Using a Mac Mighty Mouse on a PC

Oct 12 20:14 2005 Jeff Heaton Print This Article

How to use a Mac Mighty Mouse with a PC, and what to expect.

Have you seen the Might Mouse? No,Guest Posting I do not mean the super hero. I mean the latest innovation by Apple computers-- the Mighty Mouse. The mighty mouse is unlike any mouse you’ve ever seen before.

The Mighty Mouse works directly with the latest version of the Macintosh operating system to provide many advanced features. However, using the Mighty Mouse with a Macintosh is not the subject of this article. This article focuses on exactly what you can expect when using the Mighty Mouse with a Windows based PC.

Introducing the Mighty Mouse

The mighty mouse is a smoothly designed white oval. To me it looks like 1/2 of a tic-tac(tm) candy. It fits nicely in your hand and is very easy to maneuver. It is an optical mouse, and thus has no roller-ball. This allows the mouse to be operated on a variety of surfaces. There are no visible buttons. However, if you click near the front left or right of the mouse, you will produce a left or right click.

There are also two buttons on the sides of the mouse. These buttons operate together. If you press both buttons-- effectively squeezing the mouse, it allows you to select text, of perform some other custom operation. These two buttons are not functional when using Windows. I rarely use the “squeeze buttons” on the Macintosh, so I don’t miss them too much on Windows.

Perhaps the best feature on the Mighty Mouse is the scroll ball. This looks like a single Cyclops eye at the top of the mouse. The scroll ball is small, about the size of a pea. Because it is so small you can roll it with very little pressure on your figure. The scroll bar allows you to scroll the current window in all four directions. Unfortunately, when used with a PC, the scroll ball allows no movement of the horizontal scroll bar.

The Mighty Mouse uses a USB interface. There is currently not a wireless version of the Mighty Mouse available. Additionally, no PS/2 converter is provided. To connect the Mighty Mouse to a PS/2 port will require you to purchase a PS/2 converter.

Windows Drivers

Installing the drivers is a snap. There are no drivers for Windows. The Mighty Mouse works like any other USB mouse. Simply plug it into your Windows computer and it is ready to go. A reboot is not even required.

Unsupported Features in Windows

The Mighty Mouse was designed with the Macintosh in mind. As a result, some of its features do not work on Windows. For me, the most missed feature is horizontal scrolling. On a Macintosh you can scroll in all four directions using the scroll-ball. On Windows you can only scroll vertically.

There are other features that are not available on Windows. However, I do not miss these as much as the four-way scrolling. The two side buttons do not function on Windows. On the Macintosh these can select text or be assigned to other functions. Additionally, the left mouse button can be reassigned to other functions on the Macintosh.


At home I work primarily with a Macintosh, and would not be without my Mighty Mouse. Being able to scroll in all four directions without moving the mouse is very handy. I was so fond of this device that I bought a second Mighty Mouse to use at work. At work I use a Windows XP based PC.

The same feel of the ergonomically designed mouse is obviously still present, and much appreciated. But not being able to scroll horizontally is unfortunate. On the Macintosh the four-way scrolling is one of the key features of the Mighty mouse. For this feature to be missing on the Windows side is disappointing.

However, despite this limitation I believe that the Mighty Mouse is still one of the best mouse choices, even in the PC world.

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About Article Author

Jeff Heaton
Jeff Heaton

Jeff Heaton is author, consultant and college instructor. Jeff maintains the "Heaton Research" website that contains many Java tutorials and other computer programming information.

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