My hardware (a recent Mac Pro) is different from almost anything cited here: no Airport, no MacBook, etc., but I do sometimes experience the random movement of the mouse pointer. I did one thing which mitigated the problem: I purchased the NOVA "magic" ceramic feet with dedicated mouse pad. At least, when the mouse rests on that mouse pad, there is no spurious pointer movement anymore. However, the movement may resume when the mouse is set to charge on its Mobee magic charger.
But maybe all of this is purely coincidental. Especially if radio waves are the real cause (I am surrounded by WiFi, GSM and cordless phones in my office).
I have a similiar problem. My cursor jumps all over the place WITHOUT a mouse and it happens occasionally. When it happens it drives my crazy because basically the machine is unusable. It could happen every few days. Plugging a mouse in seems to be the SOLUTION. Turning the machine off does not work. Once the mouse is plugged in for a bit, the trackpad and cursor seem to be fine and I don't even have to use the mouse; it just need to be plugged in. Interestingly when it jumps all over the place, it seem to like to go to dashboard and then also to display the dock which is normally at the bottom of the screen in the center. Apple seems unable to fix the problem; applecare has had me try several things like holding down command, option and P and R keys while rebooting. I have not taken it in to the genius bar. It can't be the trackpad since it works fine when the mouse is plugged in. The problem started when I upgraded to mountain lion; I am now on 10.8.3. I have a Macbook pro, 15 inch, 2008. I still have 10 days left from a 90 day warranty from the upgrade. Any suggestions???
I noticed this problem after installing the latest version Lion/Leopard/Cat 10.8.3 last weekend, before was ok. i'm pretty sure Apple is covering up the **** issue giving crapy instructions everywhere on the Internet such as cleaning etc. PLEASE APPLE SOLVE IT NOW it's fkn unacceptable! i know you are reading this!
I seem to have come up with a "fix". If I leave a mouse plugged in then the touchpad works perfectly (no need to use the mouse if just needs to be plugged in). If I unplug the mouse it isn't long before it starts acting up. This is ridiculous. I am in school and I need to have my laptop it is really incovenient to have a mouse off my computer that I am not using. Cmon Apple, you can fix this.
Robert! don't doubt your genius quite yet!!! Three years later and your BlueTooth trick worked!! Was going CRAZY with this issue. The crazy movement and clicks actually caused me to send an email to the wrong person - the very wrong person for this email - and I watched in horror hitting every button at once to abort...couldn't.
But this worked! Gotta love finding a simple solutions from 3 years earlier online.
***one note. The improvement was not 100% until I restarted my mac
Thanks Robert...if you'll even see this praise so long after
*** For those still struggling with it, try simply turning Bluetooth off. Then restarting. I doubt it is the only cause of this issue; and won't likely fix it for all. But definitely worth a shot, right?
Yes, I shut off Bluetooth and rebooted and the cursor behavior seems better. I wasn't experiencing the extreme mouse behavior that others describe, but just little things. Clicking on the title bar to move a window didn't work as well as it formerly had, text selection was becoming difficult, and single clicks were becoming dbl-clicks, but this trouble was mostly in Google Chrome.
I figured that my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 mouse was going bad, it's probably five years old or more. Now it seems to be Ok. That's a good thing because I was looking around to replace this mouse and it ain't so easy. I need a mouse with a driver that allows programming an Option-Click to the scroll wheel button. The only mice I see out there with this functionality are gamers' mice that cost $70 or more. Yeow!
Regarding track pad problems I had an experience that might help clarify things. Some years ago I had a Toshiba laptop with a rotating screen that allowed drawing right onto the screen with a stylus. My son bought it, then in less than a year the mouse cursor started jumping all over the screen. In addition to this, clicks and dbl-clicks were triggered randomly, even when no hand was on the track pad. Say I had a window open but the cursor was left hovering over the desktop. I'd be typing into the open window when a click would suddenly happen and activate the desktop! Lucklily the machine was still under warranty.
I took it to an approved shop to have it repaired. They replaced the motherboard. When it was returned to me I asked if they'd tested it, and they told me they had, and that it was fine. Lies. I took it to a different shop, same result. Then a third shop, again same result. Many calls to Toshiba between these visits. Finally after months of such foolishness (each shop had replaced the motherboard and called it a day) Toshiba agreed to allow me to send it to them. I did. They returned it to me and waddaya know it worked normally (well, almost. It was a Windows box after all) Toshiba replaced the track pad and the keyboard--that was the trouble to begin with! Since then I've noticed that many Windows machines have this cursor jump problem. It's not too extreme, mainly annoying. Usually the person who owns the laptop is not computer savvy, and winds up buying a new machine. This looks like inferior worksmanship to me--cheap parts. We can only hope that Apple doesn't decide to increase earnings by using the 'Windows method'.
Mac Pro (2010); 2 ViewSonic monitors, 21" & 17"; Snow Leopard 10.6.8