It's time you all got over how the Magic Mouse charges

Magic Mouse 2
Magic Mouse 2 (Image credit: iMore)

You may have noticed an increase in Magic Mouse slander recently, and like me, you may wonder why a product that came out six years ago is getting this much attention again. Well, you can blame the new Mac Studio.

When Apple released the Mac Studio, it also released a black version of its Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse, and because of that, people seem to want to dredge up old issues. I have even seen a TikTok creator go as far as to say that Apple's "new" mouse was problematic. So let's get things clear; the Magic Mouse hasn't been changed since the Magic Mouse 2 came out in 2015. We've seen some new colors, but not a new mouse.

Many people will tell you that the Magic Mouse sucks, and they will always point to the way the mouse charges as their reasoning. However, I think the Magic Mouse gets a lousy rap unnecessarily.

The charging issue is overblown

Blue Magic Mouse with blue iMac (2021) (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Yes, you can't charge the Magic Mouse and use it simultaneously. The Lightning port is located on the bottom of the mouse, meaning when you want to charge it, you have to turn it over and plug it in, leaving it in a position somewhat reminiscent of a turtle that is down on its luck. Heck, we just found out that even if you find a way to charge the mouse and use it simultaneously, it still doesn't work.

Is that the most optimal design? No. Does it make the Magic Mouse unusable? No!

The battery, on a full charge, will last several weeks. The Magic Mouse is the only mouse I use with my M1 iMac, and I consistently get anywhere from 6-8 weeks on a full charge. That's using the mouse 40-50 hours each week for work, plus other fun activities in the evenings like gaming, photo editing, etc.

"But it takes so long to charge," you might say. Charging your Magic Mouse from 0-100% does indeed take about 2 hours, but can you not find two hours in over a month to charge up your mouse in the grand scheme of things? Plus, that doesn't consider that nothing stops you from charging your mouse for, say, two minutes if you need a little more juice to finish your workday or your current task. Only a couple of minutes of charging should give you eight-to-nine hours of battery life. So close your Apple Watch stand ring, get another cup of coffee, or whatever suits you. Then plug it in when you're done for the day, and a full charge will keep you rolling for another month or more.

I understand that if you're in the middle of the workday, and your mouse dies on you, rendering it useless, that will suck. However, macOS Monterey will warn you when the device is getting low. Plus, by looking at your Bluetooth connections, you can see the current battery percentage of your Magic Mouse at any time with one click of the menu bar. Getting caught off guard with a Magic Mouse that's completely dead is very easy to avoid.

I'm not saying the Magic Mouse couldn't be improved, or that should Apple ever release a third version, the charging solution shouldn't be better. But, the "charging problem" is not really that much of an issue for the amount of flak the Magic Mouse receives.

Its useability outweighs its downsides

Space Gray Magic Mouse (Image credit: iMore)

The gestures on the Magic Mouse have me zipping through macOS so seamlessly — particularly the side-scrolling — that the charging woes people express very quickly fall by the wayside.

Slide a single finger to scroll in any direction, swipe a single finger sideways to gesture forward or backward inside apps, double-tap to zoom, double-tap with two fingers for Mission Control — the functionality easily outweighs any negatives.

Don't like the Magic Mouse; plenty of other options

There are plenty of other reasons to hate on the Magic Mouse because ultimately, what mouse you like to use comes down to personal preference.

Suppose you don't like the Magic Mouse because it's not the most ergonomic design, or there are no customizable buttons. In that case, there are many great alternatives to the Magic Mouse that offer a different experience.

But, to say the Magic Mouse is bad because of how it charges is a cop-out. It's been this way for six years; no one getting a Magic Mouse in 2022 is surprised by how it charges.

It's a good mouse with a sub-optimal design, and that's okay.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • Get a Apple Trackpad and use both. Problem solved. (I only use the mouse for very precise work—otherwise, the Trackpad is a much superior tool.)
  • I agree about the charging issue being overblown but the author goes too far when he praises the gestures you can use on the mouse. You can't *really* use any gestures on the mouse, that's just marketing BS. It's too small by far for any useful gesturing. It's a nice mouse, but if you want to use gestures, you need to get the trackpad as well, which is fine because that's the most optimal system in the end anyway. If you have the trackpad you can gesture away to your hearts content, and it comes n handy when you have to charge the mouse.
  • I use the Magic Mouse as my only mouse, and have for years. I personally don’t find it hard to enable the gestures on the mouse at all; however, practice does make perfect. Of course, important to mention, that if you have mobility issues in your hands, I definitely can see how using the Magic Trackpad would be better.
  • I have fairly large hands so ... maybe? I find I can use double-tap to zoom (and I do), but the rest, not at all. The important ones - the ones that are actually useful - are the three finger gestures etc. for switching between desktop spaces and those are (in my estimation I guess) so difficult to use that it's a bit of a joke to say you can use them. I mean the whole top of the mouse is only about 60% of the size of the *palm* portion of my hand, so my hand completely covers the device with the fingers being an inch or more out in front. Taking my hand off of the mouse, scrunching up my hand, and then deliberately using the three finger gestures, *without* the mouse skidding across the table is nigh on impossible for me. Also, it's a break in the flow having to take you hand off the mouse, thinking about how to shape your hand, etc.
  • I agree. The Apple Mouse is wonderful. I love it.
  • Apple isn't the only manufacturer to have a bottom charging mouse. Logitech did it with the Ultrathin T630 mouse. Remembering to charge your stuff just seems obvious these days. If you can't handle that, the Magic Mouse certainly isn't your only option, 'walled garden' not withstanding.
  • Really? A story on how reactive peoples reactions are?
    Here’s another reaction then:
    It’s full on BS that you can’t charge this mouse and use it at the same time. You’ll never get user replaceable batteries which means inevitably this will HAVE to be charged, and maybe the users are too busy USING the DAM_N thing (cause they love it!) and alas the charge runs out.
    I’d you can refuel a C-130 Hercules mid freaking flight you should be able to charge a mouse and use it too.
  • The charging port on Apple’s mouse is a bad idea in every way. I have sold many Apple products for many years and what I do stress, is that Apple won the trackpad war but they failed at making a great mouse. The screen, the mouse / trackpad and keyboard are the items you interact with constantly. They must be comfortable, intuitive, functional and desirable. The mouse is useable but give me a good Logitech mouse and I'm done with Apple's input device. Apple’s quality control slipped on this mouse...once again.
  • User of both the trackpad and the Magic Mouse, and they complement each other perfectly. Fully agree with the author - I may not look elegant and people need to find things to rant about, but after years of intensive use, I've never had any of my peripherals (mouse, keyboard, trackpad,...) run out of juice... I occasionally check battery status and charge them when it's convenient and they are are between 20 and 30 per cent... it's a simple habit and has never been an issue... Functionally the mouse is great. Just got a Logitech MX anywhere to test out, and while this is also a nice mouse in use, I miss the gestures (both for iPad and Mac). My only points of criticism on the Apple peripherals:
    - a pain to pair and unpair for another device (although universal control limits the problem at my desk);
    - keyboard has no backlighting Otherwise all excellent and durable...