Apple’s mythical two-button mouse

“If AppleInsider’s reports are to be believed, it appears as though Apple, after nearly more than 20 years of preaching the finer points of key strokes, has caved in to the pressure and is ‘feverishly working on a two-button wireless optical mouse,'” Michael Simon writes for Spymac. “Why now? Two words: Mac mini.”

“I’m guessing sales of the little wonder are far exceeding Apple’s most generous estimates while mouse sales are proportionately lagging. By offering a two-button mouse direct from Apple, all those switchers who just can’t seem to figure out the point of a single button will have an option to complete their aesthetically-pleasing computer with an equally-eye-appealing mouse,” Simon writes. “But rest assured, Apple’s one-button mouse will never be discontinued, and I’m quite certain it will remain the default on all new Macs. But with a two-button option, switching shoppers will likely linger in Apple’s store just a little longer before running home with their new Mac mini. So don’t be offended, and stop preaching all those doomsday prophesies. It’s not the end of the world, nor is it the end of Apple’s trademark one-button mouse. Think of it as nothing more than the start of a new world of Apple-branded options.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this week when this endlessly-recycled rumor resurfaced, we’d like an Apple-branded two-button mouse to be available, though not necessarily shipped as standard for Apple’s consumer Mac models. Like many of you, judging by your email from the previous “mouse” article, we currently use the Kensington Studio Mouse (three buttons and a scroll sensor) on our Macs, while the one-button Apple mice that shipped with our Macs sit in their boxes doing nothing.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
RUMOR: Apple may soon debut two-button mouse – March 15, 2005
Why Apple ships a one-button mouse even though Mac OS X supports multi-button mice – January 29, 2005
Macworld Poll: 34 percent say Apple Mac one-button mouse a mistake – April 07, 2004
Why no Apple two-button mouse? – September 17, 2003
The time has come for Apple to ship a two-button scroll mouse standard – June 09, 2003
Should Apple reconsider the one-button mouse? – October 23, 2002


  1. When I switched to Mac, I bought an iBook, and since it only has a one button trackpad, I had to learn the one-button way. It has been a god-send in terms of my productivity. The mouse is the key to slowness, and since a one button mouse sort of forces you to learn keyboard shortcuts, I have suddenly become a keyboard shortcut expert. I have Apple to thank for helping me realize all the productivity I have been missing all these years. So, thank you Apple for sticking to your guns and forcing me to become a better computer user.

    PS I know I could have bought a seperate two button mouse if I’d wanted, but I knew there had to be a reason for Apple not going the two button way, so I stuck it out.

  2. “…I knew there had to be a reason for Apple not going the two button way, so I stuck it out.”


    For god sakes, don’t justify Apple’s weaknesses.

  3. A one-button mouse to remain the default of all Macs???? I don’t think so. The one-button mouse has been dead for 10 years. Apple’s obstinate position on this has been one of it’s greatest blunders. If you want to attract Windows users, you have to CATER to them. Multi-button scroll mice are the standard and are the choice of anyone who uses a computer for games and/or productivity. Using a one-button mouse and a freaking keystroke to pop up contextual menus is counter to Apple’s ease-of-use philosophy. Get rid of the damn one-button mouse already. It’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence. And you Macheads who stubbornly cling to the one-button philosophy, you need to let go and open your eyes. Keep your damn one-button mouse while the rest of us move into the 21st century. The one-button mouse, lack of software, price, and unituitive method of finding and launching apps in OSX are, IMHO, key areas in need of change. If Apple put half as much energy into its computers as it does with iTunes and iPods, we’d be done already!!!

  4. As a Laptop user, I love the single button design. Using the touchpad I move the cursor with my forfinger and use my thumb to select. On Windows laptops, which I have to use from time to time, I hit the wrong button 50% of the time.

    I watch other windows users with laptops and they’re either using 2 hands, or they have to stop and look at what button they’re about to press. Either way it wastes time.

    Please, Apple, retain the single button on laptops, PLEASE!

  5. You wanna know why I like the two button mouse with a clickable scroll wheel? PORN PORN PORN. I couldn’t imagine clicking through porn with a one button mouse. PORN speaks volumes more than any Mac fan about why the one button is better.

    There’s your answer to a good reason why the two button mouse with a clickable scroll wheel is better. PORN surfing.

  6. i think it is funny that the same people who want apple to switch to a two-button mouse because it is “standard” would barf if someone used that same argument to propose that windows is better than mac os x.

  7. All the whiners that are perpetually screaming for Apple to switch to a two-button mouse are the SAME people that shouted-down the iPod owners that prefer FireWire to, ‘Buy the damn FireWire cable if you want one!’.

    Google might help you in your education as to why Apple PATENTED the one-button mouse, and how the ‘only-choice-available for the WinPC’, the’ two-button mouse’ never actually had a purpose until MS added contextual menus to their ‘OS’. In other words, a problem found a solution!

    Please, try to think of the ‘control-click’ as though you might – by pressing the Shift Key you turn the ‘e’ into an ‘E’. What you want everyone to have is two UNLABELED keys for both the ‘e’ AND the ‘E’. Seriously consider that. (Ask call-center employees how confusing this is to many, many people. Mostly Windows customers!)

    Apple, as do many of Apple’s customers, thinks the separation involved makes for better memory muscle.

    Apple’s way: Shift-e becomes E.


    The way you want everyone to tolerate: Left button is e and Right button is E. Or is that left is E and right is e? Remember, that the keys are infact UNLABELED.

    Catching on, yet?

    Anyway, if you don’t like the Apple provided USB2 cable…Ooops, I mean the one-button mouse, then you could always buy a damn two-button mouse! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Oh, and game players that keep hammering your 9-button-mouse line.

    It’s called GameCube, or PS2. Check into it.

    Jeez, even an XBrick.

    When exactly did it begin to make sense to spend $1000-1500 to play games? Is it spacebar that shoots or the s-key? Or the third of 9 mouse buttons? D’oh, I’ve got an email coming in!

  9. If I were Apple I would make a multi-button (scroll wheel please) just for the Apple stores. You finally get the opportunity to have the typical windows user come in to check out your product and the very first thing they touch is something that they are generally not familiar with. The Apple mouse isn’t even a one button mouse it’s a zero button mouse.

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