Mouse Cursor Pointer Disappears on Mac: Fixes

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When your Mac cursor disappears, it can cause a lot of issues with what you're working on at the moment. It’s a really strange issue, and fairly uncommon, but disruptive. Instead of wondering what’s wrong with your computer when the Mac mouse disappears, lets discuss some of the most common fixes for this unusual problem.

How Do You Get Your Cursor Back When It Disappears (Quick Tips)

In this article, we’ll go over the following quick fixes for getting your cursor to reappear on a Mac:

  • Make sure there are no connection issues
  • Use System Preferences
  • Switch your windows and press Command (⌘) and Tab
  • Visit your Dock or your Menu Bar
  • Try your Trackpad or Touchpad
  • Reset NVRAM
  • Click and Drag
  • Right Click
  • Force Quit
  • Wait a little

Why Mouse Cursor Disappears on Mac: Possible Reasons

Before we provide solutions for when your cursor disappears Mac computers have some known issues we should discuss that answers the more pressing question: “why does my mouse keep disappearing?”

  • Your Mac is low on memory. Remember, your cursor is also a process, and if your computer has too much going on, it may be why mouse keeps disappearing Mac has no idea what processes are most important sometimes!
  • Multiple monitors are in use. If you’re using multiple monitors, it may be why mouse disappears Mac monitors may be arranged improperly, or your cursor may just be on a different screen.
  • A video or app hid the mouse cursor. Have you ever watched a video and thought “my cursor disappeared Mac!” It’s not your computer’s fault; sometimes, apps or sites like YouTube hid cursors while media is playing.
  • Third-party apps are causing issues. Consider which apps you’re using when you can’t find your cursor. IT’s possible those apps are to blame.

Find a Mouse Cursor with Siri on Your Mac

One of the simplest answers to the question “how do i fix my disappearing cursor?” is simple: Siri.

With Siri on the Mac, you can quickly ask Siri to increase the size of your cursor. Just say “Hey Siri, increase the size of the cursor” to your Mac, and Siri will increase your pointer’s size, and surface a slider that allows you to make it larger or smaller if necessary. 

Launching Siri on your Mac is easy. Here are the default ways to launch it on your Mac:

  • From the Touch Bar. Press the Siri icon on your Touch Bar, on the far right side.
  • In the Dock. Siri has a dock icon you can click, too!
  • The menu bar. Siri has a menu bar icon you can simply click to surface the voice assistant.
  • Press and hold Command + Space. Siri will ping you when it’s ready to listen.

Let’s face it: talking to a computer is still weird. If talking to your Mac feels awkward, try Lacona. It’s a lot like Siri in that you can use natural language, but relies on keyboard input rather than spoken word. You can ask it to do much of the same things Siri can, like search files and folders for documents, but it’s a bit more powerful when you’re searching beyond your computer, like on the web. It has a ton of built-in Mac commands, and smart autocomplete. 

Siri find cursor

Lose Track of Your Mouse Pointer via Mission Control on Mac

There’s a really clever workaround for finding your Mac’s cursor using Mission Control. Just open your Mac’s Mission control preferences by visiting Apple menu > System Preferences > Mission Control, and assign a new hotkey for launching Mission Control. Tapping the hotkey once brings up Mission Control; tapping it twice brings it up, then dismisses it – but resurfaces your mouse pointer! 

find mouse via mission control

How to Fix “Mouse Cursor Disappears” Mac Issue

Before you start troubleshooting your mouse cursor issues, make sure it’s actually gone from your Mac. If you really can’t find it, the steps outlined below may be helpful.

Make sure there are no connection issues

If you’re using a wireless mouse or trackpad, make sure the device is powered up. Either replace the batteries, or charge it if the device is rechargeable.

If you’ve enabled hot corners in Mission Control, try moving your mouse pointer to a corner of the screen. If nothing happens, you’ll know there’s an issue.

Next, make sure you have a solid, reliable internet connection. Your Mac can tell you if you’re connected to the internet, but not if that connection is truly reliable. Use an app like WiFi Explorer or NetSpot to dig deeper into your internet connection. Each app can give you granular details about your connection speed, reliability, strength, and provide insight on signal to noise ratios and how active a WiFi channel is. 

NetSpot WiFi control

Use System Preferences

There are three System Preferences settings that can help you discover your cursor:

  • Cursor size. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Cursor Size to make your cursor larger.
  • Zoom. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom > More Options and select “Enable temporary zoom.” Pressing Control + Option temporarily zooms your mouse cursor size then this option is active.
  • Shake. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Cursor and enable “Shake mouse pointer to locate.” When you move your mouse or track your finger across the trackpad rapidly, your mouse cursor will temporarily zoom on screen. 

    fins Mac cursor system preferences

Switch your windows and press Command (⌘) and Tab

Pressing Command + Tap is a keyboard shortcut to toggle between active apps. It can help you get out of the app you’re currently using, which may be why you can’t discover your cursor. If it reappears after you toggle to another app, you know the app you were using is at fault.

Visit your Dock or your Menu Bar

Dragging your cursor to the top or bottom of your screen can either activate the dock or menu bar, or show which apps or icons you’re trying to use. This is a simple way to see where your mouse is. 

visit Mac dock menu bar

Try your Trackpad or Touchpad

If you’re using a trackpad, or are on a MacBook, give a two-finger swipe from the right side of the trackpad to bring up the widgets menu. Alternately, do a five-finger pinch to launch Mission Control. 

Mac widget dock

Reset NVRAM

Turn off your Mac. When rebooting, hold down Option + Command + P + R while the Mac reboots. 

Click and Drag

If your mouse cursor isn’t showing up, a simple click-and-drag operation may bring it up. Simply hold as though you are selecting an item or bunch of text, then release. This should bring up your mouse cursor on the screen!

Right Click

If you can’t find your cursor, a right click operation should bring up a menu where your cursor is. This at least tells you where your cursor is on the screen, just keep in mind some apps opt to keep the cursor small, or hidden, so this may not cause your cursor to reappear totally. 

Mac right click menu

Force Quit

If you can’t tell which app is causing issues, hold Command + Option + Escape to bring up a menu enabling you to force quit all open apps. You can also try Command + Control + Power to force restart your Mac. 

force quit apps

Wait a little

Sometimes, your Mac simply needs a minute to figure out what it’s doing. Give it some time, and there’s a good chance your cursor will pop back up on screen.

App That Helps When Mac Cursor Disappears

Ever wished you could control your Mac from another device? You can with Remote Mouse, an app that links your iPad or iPhone to your Mac, and uses the screen on those other Apple devices as the trackpad for your Mac!

Linking over Bluetooth, Remote Mouse has a highly adaptable interface you can tweak to suit your needs. It can hide or surface features as needed; a great option when you need more from your trackpad during photo editing sessions! The app also has a keyboard interface for quick additions, and can accept voice commands for inputting text on screen. You can even use your iPhone’s sensors to wave your phone around to navigate your Mac’s interface. Pretty wild! 

Remote Mouse Mac

Launch Your Mouse Cursor Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Did you know you can actually use your Mac without a mouse or trackpad at all? Just about every action has a keyboard shortcut. Here are some of the most important shortcuts:

  • Copy: Command (⌘)+C
  • Cut: Command (⌘)+X
  • Paste: Command (⌘)+V
  • Undo: Command (⌘)+Z
  • Redo: Command (⌘)+SHIFT+Z
  • Select All: Command (⌘)+A
  • Find: Command (⌘)+F
  • New (Window or Document): Command (⌘)+N
  • Close (Window or Document): Command (⌘)+W
  • Save: Command (⌘)+S
  • Print: Command (⌘)+P
  • Open: Command (⌘)+O
  • Switch Application: Command (⌘)+Tab
  • Navigate between windows in current application: Command (⌘)+~
  • Switch Tabs in application: Control+Tab
  • Minimize: Command (⌘)+M
  • Quit: Command (⌘)+Q
  • Force Quit: Option+Command (⌘)+Esc
  • Open Spotlight Search: Command (⌘)+SPACEBAR
  • Open Application Preferences: Command (⌘)+Comma
  • Force Restart: Control+Command (⌘)+Power Button
  • Quit All Apps and Shutdown: Control+Option+Command (⌘)+Power Button (or Media Eject )

That’s a lot to remember – and every app has a different set of keyboard shortcuts to keep track of! Instead of trying to memorize every shortcut, try Mouseless. The app lives in your menu bar, and tells you exactly which keyboard shortcuts are available to you for the app you’re using. When you’re not using an app, Mouseless tells you which system-wide shortcuts are optional, too.

Mouseless even has interactive exercises so you can learn your shortcut options daily. It’s an excellent app for those who want to become true keyboard warriors, and Mouseless claims it can save you up to eight days per year of time spent chasing a cursor around the screen. Awesome! 

Mouseless keyboard shortcuts

Conclusion

A missing cursor is never fun to track down, and can cause a bit of panic when you notice the problem. It’s great there are apps that can help you manage the issue, and all of the apps mentioned here – Mouseless, Remote Mouse, Lacona, WiFi Explorer, and NetSpot – are available for free during a seven day trial of Setapp, the best suite of productivity apps for your Mac. You’ll also get immediate access to over 150 other excellent Mac apps, and a subscription is only $9.99 once your free trial period ends. 

We think you’ll love these apps, and Setapp, so why wait? Give them all a try today!

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