Mouse cursor disappears on Mac? Try these fixes

Mouse cursor disappears on Mac

A few times, while browsing social media or after playing a game, I found that the mouse cursor disappears on my Mac. It’s a random thing and not limited to any one specific app or a particular version of macOS.

One thing that I’ve observed is that the mouse cursor most often disappears when I use heavy software like Photoshop and connect multiple displays. The mouse pointer is also liable to keep disappearing if I have too many tabs open in Safari or Chrome.

This bug may even occur after you update to the latest macOS version. Let’s check out some surefire ways to fix it.

Cursor keeps disappearing on Mac? How to fix it

Shake your mouse or move your finger quickly across Trackpad

This is the easiest way to find the disappeared mouse cursor on Mac. All you have to do is to shake the mouse or move a finger on your Trackpad rapidly. The lost mouse cursor will appear on the screen and may also increase in size so that you can easily see it.

Right click on Mac

One of the easiest ways to locate your vanished mouse cursor is to right-click (either using Cmd + left click or clicking with two fingers). When you right-click, the mouse cursor is immediately visible.

Try to bring the mouse cursor to Dock

While you’re not able to see the mouse pointer, you can still use it as if you could. Move the invisible cursor down to the Dock. Once the vanished mouse pointer hovers over the Dock, it’ll reappear.

Bring Mouse Cursor Back to Dock on Mac

Mission Control fixes a disappearing cursor on Mac

When you’re playing a full-screen video on YouTube or working in a full-screen app, the right-click method may not bring success. This is where accessing Mission Control on Mac can help you locate the mouse cursor.

Three methods to enter Mission Control:

  • Click the Mission Control key (F3) from top row or Touch Bar, or
  • Press Ctrl + Arrow up (△) key, or
  • Swipe up with four (or three) fingers on the Trackpad

Switch to Finder or a different app to relocate a hidden mouse cursor

Press Cmd (⌘) + tab to quickly switch to a different app or Finder. You should see the mouse cursor. Now go back to the app you were working on.

Switch Between Different App to Relocate Disappear Mouse Cursor in macOS

Bring up the Force Quit menu

On your keyboard press Cmd (⌘) + Option (⌥) + esc. The Force Quit Applications pop-up appears. You don’t have to quit out of any apps. Just opening the menu brings up the hidden mouse cursor.

Launch Force Quite on Mac

Adjust the size of the mouse cursor on Mac

macOS lets you set the mouse pointer size according to your liking. To increase the cursor size launch System PreferencesAccessibilityDisplay from the left sidebar → Cursor → drag the Cursor size slider.

Open System Preferences and Click on Accessibility on Mac
Click on Display from Sidebar and Move Cursor Size Slider in Mac System Preferences

Also, enable Shake mouse pointer to locate.

You can also launch Siri from the top right of the menu (or touch) bar or press and hold Cmd (⌘) + Space Bar. Now ask Siri ‘Increase mouse pointer size.’

Ask Siri to Increase Mouse Pointer Size on Mac

Disable third-party screensavers on Mac

If your cursor keeps disappearing on Mac, try disabling or uninstalling any third-party screensaver apps you use.

Turn off keyboard shortcuts to zoom

Accessibility features are beneficial, but they may cause little issues here and there. Disabling keyboard shortcuts to zoom is a good hack to address a mouse that’s suddenly up and gone.

Launch System PreferencesAccessibilityZoom → make sure everything is unchecked here.

Open System Preferences and Click on Accessibility on Mac
Click on Zoom from Sidebar and Uncheck All Options in Mac System Preferences

Check firmware updates for a third-party Mouse or Trackpad

If you’re using a non-Apple brand peripheral, visit their website or ask the company if there are any pending driver updates to improve compatibility and fix glitches.

Check battery of the connected mouse and external Trackpad

Replace the removable batteries or charge your mouse and Trackpad if it has a rechargeable internal battery.

Restart your Mac to bring back the mouse cursor

If none of the solutions worked for you, try restarting your macOS device. A restart usually fixes these temporary issues. Click on the Apple logo from the top left and select Restart.

Reset the NVRAM or PRAM and SMC

  • NVRAM: Non-volatile Random-access Memory
  • PRAM: Parameter Random-access Memory
  • SMC: System Management Controller

NVRAM and PRAM store some specific settings in a location that macOS can access quickly, like designated startup disk, display resolution, or speaker volume.

SMC is a vital chip on Intel-based Macs that controls small hardware components and processes like keyboards, fans, thermal and power management, battery charging, hibernation, etc.

If your mouse cursor keeps disappearing on Mac, try to reset the SMC  and NVRAM/PRAM.

Try a third-party mouse locator app

If this issue persists, you can install a third-party application that helps you find your cursor. One app you can try is Simple Mouse Locator. It’s a paid app that hasn’t received an update since 2015, but there are reviews of praise from as recent as 2019. Try it out—if it doesn’t work for you, request a refund!

These are some of the ways to fix a mouse cursor that keeps disappearing on Mac. Finally, I recommend that you learn some keyboard shortcuts for macOS. If you have time, also check out macOS Dock shortcuts. They’ll surely improve your productivity and make your experience swift and enjoyable.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share your feedback with us in the comment section. We’ll do our best to answer any questions!

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