A constantly disappearing cursor can be caused by various reasons, making a wide variety of solutions possible. The cursor might not work at all, or it could disappear in particular situations. The mouse buttons might even work while the cursor is hidden.
Here are just a few situations where users have noticed a disappearing mouse cursor:
- After a Windows update
- In one program only, like Chrome
- Only when typing
- Coming out of sleep mode
- Scrolling with your fingers on a laptop touchpad
How to Fix the Cursor Not Showing
Follow these fix-it steps to diagnose the problem for you and learn how to remedy it. They're ordered by the easiest/quickest to try: Start from the top and work your way down until a solution works for you.
The Tab key is your friend when there's no cursor. It lets you move through the various parts of a program with just your keyboard. When you land on something you want to enable or disable, use Spacebar or Enter. Arrow keys can also move you between tabs.
If you have a wired mouse, unplug it from the computer and then plug it back in, maybe even in a different USB port. For wireless mice, remove the attachment in the USB port and shut the mouse off, and then plug it back in, wait a minute, and switch it back on.
Doing this could be enough to establish a new connection with Windows and make the cursor work again.
If this fails to work for a wireless mouse, you can try to set up the wireless mouse as a new device.
Restart your computer. It’s the next easiest thing to attempt at fixing a cursor disappearing.
One quick way to do this when you don't have an active cursor is by accessing the desktop with Win+D and using Alt+F4 to find the shutdown options.
Try this even if you don’t think it’ll work. Restarting fixes many problems and could very well be the solution no matter why the cursor isn’t showing, whether it’s completely gone from the screen or only intermittently disappears when it runs over a specific program.
Check for updates through Windows Update. This is one of the first things you should try before moving on to the more specific troubleshooting steps below. An update from Microsoft could fix a known disappearing mouse cursor problem or correct issues your mouse is having.
Using the search bar to find Check for updates is the easiest way to get there.
Run the built-in device troubleshooter. Getting there without a mouse is easy; open the Run box with Win+R and execute this command:
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
Follow the on-screen directions to check for hardware issues.
The pointer or mouse itself could have been disabled by Windows, another program, or even by accident if your laptop has a physical switch to turn it off.
We have a few suggestions depending on why it's not visible:
If you're using a laptop, check for a switch near the touchpad or try one of the function keys, like F6 or F9 (you might need to press and hold Fn when choosing the key). Look closely at the keyboard for any clues about which button controls the touchpad for your specific laptop.
Check the mouse settings built-in to your laptop. Search for Touchpad settings through the search bar near the Start button. Open it and press the Tab key enough times to highlight the button at the top. Use Spacebar to toggle it off and then back on to refresh Windows' connection to it.
Open Run (Win+R), enter control mouse, jump over to the Device Settings tab (if you see it; it might be called something different for you) using the right arrow key, and choose Enable.
Uninstall the mouse or touchpad driver and then have Windows automatically reinstall it. Doing this will fix a disappearing cursor if the problem is an incompatible or wrong device driver.
- Open Device Manager. The Run command is best here: devmgmt.msc.
- Use Tab to jump down to the categories and then the down arrow to land on Mice and other pointing devices.
- Expand/open the menu with the right arrow key.
- Use the down arrow to highlight the mouse you want to use.
- Press Alt, and then a, and then u to trigger the uninstall option.
- Confirm by pressing Spacebar with Uninstall highlighted.
- Restart your computer. See step 2 above for help.
Check for outdated or missing drivers. It might sound like a repeat of the previous step, but Windows doesn’t necessarily install the best driver for your device.
If you have a touchpad or basic mouse, you can skip this step. But if it's an advanced or gaming mouse cursor not showing, getting the manufacturer's freshest driver is wise.
While it’s a challenge without a cursor, the best method for doing this is to visit the company’s website and download the latest driver. Driver updater tools are also helpful here; keep the mouse plugged in and use one of those programs to scan for updates.
Disable Tablet mode if you have a touchscreen PC. When this is enabled, you might not see the cursor at all.
Use the notification area button at the bottom-right of the taskbar to tap Tablet mode. Blue is on; gray is off.
Disable or enable hardware acceleration in Chrome. This setting is one that you might not have changed since you first installed Chrome, but some users have found keeping it on or off causes their cursor to disappear.
If turning it off or on doesn't work, try flipping the switch to the opposite setting, restart Chrome, and then put it back where it was.
Stop the cursor from disappearing when you're typing. If this is the only time you notice the cursor going away randomly, the reason is simple: You've enabled Hide pointer while typing in the mouse's settings.
Disable this option in Mouse Properties. Get there quickly from the Run box with this command:
After doing that, use Shift+Tab to move up to the tab menu, strike the right arrow key twice to go into the Pointer Options section, tab down to the Hide pointer while typing toggle, and press Spacebar to turn it off and then Enter to save and exit.
Set the pointer scheme to None and disable the pointer shadow. For whatever reason, some users have had success seeing the cursor again when they do this. It might not even apply to your situation, but it doesn't hurt to check.
Both of these settings are in the same Mouse Properties window discussed in step 10. Return there, go into the Pointers screen, and Tab down to select None in the drop-down menu, and remove the checkbox from Enable pointer shadow.
If using a Wacom graphics tablet, disable Windows Ink to stop the cursor from disappearing when you're using the pen: Start menu > Wacom Tablet > Wacom Tablet Properties > MAPPING and remove the check from Use Windows Ink.
If you don't want to go this route, you can force Windows to show the diamond pointer: Open Settings through Win+i, go to Devices and then Pen & Windows Ink, and enable Show cursor.
Are you using multiple monitors? Maybe a projector? It's an unlikely problem for most people: The mouse cursor might exist on one of those screens.
If so, moving it around a few inches isn't enough to make it appear again. To find the cursor, drag the mouse to the left or right several times until it appears on your primary screen.
If you don’t want the extra displays to be connected anymore, learn more about using additional monitors to undo this.
Use Ctrl+Alt+Del to trigger that screen. Users have reported temporary relief from the disappearing cursor by simply opening that screen and then exiting it. It’s not a permanent solution, but it might be all you can do if none of the other solutions worked and you’re not interested in reinstalling Windows.
Here are some other, less-likely solutions you can try for a cursor not showing up in Windows 10:
- Check for and remove any found malware
- Unplug all USB devices and restart the computer
- Power the computer down for a few minutes and then start it back up
- Use a registry cleaner tool to clean up registry problems
- Run System Restore to undo recent system changes
- How do you change your mouse cursor in Windows 10?
To change your mouse cursor scheme, find Mouse Settings > Additional mouse options > Mouse Properties > Pointers tab. You can also adjust its size and color.
- How do you change mouse sensitivity in Windows 10?
To change the mouse sensitivity, open Settings > Devices. Select Mouse > Additional mouse options. In the Control Panel applet for Mouse Properties, change the sensitivity with the slider and test it by double-clicking the test folder icon.
- How do you take screenshots in Windows 10?
The easiest way to take a screenshot in Windows 10 is by using the Windows+PrtSc (Print Screen) keyboard shortcut. Screenshots are stored in Pictures > Screenshots by default.