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replace mouse cursorLet’s face it, the mouse cursors included with Windows are getting a bit old. While it’s seen a few tweaks over the years, that white mouse cursor has remained largely the same for over a decade. You don’t have to wait for Microsoft to give Windows a new mouse cursor set – you can easily download and use beautiful user-created mouse cursor sets for Windows.

There’s a thriving community of Windows customizers 5 Cool Ways To Customize Your Windows 7 System 5 Cool Ways To Customize Your Windows 7 System Read More creating custom cursor sets and putting them online for us to download. You’ll find everything from cursor schemes based on other operating systems (like Mac OS X How To Install Mountain Lion On A PC [Hackintosh] How To Install Mountain Lion On A PC [Hackintosh] Are you not looking forward to Windows 8? Perhaps you're jaded by Microsoft’s decision to kill of Windows Home Server? Are you maybe tired of Windows Media Center being treated like a second class citizen?... Read More ) to custom cursor themes created from scratch.

Downloading Mouse Cursors

The first thing you’ll need to do is download a set of cursors you want to use. You’ll find a lot of user-created cursors on DeviantArt, and there are also quite a few on

Browse through the archives on these websites and you’ll find everything from user-created cursor sets to cursor schemes that imitate other operating systems. For example, you can install cursor themes that look like Mac OS X, Chrome OS, Ubuntu, or the KDE Oxygen icons on Linux. There’s also a Metro-style cursor set inspired by Windows Phone 7.

replace mouse cursor

You’ll also find entirely unique cursor sets, such as the black Obsidian cursors, green Gaia09 cursors, cursors in the style of the popular GANT icon set, and the Pulse Glass cursors with partial animation and glass-like transparency Tweak & Customize The Color In Windows 7's Aero Glass With These 5 Tools Tweak & Customize The Color In Windows 7's Aero Glass With These 5 Tools One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is Aero Glass. There’s something really appealing about the whole Aero look, and I love changing the look and feel of my system by changing Aero colors.... Read More .

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replace mouse cursor image

The cursor schemes above are just a few of some of the most popular cursors available for download. There’s a huge archive of custom cursors to dig through – you’re sure to find something you love if you dig deep enough.

Installing a Cursor Scheme

The downloaded cursor icon set file may be in .7z format. If so, you can use 7-Zip, a great file archiving and extraction program we’ve covered in the past 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More , to extract it.

After extracting your downloaded cursor theme, you’ll often see a .inf file in its folder. Right-click the .inf file and select Install to install the cursor scheme on your computer. (If the scheme didn’t come with an .inf file, see the next section below for instructions.)

replace mouse cursor image

The cursor scheme will now be installed. However, it won’t be automatically activated. To change your cursor theme, press the Start button, type Mouse pointer looks, and click the Change how the mouse pointer looks option. (On Windows 8, you’ll have to click Settings on the search screen that appears.)

replace mouse cursor image

Click the Scheme dropdown box and select the cursor set you installed – all the mouse pointer schemes you install will be listed in this box. Click the Apply button to activate your new cursor set.

replace mouse cursor image

Select the default Windows Aero scheme if you want to undo your changes. You can also select one of the other mouse cursor schemes that Windows includes – you can use larger mouse cursors 7 Steps to Make Computers Accessible for the Elderly 7 Steps to Make Computers Accessible for the Elderly Read More or black ones instead of white ones.

Setting Custom Cursors

Some mouse cursor schemes may not include .inf files for easy installation. You may also want to create your own cursor theme by combining different cursors from several different cursor schemes.

To set custom cursors for each individual pointer action, first select the mouse cursor scheme you want to start from. Then, select one of the actions under customize. Click the Browse button and browse to the .cur or .ani file you want to use for each action.

replace mouse cursor image

When you’re done, you can use the Save As button to save your custom cursor scheme so you can easily switch to it in the future.

Mouse Pointers and Windows Themes

By default, mouse pointers are linked to Windows themes Your Easy Guide to Windows 7 Themes Your Easy Guide to Windows 7 Themes Read More . If you change to a new a theme in the Personalization control panel, you’ll lose your custom cursor scheme. To prevent this from happening, uncheck the Allow themes to change mouse pointers checkbox in the Mouse Properties window.

replace mouse cursor image

Creating Your Own Cursors

If you’re the creative type, you can also create your own mouse cursors for Windows – they’re just small images, although they can also be animated. To create your own mouse cursors, try RealWorld Cursor Editor, which we’ve covered in the past. It walks you through the process of creating cursors and customizing them – it even comes with tutorials. You can use the cursors you create yourself and even share them online!

replace mouse cursor

What’s your favorite mouse cursor set for Windows? Leave a comment and share any gems you’ve found!

  1. WeenieButt
    August 10, 2016 at 2:02 am

    when i click install on the .inf file it wont show in control panel pls help

    • Marcelina
      August 18, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Did you right click the file and then clicked install and went through the procedure? If so, you go to control panel > search up mouse > go into pointers and it should be there as "Pulse glass".

  2. Jfreeze
    July 3, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Best guide 10/10

  3. Ross
    February 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    This article is pretty Rossome!!

    • buttbutt
      April 14, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      omg house_owner!!!!!!!

  4. Linda Conlon
    August 17, 2015 at 1:41 am

    i'm a rescue beagle mom....and i found a beagle(!!) cursor on a page called and couldn't figure out how to open and apply it....thank you for having instructions explaining how to do it!!! i have computer issues, so this was a great help!!!!

  5. harley
    March 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I have used Curser FX from Stardock for years, have many different curser themes, but I use the same one all the time, go figure.

  6. EdmarJohn SanDiego
    January 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    nice article. is there any 3d cursors?

  7. Chuck
    December 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Tired of using the same mouse cursor? Yes. But waaaayyyyyy too much trouble for me!

  8. Paul Tim
    November 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    still prefer the mac osx cursors

  9. druv vb
    November 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Nice. I have always hated the white cursor, it gets lost when you search for it among all those open windows! I use a custom made contrast black with rounded white edges. Its based on Ubuntu cursor set.

  10. Keith D.
    November 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Awesome article on cursors & related. Very good learning tool and reference!

  11. CyberPrince
    November 24, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Ahh very cool!

  12. Anesh Srinivas
    November 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    the original - simple and awesome!!

  13. Anonymous
    November 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    hey... nyc... but creating the cursor not seems sooo.. interesting ... :( But default cursors are good... always... :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Someone has to create 'em!

  14. Al Lemand
    November 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

    My mouse is on the left side of my desk. It is very easy to use by switching the buttons. What would make it even easier is if the cursors slanted to the right like this ' / ' instead of the default ' \ ' . Any easy way to flip cursor sets or are there left-handed cursor sets available?

  15. ha14
    November 22, 2012 at 10:23 am

    perhaps to make automatic rotation so that cursor changes as rotating wallpaper does on desktop:)

  16. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 22, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I collect cursors and change the set everytime I change my visual style. So far my favorite is XZ-Bone, looks cool and professional. That Gaia one is nice. Thanks.
    Realworld editor is a win. It's a good freeware.

  17. Terafall
    November 22, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Or you can install CursorFX

  18. Rigoberto Garcia
    November 22, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Thank you very much Chris. Review some of the pages you mentioned to change the look of my laptop

  19. Ramandeep
    November 22, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for all that. I'm not tired of the cursor however but after installing one of them I now think that I was ;) I remember 2 or 3 years ago that cursor mania ad always pop up on every website. I checked it but didn't liked it.

  20. Jon Smith
    November 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Using the original and still loving it

  21. Félix S. De Jesús
    November 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I prefer the Mac OSX ones... But my computer is a PC jejeje

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