8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2013 5:56 PM by macjack
Znapel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've had a problem for the past few months that's been driving me crazy.  Often, but inconsistenly, I will click on something and nothing happens.  More often than not I will be in Mail.app and will click to reply to an email.  I hear my mouse click, the click target turns dark to acknowledge my click, and then... nothing.  If I click on another email, it will come up fine.  If I click back on the original email and click on Reply it will dutifully pop out the email for me to type my response.  The same thing will sometimes happen in Safari.  If I have multiple tabs open, sometimes I will click on the close tab button, but it does nothing.  If I click on another tab, then click back to my original tab and then click the close tab button the tab closes like it should have originally.  Yesterday it got just absurd.  With the Apple.com site up I could click on any link and nothing would happen.  Like with mail, the color of the button on the page would darken to indicate that I clicked, but it wouldn't go there.  If I right-clicked and chose Open In New Tab it worked fine.  Other webpages in other tabs worked fine.  If I closed that tab and reopened the site, it was still broken.  Only after a wipe and restore did the site start working again.


Then, as if almost just to mess with me, in Terminal it will frequently register a click as a double-click.  I know it's a single click, I hear only one click of the mouse.  I'm having to constantly close the inspector window that pops up when it sees my "double-click" that is a single click.  It will randomly happen in other places as well.


Being a problem without an error code or message or easy way to describe, I haven't had any luck in any searches for people reporting the same problem.


I'm using a Mac Mini with OS X 10.8.3.  The problem has been around after multiple OS updates didn't seem to appear after any particular change made to the computer.


I've been a 'computer guy' for a long time, used most mainstream OSes since Windows for Workgroups, so I know my way around.  I've been using a Mac as my main computer for 7-8 years now.  I've already done a complete wipe and restore of the computer (using Time Machine).  I have an investment of time in the apps and data on my computer (my work computer to boot) so I am loathe to do a nuke-and-pave solution of resintalling everything from scratch instead of from a backup.  My hope is that there is someone else out there who had this problem and figured it out that might save me that trouble (and save my sanity).  These kinds of intermittent, nonsense issues are the worst.


Thanks to anyone who reads this and helps.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    And you've tested with another mouse?

  • Znapel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No.  The reason why is that I get a visual indication from the OS that it 'sees the click'.  The click-target will change, or darken when I click.  I just doesn't do anything.  Also, other clicking works fine.  And while it seems to be random in when it starts to happen it's, so far at least, consistent in happening mostly in Mail.app and Safari.


    I also want to mention another weird mail aberration that seems to have happened around the same time.  Sometimes when I reply to a message and click send it will send two replies.   The single message will start to disappear from the screen as its been sent and then another one will zoom away all of a sudden along with it, underneath it.  The Sent folder shows two sent messages.  I tried deliberately double-clicking on the Send button to try and replicate the problem, but I can't click quick enough for it to happen.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    Well, the first thing that comes to mind is to test with a different mouse... it could easily be a mouse problem...

    The second would be test in a new user account.

  • Znapel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I will try another mouse to rule it out, but based on the symptoms I'm seeing it sounds more like a software issue than a hardware one.  I don't know why the OS would make a visual indication of a button being clicked, but then not actually do anything.


    I haven't tried the user account, I will give that a whirl.  The problem with intermittent problems like this are they are hard to nail down with checks like that. Wished it was as simple as I click A and B happens.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    Yes, intermittent is difficult to troubleshoot. Working with another mouse, however is easy. In a few days you ought to be able to tell whether the problem can be reproduced or not.


    Another user account is more problematic, especially troubleshooting Mail actions. You'd need to set up your email in that account also. Normally, I'd suggest starting in Safe Mode and see if the problem still occurs but it's difficult to work for long periods without certain functions.

  • Znapel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks macjack, I'll give it a try and post an update after 2-3 days.

  • Znapel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry it took so long macjack.  I ran down to a Best Buy and grabbed a cheap-o wired mouse.  Unfortunately I had gotten so used to the large size of my usual mouse that I found it's small size almost unusable.  Last night I got another, better mouse.  At first, everything seemed fine.  This morning I was replying to an email and I clicked on the Reply All button and nothing happened.  Same thing as before, the button darkens on click, like the OS is seeing my mouse click, but nothing happens.


    So far though, since switching to the new mouse I have not had an instance of the double-clicks that should be single-clicks and vice-versa.  I'll give it a couple of more days before I declare that problem squared away.  Perhaps I was having an OS issue as well as a mouse issue.


    I'm trying to decide if I should try another user account first, or safe-mode.  Being this is my work computer, both are going to be difficult to try without impacting productivity.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    Safe mode shouldn't impact on your productivity. It will take longer to startup because it runs a directory check but you'll be in your own account and using the same software.