Linux Mac Windows

How to Quickly Find Your Lost Mouse Cursor on Every OS

Ben Stegner 02-12-2015

Have you ever lost track of your mouse cursor on the screen? If you start wildly clicking around to find it, you could end up committing a disastrous mouse mistake 7 Disastrous Mouse Click Mistakes You Don't Want to Make Put into the wrong hands, the mouse could turn into a destructive tool. We show you which mouse routines you might take for granted and how they throw off less experienced users. Read More ; thankfully, most operating systems include a feature to help you find your pointer quickly.


For Windows users: Search for Mouse in the Start menu, and switch to the Pointer Options tab. At the bottom, check the box for Show the location of the pointer when I press the Ctrl key. Now, anytime you can’t find your cursor, just tap either Ctrl key and a ring will pulse around your cursor to help you find it.

For OS X El Capitan users: A built-in feature will guide you to your cursor. Simple shake your finger on your trackpad (or wiggle your mouse) back and forth and the mouse pointer will become huge for a moment. Once you find it, just stop wiggling and it will go back down to size.

For Linux users: I know little about Linux, so I asked fellow writer and Linux expert Ivana Isadora Devcic if there was a way to do this. Here’s her explanation:

The screenshot below shows what it looks like on KDE. Basically, it’s DE-dependent, meaning there isn’t one universal solution; it’s different in KDE, Gnome, Xfce, and so on.


For KDE, you can enable the desktop effect that controls this feature. For Gnome, use this info (the setting is accessible in System Settings).

Writer Bruce Epper also shared that Cinnamon has the option under System Settings > Mouse and Touchpad. It’s off by default, but the trigger key is Ctrl just like Windows.


If you’re sick of the default Windows mouse cursor, try changing it up Custom Mouse Cursors for Windows 10: How to Get Started Here's how to get custom mouse cursors on Windows 10, including where to find cursor icon packs and how to install them. Read More !

Will you enable this setting? Do you often lose your mouse cursor? Tell us your thoughts below!

Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou via

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  1. Anonymous
    December 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I'd like a foolproof way to hide the mouse pointer while typing. Some mouse drivers have it, some don't, and some that do don't work right. (I know the Windows standard PS/2/USB drivers have the checkbox to "hide mouse pointer while typing," but it doesn't work well).

    • terry
      December 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Unclutter is the idle pointer hider I use for Linux. I don't remember the name of the one I used back in my Windows days.

  2. o0omycomputero0o
    December 3, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Move the cursor toward the top-left direction, and it will be at top-left corner of the screen, no tip and tool need :)

    • Ben Stegner
      December 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Not a bad fallback tip in a pinch :)

  3. Maryon Jeane
    December 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Excellent! As someone who uses the keyboard most of the time I often end up having lost the mouse pointer when I actually do need to use it. Thank you for this tip, Ben - I wish I'd known it years ago!

    • Ben Stegner
      December 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      You're welcome! Now you can share it with others who need to know :)

  4. Anonymous
    December 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Losing the cursor isn't a problem I encounter often, but it does happen sometimes in certain programs. For me, a Ctrl+Shft combo does the trick on my KDE desktop.

    • Ben Stegner
      December 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      It's not something I need every day either, but when I can't find it (having two monitors can make things confusing) I'm glad to have the setting on.

      And I'm happy to see that it works that way in Linux! Thanks for reporting!

  5. Anonymous
    December 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Good tip !!!!!

    • Ben Stegner
      December 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Glad you liked it, Peter!