Today the mouse hovering functionality on my Mac simply stopped working. Moving my mouse to the dock causes one icon to enlarge, but then sliding left and right does not cause the others to enlarge.

In menus I can click on a menu, but then the menu items don't light up as I pull down. I can click on a submenu to see it but I don't see it on hover.

This behavior happens with both my Logitech mouse and my Apple Trackpad.

This behavior came out of nowhere, I restarted my Mac but it did not help.

  • 3
    The problem is with the Logitech mouse. If I pull the USB mouse dongle out then it goes away and the menus operate normally with the trackpad. – Ray Salemi Jun 29 '19 at 17:44
  • did you find the solution? it's so anoying – Mr.Ghamkhar Aug 11 '20 at 17:07
  • Thanks Ray Salemi, i just got the same issue with Mac Mini M1 on Big Sur 11.1 and indeed the logitech dongle was the culprit – phongnt Jan 24 at 3:20
  • I was using a logitech MX master connected via bluetooth, i connected a wired Apple mouse and the hover issue went away immediately. I was having problems in VS Code not showing the hover tooltip and its because it uses the hover functionality. – Pedro contreras avendano Feb 18 at 14:04
  • I get hover with my Logitech USB dongle connected, so it may be less about which brand or connection method and more about some part of the macOS software stack that's hung or providing noisy / conflicting input and breaking he gesture recognition of a hover. If someone can edit in clear steps how to reproduce this (steps to make hover break reliably) - @ me as I'd love to test / replicate this and learn what's failing if it's not the "obvious causes" listed in the answer by Hunter. – bmike Mar 26 at 11:38

Hover is something that comes out of the gesture recognition engine on macOS so it's more complicated than simply the cursor is now over a link. It matters if more than one finger (multitouch) is detected and it also needs a stable input.

  • One rare cause of this is flakey USB that causes a (possibly invisible) shake to the input - this is filtered out, so you might not see it.

  • The leading cause of this is when there are more than one device connected. For Macs with a trackpad, if there is motion detected on the build in trackpad, the external device may be demoted to "secondary device"

I learned this when the same issue plagued me for a few days. The cause and solution was similar as well - little did I know, the USB-C dock I had my Mac plugged into at work also had a USB mouse plugged into it, hidden behind the monitors. As soon as I unplugged that mouse, the issue immediately went away.

If anyone is having this issue, try seeing if there is a mouse or wireless mouse dongle plugged in that you might have forgotten about. Also, the act of disconnecting a USB device or Bluetooth device and re-connecting it (which is a different / quicker step than unpairing and pairing) that also seems to cure when a hover motion doesn't get detected.

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