Stop Cursing an Invisible Cursor

Stop Cursing an Invisible Cursor
Mac Tip #361, 22 October 2008

Computer screens today cram a lot of pixels into a small space. That means that type can be quite small, and so can the cursor. If you sometimes have trouble finding the cursor on your computer screen, how about making it bigger? Here’s how.

Note: this Tip was written with Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard in mind. Other versions of the Operating System may not offer exactly the same features.

The first screenshot shows a normal sized cursor hovering to the right of the title of last week’s Tip as I view the web page. It’s not very big.

To change that visit the System Preferences > Universal Access > Mouse & Trackpad pane. At the bottom of that pane is a slider for the Cursor Size. My screenshot shows I’ve slid the marker all the way to the right — the ‘Large’ end of the slider.

As you can see, the cursor arrow is now enormous, and unmissable.

The third screenshot shows my MacTips archive web page again, this time with that giant cursor.

If you go to edit a text document, the ‘I-beam’ cursor is also displayed larger, but unfortunately I can’t make a screenshot that displays it.

In practice that huge cursor size doesn’t suit me. I generally set the slider to a bit to the left of the first checkmark.

Experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

And please, leave a comment below if you’ve found this Tip useful or have anything to add.

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  1. Karen said:

    If you have an application that darkens your brightness,That could be the problem. My cursor always disappears in email and other programs. I turned off the darkening program and viola! There it was. so now I am adjusting my darkening program slider bar so that I can still see the cursor and the display isn’t so bright.

  2. Miraz Jordan said:

    I don’t know why you’re having that problem Matthew, but you could try trashing the preference and see if that helps.

    Delete the file in your User’s Library:


    That should reset the preference. Set it again and see if it ‘sticks’. You may need to also log out or restart.

  3. Matthew said:


    I just updated my MBP 15″ to Leopard and the the cursor / pointer size won’t stick. I can change the size in universal access but the next time I start up the size has returned to small. When I return to universal access the slider is still where I put it.
    How can I fix this?


  4. Norbert C. Ballauer said:

    Hi Miraz’
    I have a friend who is a diabetic and his eye sight is going back on him, he has a very hard time just seening the tool bar, and he is still using OS 9.2.
    I seem to recall a program that was put out with OS 7 that would zoon the words as you pass over them.
    Now I have 9.2.2 on one of my drives but I can not remember the name of the program. Can you help me with this?
    Thank you for your time and troube

  5. Norbert C. Ballauer said:

    Your tip hold true for 10.4.11 as I have been using it for about a year now as my signed is not what it use to be, Thanks for the tip.
    I’m still hanging in there

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