cleaning your trackball mouse, let me know in the comments below!