A squeaking mouse wheel can be very distracting, whether you work, play games or you simply spend your casual time on your PC. Though most of the time, a simple fix such as cleaning your mouse is needed, there might be other factors as well.
Every mouse wheel gets used up over time, but you can easily fix it. Here is everything you need to know about both squeaking non-optical mice or optical mice, why they squeak, and how to fix it!
Why is your mouse wheel squeaking?
In non-optical mice, the side of the scroll wheel contains spokes. They are responsible for clicking sounds, and sometimes, they can get damaged and produce squeaking sounds. When it comes to optical mice, some little arms hold the plastic wheel in place.
These too can get some debris, or be affected by other factors, that might end up making your optical mouse squeak when you rotate the mouse wheel. Whatever the case, here are the most common reasons why your mouse wheel is squeaking!
1. Mouse is dirty
Every part of your PC needs cleaning from time to time. Depending on the environment you work in, regular cleaning can vary. The scroll wheel on your mouse is one of the moving parts that is the most susceptible to dust accumulation and dirt.
When too much debris is caught up in the plastic scroll wheel, it might produce some very distracting squeaking sounds. This is the most common reason why mice squeak, and fortunately, there is a simple fix to it.
2. Faulty spokes
Sometimes, it’s not a dirty mouse that produces the squeaking sounds, but rather some internal components that got a bit messed up, possibly due to a fall. Non-optical mice contain spokes, which are responsible for the clicking sound.
If they aren’t positioned well, the spokes might create some squeaking sounds. If you recently dropped your mouse or something hit it somehow, then it’s entirely possible that the spokes got a bit messed up, resulting in the squeaking sounds.
3. Damaged springs
An optical mouse usually contains springs. However, it depends on the brand.
Dell mice usually contain springs, and these little things can also be misaligned due to dropping or hitting. Usually, there are two springs, and one is wrapped around a post in the center of the wheel.
The other one is the plastic piece that the wheels rotate around. This is the one that mainly causes squeaking when something is wrong with your mouse.
4. Used up plastic wheel
The majority of optical mice contain metal arms instead of springs or spokes. These tiny devices can also suffer some dislocation issues when your mouse is dropped, hit, or generally was used for a long time.
Though repositioning the metal arms might resolve the issue, sometimes, replacing the black plastic wheel is the problem. In time, this wheel gets used up, and it will produce some distracting sounds.
5. No lubricant/oil
Not many people know that you can use a special type of oil as a lubricant for your mouse.
Due to either frequent usage or because the mouse is dirty, your device will eventually make some squeaking sounds due to friction and thus a lack of lubricant/oil.
6. Damaged parts
Finally, another reason why your mouse wheel is squeaking is that it’s too old or damaged. Extensive physical damage to your mouse will eventually make it noisy, and you will need a new mouse.
However, it’s best to first rule out all the other possible reasons why your mouse wheel may be squeaking before purchasing a new one. Check out this article to see why your mouse randomly stops working.
How to fix a squeaking mouse wheel?
As stated above, there are many reasons why your mouse scroll wheel might be squeaking. Various moving parts in your device or a lack of maintenance is usually the culprit. No matter the issue, fixing your mouse is usually easy.
Here are six things you can do to fix a squeaking mouse wheel and get rid of all the distracting sounds!
1. Clean your mouse
A lack of regular maintenance is usually the primary reason why your mouse began to squeak. Mouse wheels, though, are very easy to clean, but you should perform a whole mouse cleanup to get rid of the squeaking sounds.
Some of the things you will need before cleaning your mouse include:
- A lint-free cloth or cotton swab
- Soap and water
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Compressed air can
First, you should dip a little bit of your lint-free cloth or cotton swab in mild soap water. Use it to wipe the outer surface of your mouse, and then proceed to clean the wheel, and if you have some mouse stuttering issues, clean the optical sensor as well.
Use the compressed air can in small bursts around the openings to get the dust out of your mouse. Make sure you dry up your mouse completely before plugging it back in in your device. If this didn’t resolve the squeaking issue, move on to the next tip!
2. Check spokes
If you are using a non-optical mouse, you should check out its spokes. Since each mouse brand is different, you should check a disassembly guide on your particular mouse and inspect the spokes for any problems.
Proceed with care as these spokes are very sensitive and easy to break. Reassemble the mouse as in the instructions provided for your mouse brand. Make sure you don’t miss any steps.
3. Reposition springs
Another quick fix for your mouse squeaking problems is to reposition its springs. This is the most common reason why Dell mice produce squeaking mice. You will need a screw and a bit of patience:
- First, identify the screw holes in your mouse.
- Remove the battery if needed, or unplug it beforehand.
- The mouse screws are usually hidden beneath the Teflon slider pads on the bottom of the mouse.
- Use the screwdriver to expose the screw holes, but proceed with caution to not scratch your mouse.
- Now you have to separate the top and bottom mouse plastic cages. Be careful as there might be other screws to pull off or interlocking plastic bits.
- Once you have opened your mouse, notice the two springs. There are the springs wrapped around the post at the center of the mouse wheel and the springs made out of plastic where the wheel rotates around.
- Analyze these springs and check for any signs of damage or misplacement.
- Search online for their correct placement based on your mouse model, and reposition them as needed.
- Assemble your mouse back and check to see if the squeaking sound persists.
If you have a Logitech mouse, various online disassembly videos can help you out.
4. Replace plastic wheel
Two more common reasons why your optical mouse is squeaking may be related to either its tiny metal arms or plastic wheels. To solve this, you have to again open up your mouse. The metal arms are located around the post where the wheel axis goes through.
You can pull the post away with either a screwdriver or nose pliers. Then, remove the metal inserts that contact the grooves in the wheel and replace the used up plastic wheel. They are cheap, but you have to find the right ones for your mouse brand.
Once you replace the plastic wheel, use the screwdriver/pliers to position the metal arms as they were and reassemble your mouse back. If you have the same problem of not knowing how to open up your mouse, check for disassembly videos online based on your mouse brand.
5. Apply oil lubricant
Another way to get rid of the squeaking sounds coming from your mouse is to use lube. You can lubricate your mouse with some WD-40 oil and get rid of the noises. You have to open up your mouse and apply very little oil to the wheel region.
If you suspect your mouse as being too sensitive to WD-40 oil, you can check online for the appropriate cleaning formula for your mouse brand.
6. Replace mouse or take it to service
If you face the same issue despite doing all the above tips and tricks, then you might need to buy a new mouse to get rid of the squeaking issues. Mice get used up, just like any other component of your PC.
If your mouse isn’t that old, then it might be too damaged due to falls. If you have a warranty, you can take your mouse into service and benefit from some professional care.
If you don’t have a warranty, but you consider the mouse to be worth it, you can still take it into service and see if the problem can be solved.
If your mouse is stuck in the corner, here is why it happens and what you can do to fix it!
F. A. Q.
How long do optical mouses last?
Computer optical mice can last up to ten years of regular usage. However, most statistics tend to point out that they will serve you well for at least three years or so. Several factors determine a mouse’s lifespan, such as environment, regular maintenance, and usage.
When should I replace my mouse?
If you are an avid video game player, you should replace your mouse every 1.5 to 2 years. This is because gaming mouses tend to wear off quicker due to their extensive usage. To preserve your accuracy, especially in shooting games, change your mouse every 1.5 years or so.