science club |
Replacing a worn-out mouse button, computer mouse repair
Mouse buttons can handle a finite amount of clicks until they are worn out. Good quality mouse buttons
are rated for 1 million clicks but most computer mice contain cheaper buttons that wear out much earlier.
I have a few computer mice that I really like. They have the right weight and size for my hand. I prefer to repair them
over replacing them and it's not difficult to install a new button. It's usually the left mouse button that wears out. When this happens then you can still hear your button click but it does not register properly. With defect mouse button two are three mouse click are
then required until something happens and double clicks are not working.
All computer mice that I have ever opened contained
the same micro-switches. Those switches are made by different manufactures and they may have different product numbers
but the best brand name is Omron-D2F micro switches. Those are the ones that are rated for 1 million clicks. They cost
about a dollar per switch. You can e.g look on ebay for "OMRON D2FC-F-7N Micro Switch".
Those mouse button micro switches have a spring inside. The low endurance version of those switches looks externally exactly like the higher quality switches but the spring and contact materials are made of a softer alloy. This saves on tooling
costs during production since one can stamp more pieces without re-tooling the machines. The overall cost savings are
just a few cents but companies do it. There are applications where one does not need high endurance switches but for
computer mice one would need them and it's a real problem that companies make some computer mice with low endurance switches. It's a disaster from an environmental standpoint because
people will throw away after 2-3 years otherwise perfect computer hardware only because 5 cent were saved during production.
Some people try to repair those mouse button switches by opening them and bending the contact spring back in shape but
the low quality material will fail again and you might break the plastic enclosure of the switch while opening it.
The best solution is to install a high endurance switch and it will last you for a decade.
Here is what you need:
- A Omron-D2F micro switch aka Omron-D2F ultra sub-miniature switch with pin plunger: e.g OMRON D2FC-F-7N micro switch. Note that Omron makes those switches as well with all kind of levers and rollers attached. Check the datasheet for dimensions and layout. Have a look at the download section at and end of this document for details. You want the one with just a simple pin plunger. If you have an old mechanical computer mouse from the 1990's then you can as well try to harvest buttons from there. The switches used back then were usually of good quality and it's the same type of switch with the same dimensions.
- Soldering iron and solder wire
- A desolder pump to open up the holes in the circuit board after taking out the old switch.
Here is how to do it:
- Open your computer mouse (there are one or more screws at the bottom, usually hidden under a sticker or pad).
- Take out the circuit board.
- Locate the defect button (probably the left button).
- Take a soldering iron and put extra solder on the pins of the button that you need to remove. This is to ensure
good heat transfer to get the button out without damaging the board.
- Pull the button up with a finger nail of your left hand while holding the solder iron in your right hand. Heat one button pin at a time. Go from pin to pin and melt the solder. The button will come out slowly.
- Once the old button is out: take a desolder pump and your soldering iron to remove excess solder and open the holes.
- Put the new button in (the right way round!) and solder it to the board.
It's about 5 minutes of work and this repaired mouse will last a long time.
Download and reference section: Omron-D2F ultra sub-miniature switches
Copyright © 2004-2018 Guido Socher