How to make the mouse pointer easier to see in Windows 7

This page explains step-by-step how to make the mouse pointer easier to see in Windows 7 by changing its appearance, speed or how it functions.

Areas in this guide:

Note: The 'Ease of Access Center' has replaced 'Accessibility Options' (which was used in earlier versions of Windows) in the 'Control Panel' of Windows 7. For more information, read the Introduction to the Ease of Access Center.

Make the mouse pointer larger

Step 1: Open the 'Ease of Access Center' window

Press the Windows key + U or click the 'Start' button, followed by 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center'.

Under the 'Explore all settings' header, click on 'Make the mouse easier to use' (as shown in Fig 1), or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from 'Ease of Access Center' window

Step 2: Choose a mouse pointer size and colour

Click the radio button beside the size and style of the mouse pointer you want, as shown in Fig 2, or use one of the keyboard shortcuts listed below.

When you have selected the pointer you want, click the 'Save' button, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter, to save your changes.

Fig 2Detail from 'Make the mouse easier to use' window

The keyboard shortcuts to select a mouse pointer are as follows:

  • Alt + R for Regular White
  • Alt + L for Large White
  • Alt + X for Extra Large White
  • Alt + U for Regular Black
  • Alt + B for Large Black
  • Alt + K for Extra Large Black
  • Alt + G for Regular Inverting
  • Alt + I for Large Inverting
  • Alt + N for Extra Large Inverting

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Customise your mouse pointer

Step 1: Open the 'Mouse Properties' window

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select 'Personalize', to open the 'Personalization' window. In the left-hand pane, click on 'Change Mouse Pointers' to open the 'Mouse Properties' window shown in Fig 2. If you are unable to do this, use the following alternative method. Otherwise, go to Step 2.

Open the Ease of Access Center window by pressing the Windows key + U, or by clicking the 'Start' button, followed by 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center'. Under the 'Explore all settings' header, click on 'Make the mouse easier to use' (as shown in Fig 1), or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from 'Ease of Access Center' window

In the 'Make the mouse easier to use' window, scroll down to the 'See also' header and click on 'Mouse settings', or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter. This will open the 'Mouse Properties' window shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2'Mouse Properties' window showing the 'Pointers' tab

Step 2: Choose a scheme for mouse pointers

If it is not already selected, click on the 'Pointers' tab, or press Tab until any of the tabs is highlighted and then use the arrow keys to select the 'Pointers' tab.

Here you can customise your mouse pointer to one you can more easily see, such as larger or higher-visibility pointers, by choosing one of the available schemes. Click on the drop-down button below the 'Scheme' header, or press Alt + S, then use the mouse or the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the options until you find the scheme you want.

Step 3: Make the mouse pointer easier to move

Click on the 'Pointer Options' tab, or press Tab until any of the tabs is highlighted and then use the arrow keys to select the 'Pointer Options' tab, as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 3'Mouse Properties' window showing the 'Pointer Options' tab

To change the speed that the pointer moves across your screen, click on the slider under 'Select a pointer speed', and move it to a faster or slower speed setting. Alternatively, press Alt + C and use the arrow keys to move the slider.

If you turn on the 'Snap To' function, whenever you open a dialogue box the mouse pointer will automatically move to the default button. To turn this option on, tick the box next to 'Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialogue box', or press Alt + U to tick it.

(You can further customise the mouse pointer here by changing the 'Visibility' settings, as described below under 'Make it easier to find your mouse pointer'.)

Click the 'OK' button or press Enter to save your changes.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Make it easier to find your mouse pointer

In addition to the ways outlined above for making your mouse pointer larger and easier to use, there are a number of options specifically designed to make your mouse pointer easier to locate on the screen.

Step 1: Open the 'Mouse Properties' window

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select 'Personalize', to open the 'Personalization' window. In the left-hand pane, click on 'Change Mouse Pointers' to open the 'Mouse Properties' window shown in Fig 2. If you are unable to do this, use the following alternative method. Otherwise, go to Step 2.

Open the Ease of Access Center window by pressing the Windows key + U, or by clicking the 'Start' button, followed by 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center'. Under the 'Explore all settings' header, click on 'Make the mouse easier to use' (as shown in Fig 1), or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from 'Ease of Access Center' window

In the 'Make the mouse easier to use' window, scroll down to the 'See also' header and click on 'Mouse settings', or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter. This will open the 'Mouse Properties' window shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2'Mouse Properties' window showing the 'Pointer Options' tab

Step 2: Change the mouse pointer's 'Visibility' settings

If it is not already selected, click on the 'Pointer Options' tab, or press Tab until any of the tabs is highlighted and then use the arrow keys to select the 'Pointer Options' tab.

The settings under the 'Visibility' header give you three ways to make the mouse pointer easier to see on your screen.

To make the mouse pointer easier to see when you are moving it, you can add 'trails' to it. Tick the box next to 'Display pointer trails' by clicking it, or press Alt + D to tick it and turn this feature on.

If you find the mouse pointer distracting when you are trying to type, you can make it temporarily disappear. To turn this feature on, tick the box next to 'Hide pointer while typing', or press Alt + H to tick it.

If the box next to 'Show location of pointer when I press the Ctrl key' is ticked, then when you press the Ctrl key a large circle will appear, making it easier to find the mouse pointer on your screen. To turn this feature on, click the box or press Alt + S to tick it.

Click the 'OK' button, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter, to save your changes.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

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