The new 2018 Mac Mini was released and I decided I needed to update my aging system. Previously, I was using a Macbook Air which I still love. Once I got the new Mini set up I started using the Magic Mouse I had been using with the Air. I started having issues almost immediately. Sometimes it would just disconnect and then after some period of time it would reconnect. Other times it would get “ratty” – the mouse would start lagging, etc. It would almost always just disconnect if I had stopped using it for a bit (when typing for example). I connected the mouse back to my Air and it worked perfectly. That rules out the mouse as being the problem, so I started looking on the web for solutions. Certainly, somebody had a solution for this. Not so. To my surprise, this is not an uncommon problem and goes back many years.
I found one particular entry that had a large number of possible solutions that had not worked for them and they didn’t work for me either. Since my Mini was brand new and I had purchased AppleCare for it, I broke down and called the help line. I talked with them for a while and was finally prompted to reinstall the operating system. This seemed odd to me since the Mini was like this right out of the box, but I went along with the suggestion. After finishing that, I found the problem still was happening.
I also have an old Microsoft mouse that uses an RF connection vs. a bluetooth connection. I found that when the Magic Mouse started to get “ratty” if I switched on the Microsoft mouse, used it to disconnect and reconnect the Magic Mouse it would work again as is should for while. I put up with this for a few days but it was becoming an issue when I was coding. It would break my train of thought and became very distracting. So back to the web.
One of the things I read was about is what I’ll call “signal conflict”. I read that the mouse broadcasts on the 2.4GHz band. My router does both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. I find that the 2.4GHz has greater range in my house, while the 5.0GHz has faster through-put (if I get a good connection). We do a lot of streaming in the living room upstairs so most everything is connected to the 2.4GHz side of the router. On a whim, I disconnected the Mini from the 2.4GHZ side and connected it to the 5.0GHz side. Lo and behold, my bluetooth mouse problems ceased.
My guess is I had a 2.4GHz conflict because both the router and the mouse were using the same channel. I found this information on how change channels but decided if it’s working, don’t fix it.