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I have two each of a Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 on my desk at home, where I have a 2019 MacBook Pro (for work) next to my personal 2018 MacBook Pro. No cordless phones in the house and the microwave is at least 60' away. Both keyboards and both mice constantly lose connection. It's really frustrating.
My setup at home is rather similar, with (at the moment) a 2016 MacBook Pro and a 2018 MacBook Pro but with a single wireless keyboard and mouse paired to one of the laptops only. As far as interference goes, there's a microwave less than 20' away, a cordless house phone only 6" away, and an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station about 2' away. I've never had an abnormal disconnect, and wake from sleep is immediate. Like Ric, and for the same reason, I always hit the Shift key to wake.

Two things strike me about your situation.

The first is wondering whether the multiple keyboards and mice could somehow be interfering with one another. Have you tried plugging one or the other or both keyboards in, to run in wired mode, or powering down one keyboard/mouse set to see whether there's some combination where the problem no longer occurs?

The other is to wonder why you continue to use Apple keyboards ("how poor my typing has gotten") and mice ("ergonomic nightmare," "user hostile") that you dislike anyway?

No argument for or against your keyboard and mouse preferences, which are different for everyone. There are so many other input device choices available.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
No argument for or against your keyboard and mouse preferences, which are different for everyone. There are so many other input device choices available.
Unfortunately, as I've written before, there are very few Mac keyboard options, though there are many other keyboards with Windows-style layouts. (Mouse hardware at least works fine across platforms but may have issues with Mac software/driver support.)
 


Unfortunately, as I've written before, there are very few Mac keyboard options, though there are many other keyboards with Windows-style layouts. (Mouse hardware at least works fine across platforms but may have issues with Mac software/driver support.)
After years of Apple keyboards dying from spills, we switched keyboards to the Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600. This model has a rubber membrane beneath the keycaps and is effectively immune to spills. I can remove the upper shell and wash the keys with the dishes.

The only special action needed is to swap Command and Option keys in Keyboard preferences and to remember that they are not swapped at boot time or by default for other users, so I use Windows Key-R for Recovery and Alt for Option at boot time. The keypad, function keys, and media controls all work well.

Of course, this is a big clunky keyboard, but I have desk room for it. Besides, I learned to type on a Royal typewriter. (Do you know what is a "typewriter"?) Otherwise, I use any of several smaller wireless keyboards when configuring iPhones and iPads, along with using them with systems under test.

I have been using USB Overdrive by Allesandro Levi Montalcini to set the side buttons on our big fat Comfort Mouse 4500’s for forward and back. It was 'interesting' learning how to install it against Mojave security. Before October is over, Catalina will be the next target.

Back when I had bunches of USB 3-connected external drives, several devices could not maintain a connection to the system. Switching to wired keyboards and mice was necessary. (Now, the major advantage of wired devices is that they don't get lost after falling on the floor or having something placed on top of them.)
 


The other is to wonder why you continue to use Apple keyboards ("how poor my typing has gotten") and mice ("ergonomic nightmare," "user hostile") that you dislike anyway? … There are so many other input device choices available.
Of course, this is a big clunky keyboard, but I have desk room for it. Besides, I learned to type on a Royal typewriter. (Do you know what is a "typewriter"?)
As Ric noted, there aren't many Mac-specific options available, and as James noted, many of the options that work on a Mac aren't aesthetically very harmonious with Apple's design language (I'm an industrial designer, this matters to me as much as functionality).

I looked at several 'off-brand' options when I bought my 2018 MacBook Pro, and elected to stay with the Apple keyboard and mouse (both in Space Grey to match the laptop). I'm "invested" at this point, which is why I muddle along.

And James, I, too, learned on a typewriter and have a few on display as 'shelf art' in my home office, including a Smith-Corona Skywriter - the original laptop!
 


Matias makes Mac keyboards (also see the Matias Store). One is a direct replacement for Apple's discontinued full-size aluminum USB. Another is the Tactile Pro with mechanical switches. I've had a Tactile Pro for over a decade. I'd still be using it full-time, but I prefer smaller keyboards to keep my mouse closer.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Matias makes Mac keyboards (also see the Matias Store). One is a direct replacement for Apple's discontinued full-size aluminum USB. Another is the Tactile Pro with mechanical switches. I've had a Tactile Pro for over a decade. I'd still be using it full-time, but I prefer smaller keyboards to keep my mouse closer.
I bought the keyboard linked below, which features the rare Mac keyboard layout and is more compact than full-sized keyboards with numeric keypads, which force the mouse too far away from the primary keys. It seems to work fine, with decent action, backlighting (which I appreciate) and a reasonable price:
But I actually prefer the action of another wired keyboard, also offering the rare Mac layout, that I bought at the same time. Its feel is perfect from my perspective, but I don't like placing the mouse so far away from the primary keys, and it's not backlit:
 


I bought one of these, which features the rare Mac keyboard layout and is more compact than full-sized keyboards with numeric keypads, which force the mouse too far away from the primary keys. It seems to work fine, with decent action, backlighting (which I appreciate) and a reasonable price:
Can anyone recommend a decent Mac keyboard with numeric keypad and backlighting? I'm happy with the aluminum keyboard that came with my Mac Pro 2009 but would love some backlighting at night.
 


If anyone wants to see the Magic Mouse 2's innards, the awesomely destructive folks at iFixit have of course done a teardown:
... Because the top sensing surface dips down at both ends, the Apple Magic Mouse in either of its versions actually has no front or rear vertical edges. Without a significant redesign to add something like a "port bump" at the front, there's nowhere to put a horizontal-facing port to allow wired use.
Thanks for the link. You're right. They designed the thing so that there's no physical space to put the port in a normal location. Another case of Apple favoring design over functionality. :-(
... The other is to wonder why you continue to use Apple keyboards ("how poor my typing has gotten") and mice ("ergonomic nightmare," "user hostile") that you dislike anyway?
I've been voicing this argument for a long time. Ever since the first iMac, Apple has supported generic USB mice and keyboards. There is no logical reason why you should assume you need to use an Apple-branded one.

It's a very big Internet out there. You can choose from thousands of keyboards and mice ranging in quality from ideal to trash and priced from virtually free up to thousands of dollars. Pick your favorite shopping site and start searching. I'm sure you'll find something you like for a reasonable price (especially if you consider Apple's prices to be reasonable).
 



I found some options (though I haven't personally tested these):
... Macally Full Size USB Wired Backlit Keyboard for Apple Mac ...
(Warning: anecdotal evidence.) Back when Apple made full-size USB keyboards, a client bought a ton of Macally keyboards, because they were cheaper than Apple's. Almost all of the Macally keyboards failed within a year or two.

The full-size Apple keyboard has a design flaw: the cable comes out at a height that's lower than the thickness of the base of an iMac. Users push the keyboard against the base and strain the cord. In spite of this, only a couple have failed.
 



I have been using trackpads instead of mice for some time now. For me, they are a better use of my crowded desk space, as well as being easier to navigate for things like Photoshop (and now Luminar and Affinity Photo) image manipulation.

I also find that an unwired keyboard is much better for my use case and desk layout than a wired one. So I use the Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad with my months-old 2018 Mac Mini; I had previously used them with my 2012 MacBook Pro Retina.

These two pieces of equipment are the perfect solution for my desk, although I am aware that they are not for everyone. The keyboard will work with the Mini even for startup key situations.

The one discouraging thing is that occasionally I will get a "Trackpad connection lost" notice, even though there is plenty of charge left in the trackpad. Connection will be restored after a short pause, although usually I just plug in the charging cable rather than wait. The bluetooth on the Mini seems to be a little flaky.

On the other hand, I have some another issue with the Mini, as well: it is unable to run updates either for the computer or via iTunes for iPads – there is consistently a problem with the "signing server." So I update the iPads over the air, and install updates on the Mini via internet recovery. I have reinstalled the OS. There may be a problem with the Mini's motherboard, I guess, but I hate to deal with the wasted hours at the Genius Bar and the lost productivity while the Mini is M.I.A. (As a retired Macintosh support specialist, there is also a matter of pride, if I'm completely honest. ;-)
 



Potential reliability issues aside, it seems to have a slightly nonstandard bottom row. Am I the only one who looked at that model and thought the key to the right of the right Control key looked like a floppy disk? Unless I'm completely misinterpreting what I'm seeing, I can't imagine the utility of such a key.
Looking at the Macally website, I found a manual that explains that that key on that keyboard is a "Save As..." key. On other keyboards, the fn key is in that position, but it has a label of Fn instead of the floppy disk icon.
 



I had bought a refurbished 2017 iMac 27” from Apple about two months ago and migrated one admin account from an older iMac. This refurb machine shipped with [macOS Mojave], but I wiped the hard disk and did a clean install of macOS Sierra. That worked fine.

I recently noticed that the Magic Mouse 2 scrolling function was not working, so I reviewed Apple’s online documents, as well as the System Preferences for Mouse and Accessibility Options on this iMac, but nothing resolves this.

Some online forums suggest upgrading to High Sierra, but we don’t want to do that. Does anyone here know of a terminal command to force-enable this, or is it just another “feature” of this setup?

Other notes: the right-click works but none of the tap gestures for zooming or anything else.
The old original Magic Mouse won’t pair with this iMac, since it’s not supported. That mouse does have the scrolling function working on Yosemite on the older machine. A second account set up on this 2017 iMac also won’t scroll via the mouse.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I had bought a refurbished 2017 iMac 27” from Apple about two months ago and migrated one admin account from an older iMac. This refurb machine shipped with [macOS Mojave], but I wiped the hard disk and did a clean install of macOS Sierra. That worked fine.
I recently noticed that the Magic Mouse 2 scrolling function was not working, so I reviewed Apple’s online documents, as well as the System Preferences for Mouse and Accessibility Options on this iMac, but nothing resolves this. ... Other notes: the right-click works but none of the tap gestures for zooming or anything else.
That's really interesting, because I have a 2017 refurb iMac 27" with the Magic Mouse, and I am also running macOS Sierra, but scrolling works for me (right index finger), while right-click does not work — the opposite of what you report. (Right-click is the same as left-click for me.)

I then tested this on an unaltered, plain-vanilla macOS Sierra installation, as well as a similar macOS Mojave system, and got the same behavior.

But I then discovered System Preferences > Mouse > Secondary Click, a checkbox that you can click to get normal right-click functionality (on either the right or left side).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This is certainly a good point and I try to keep at least a few wired keyboards (and mice!) around for this task, but the most recent Apple wireless keyboards that charge with a Lightning cable seem to work as a wired keyboard when they are plugged in.
That's an important note. If the device supports both USB and Bluetooth data, it's a big advantage over those that only support wireless connectivity, even if they have a USB port for power, only (which is the case for the Logitech K811 Bluetooth Mac keyboard, a discontinued favorite of mine).
I just confirmed that the Apple Magic Keyboard is fully functional via USB 2 (using a USB-Lightning cable) when Bluetooth is completely disabled. This is a very nice feature, in my opinion, and I'm pretty happy with this Magic Keyboard as a compact keyboard, only wishing it had a backlight option (like the discontinued Logitech K811, which is similar in feel and size but doesn't work as a USB keyboard without Bluetooth).

(Note: the Magic Keyboard has an extremely low/thin profile, which may not appeal to everyone, but it should be fairly easy to raise the keyboard up by adding a pad underneath, and, of course, there's no way to slim down a keyboard that's too high.)
 


... My satisfaction with Matias is based on a sample of one. I'd like to hear about others' experiences.
In my experience, Matias has excellent customer service during the one-year warranty period. But, unfortunately, its products have significant design flaws.

I've been through two Quiet Pro keyboards and two Wired Aluminum keyboards (for each, one purchased and one replaced through the warranty). Long story short, I'm now using the Apple Keyboard that shipped – over 15 years ago – with an igloo iMac and that still works flawlessly.

All of the Matias keyboards developed repeating key problems after only a few months of use. The Quiet Pros also had a problem with the white printing on the black keycaps fading on frequently used keys. Not good when the original reason I bought a Quiet Pro was for the option and option-Shift characters printed on the keycaps!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I just confirmed that the Apple Magic Keyboard is fully functional via USB 2 (using a USB-Lightning cable) when Bluetooth is completely disabled.
This is not true for the Magic Mouse, however, which does not function when connected via USB. (Of course, the bottom-port connection makes this impractical, anyway.)

If I'm interpreting my tests correctly, the Magic Keyboard appears to use USB when both USB and Bluetooth connections are enabled.
 


One very good reason to have a corded mouse is the ability to use it when booting into recovery mode. The bluetooth software does not load at the right time, which means you are left with two alternating graphics, one showing the side of a trackpad (?) and the other a mouse. If you then plug in a corded mouse, you can then proceed with the boot sequence.
 


That's really interesting, because I have a 2017 refurb iMac 27" with the Magic Mouse, and I am also running macOS Sierra, but scrolling works for me (right index finger), while right-click does not work — the opposite of what you report. (Right-click is the same as left-click for me.)

I then tested this on an unaltered, plain-vanilla macOS Sierra installation, as well as a similar macOS Mojave system, and got the same behavior.

But I then discovered System Preferences > Mouse > Secondary Click, a checkbox that you can click to get normal right-click functionality (on either the right or left side).
I build macOS 'images' for deployment across dozens of student and faculty workstations, and have to remember during my build to plug in one of each type of mouse that users might prefer, because the Mouse pref pane presents the secondary click option differently for Mac Mouse, Magic Mouse, and Logitech / Kensington Mouse - don't ask how long it took for me to realize this....
 


If I'm interpreting my tests correctly, the Magic Keyboard appears to use USB when both USB and Bluetooth connections are enabled.
I had the same experience, twice. The first was when the Magic Keyboard was initially released and replaced the Apple Keyboard. I went to the Apple Store to see if any Apple Keyboard's were left in stock (no) and to complain, because I prefer wired keyboards. The salesperson said he believed the Magic Keyboard functioned as a wired keyboard when it was plugged into a Mac. He then did a test as I watched, showing that is indeed the case.

More recently, an iMac I bought last year shipped, of course, with a Magic Keyboard. I did the same test as was done at the Apple Store and the results were the same.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... More recently, an iMac I bought last year shipped, of course, with a Magic Keyboard. I did the same test as was done at the Apple Store and the results were the same.
Just to clarify, did you have Bluetooth enabled and determine that macOS was using USB instead of Bluetooth to communicate with the Magic Keyboard when it was attached via a USB-Lightning cable?
 


did you have Bluetooth enabled and determine that macOS was using USB instead of Bluetooth to communicate with the Magic Keyboard when it was attached via a USB-Lightning cable?
If I recall correctly, these were the test steps for the Bluetooth on/USB connected scenario:
1. Turn on Bluetooth in System Preferences. A popup announces the keyboard is now connected. Make sure the Control Panel remains visible.​
2. Plug keyboard in on USB. Note the status indicators for the keyboard change in the Control Panel.​
3. Unplug keyboard from USB. The Bluetooth "Connected" popup appears again.​

Of course, especially given Apple's current QA, UI, and UX problems, your milage may vary.
 


Taking a minority opinion here... I love the Magic Mouse II. For me, the scrolling is so much smoother than a wheel. And the side-swipe gesture to flick through photos or spaces is handy. The charging issue people mention doesn't bother me. I just plug it in periodically when walking away. When I use another Mac at home with a regular mouse or my Windows PC at work, it's like wearing one of those sweaters that makes you itch.

The only negative for me is the Magic Mouse doesn't work well for 3D apps, like Sketchup or Fusion 360, since those apps need a scroll wheel button, which the Magic Mouse doesn't have. I have to switch to a regular mouse when using those 3D apps.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Taking a minority opinion here... I love the Magic Mouse II. For me, the scrolling is so much smoother than a wheel. And the side-swipe gesture to flick through photos or spaces is handy. The charging issue people mention doesn't bother me. I just plug it in periodically when walking away. When I use another Mac at home with a regular mouse or my Windows PC at work, it's like wearing one of those sweaters that makes you itch. The only negative for me is the Magic Mouse doesn't work well for 3D apps, like Sketchup or Fusion 360, since those apps need a scroll wheel button, which the Magic Mouse doesn't have. I have to switch to a regular mouse when using those 3D apps.
I feel similarly about the Logitech Triathlon. The free-spinning scroll wheel is a game-changer (I'm not sure you can get the same effect with a Magic Mouse), and I love its ergonomics. It has a clickable and tiltable scroll wheel, which I use for side-scrolling, as well as additional buttons. It might be worth checking out, given your 3D app constraints with the Magic Mouse.
 


I feel similarly about the Logitech Triathlon. The free-spinning scroll wheel is a game-changer (I'm not sure you can get the same effect with a Magic Mouse), and I love its ergonomics. It has a clickable and tiltable scroll wheel, which I use for side-scrolling, as well as additional buttons. It might be worth checking out, given your 3D app constraints with the Magic Mouse.
I'll give it a try. The price seems reasonable.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
What was your verdict on the M500? I've been looking at it because it appears to be the only current corded mouse with a tilt wheel.
Unfortunately for me, the button spring pressure is too high for constant use – higher than that of the Logitech Triathlon, the Contour Mouse or several others I can use comfortably (e.g. Amazon Basics mouse) – so I can only use it for short periods of time. Apart from that, it's great, and it may be fine for people who are comfortable with higher spring pressures.
 


The M720 Triathlon can use either Bluetooth or the included Logitech Unifying Receiver, a WiFi 'dongle' that's vastly superior to Bluetooth... except... there are some unresolved security issues. (It's not clear how much impact this vulnerability has for different scenarios and configurations.)
Thanks, Ric. I purchased an M720 (using the MacInTouch Amazon link, of course). The security concerns weren't clear to me, so I took the plunge. It paired fine via Bluetooth with my MacBook Pro, and I am not experiencing any of the lags that were plaguing the Magic Mouse I.

A question; did you install the Logitech Control Center software? I was able to also connect using the WiFi Unifying receiver through a CalDigit hub, even though macOS threw up a "Keyboard Assistant" dialog, which I cancelled.

When I initially paired the mouse via Bluetooth, System Preferences > Mouse still showed the setup for the Magic Mouse. I was able to set options for right-click and the scroll wheel click. After connecting via the Unifying Receiver and now back to Bluetooth, System Preferences shows a basic dialog with no options for programming any of the buttons (other than which is the primary button). However, the previous button options still function, so I am fine with the current situation. My concern is that the Control Center software seems to be pretty invasive in terms of installing system software and requesting permissions.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A question; did you install the Logitech Control Center software? I was able to also connect using the WiFi Unifying receiver through a CalDigit hub, even though macOS threw up a "Keyboard Assistant" dialog, which I cancelled. When I initially paired the mouse via Bluetooth, System Preferences > Mouse still showed the setup for the Magic Mouse. I was able to set options for right-click and the scroll wheel click. After connecting via the Unifying Receiver and now back to Bluetooth, System Preferences shows a basic dialog with no options for programming any of the buttons (other than which is the primary button). However, the previous button options still function, so I am fine with the current situation. My concern is that the Control Center software seems to be pretty invasive in terms of installing system software and requesting permissions.
No, I try to avoid installing any low-level third-party software. But I should have mentioned that I use the SteerMouse preference pane to customize mouse buttons, etc. (I previously used USB Overdrive but had a problem with it long ago and switched to SteerMouse, which I've now been using for many years.)
 


Note: the Magic Keyboard has an extremely low/thin profile, which may not appeal to everyone, but it should be fairly easy to raise the keyboard up by adding a pad underneath, and, of course, there's no way to slim down a keyboard that's too high.
I apply peel-and-stick vinyl bumpers/feet (hardware store item) under the rear edge of the current Apple keyboard to tilt it a bit more. The bumpers that work for me are about ⅜" in diameter and ¼" thickness. One each at left, right and middle do it nicely. your milage may vary.
 


... The free-spinning scroll wheel is a game-changer ...
I'm just not a "free-wheeling" character. I tried to learn to "put on the brakes" but decades of normal wheel use just wouldn't adapt. I prefer mice with wheels that move easily, some require far too much force to scroll.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm just not a "free-wheeling" character. I tried to learn to "put on the brakes" but decades of normal wheel use just wouldn't adapt.
It was odd for me, too, at first, but I adapted very quickly, and I can work so much faster and more efficiently now (especially scrolling web pages) that I really hate being without that feature.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
While we're on this topic, I'll just note one other small thing that has made a big difference to my efficient use of mice and reduction of associated pain: the right mousepad with the right amount of friction, plus pads with wrist rests.

These pads are working well in my use, available in different sizes:
And I first tried these wrist-rest designs this summer after having some pain with non-Triathlon mice, finding the soft support surprisingly helpful (though they also constrain movement somewhat):
Different people will have different mice and different ways of mousing, so this is just my personal perspective, for whatever it's worth, in case it might help someone else, too.
 


That would look great with a Bondi blue iMac.
By the way Steermouse told me,
SteerMouse supports some Logitech mice with the Unifying (WiFi receiver) but SteerMouse is not able to support all buttons on the M720 no matter if it is connected with the Unifying or Bluetooth. It is a technical limitation. I'm sorry for not giving you good news in this case.
Coincidentally I discovered one of the side buttons works to "show all app windows" without me doing anything.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
By the way Steermouse told me,
SteerMouse supports some Logitech mice with the Unifying (WiFi receiver) but SteerMouse is not able to support all buttons on the M720 no matter if it is connected with the Unifying or Bluetooth. It is a technical limitation.
Thanks, I had missed that, but it turns out there is one "button" that doesn't seem to be supported in SteerMouse, and that's the weird thumb-squeeze. On my macOS Sierra system, I accidentally trigger it sometimes, which led to consternation that took quite a while to understand. When I squeeze the mouse like that, it invokes Mission Control > Show Desktop. Sqeezing it again toggles back to the normal desktop, but I've now disabled this in System Preferences > Mission Control > Keyboard & Mouse Shortcuts.

USB Overdrive might be worth a look as an alternative to SteerMouse. It was pretty good when I used it years ago until I hit some obscure glitch that I didn't have time to resolve and SteerMouse worked.
 


Thanks, I had missed that, but it turns out there is one "button" that doesn't seem to be supported in SteerMouse, and that's the weird thumb-squeeze.
I believe that button is also on the Apple scroll-pea mouse. I actually liked it, but it was also easy to accidentally invoke on that mouse.
 


Taking a minority opinion here... I love the Magic Mouse II. For me, the scrolling is so much smoother than a wheel. And the side-swipe gesture to flick through photos or spaces is handy. The charging issue people mention doesn't bother me. I just plug it in periodically when walking away. When I use another Mac at home with a regular mouse or my Windows PC at work, it's like wearing one of those sweaters that makes you itch.
Ditto, same here. My only issue with the Magic Mouse is scrolling. I prefer the old-school direction for vertical scrolling and "natural" scrolling for horizontal gestures (1-finger swipes for Safari pages and 2-finger swipes for spaces). My solution is to enable Natural Scrolling and use Scroll Reverser to reverse vertical scrolling. Not ideal but still works. I just wish I could disable horizontal scrolling for some apps, like Excel.
 


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