Well, in an unusual and fairly rare situation, the Mac cursor can randomly disappear from OS X. More accurately, the cursor itself becomes invisible, because you can still tap around on the screen. However, without able to see what the mouse or trackpad is focused on. In this article, we are going to talk about What to do If your Mouse Disappears on Mac. Let’s begin!
This seems to happen out of the blue, and although it is really difficult to reproduce reliably. It does seem to happen more mostly when a Mac is running low on available memory and is using multiple monitors as well. Thus, you may be more likely to lose the cursor whenever you are using apps. Such as Photoshop, or Chrome, and Safari along with tons of browser tabs open, especially with an external display connected. After running into this bug repeatedly I discovered a few ways in order to resolve the problem and make the cursor visible again.
Mouse Disappears on Mac
If your mouse cursor has mysteriously disappeared in OS X, then try the following tricks in descending order to bring it back:
- Tap Command+Tab to switch back to the Finder or to another app, then switch back to the active app
- Summon the Force Quit menu through hitting Command+Option+Escape. There is mostly no need to actually force quit anything as just summoning the menu is mostly enough to make the cursor return
- Quit and relaunch the app, or quit all of the applications if the cursor is gone everywhere
- Adjust the size of the cursor, that you found in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display to make it reappear
- Then reboot
Typically through the Command+Tab app switcher or Force Quit trick is enough to bring the cursor back for most apps. However, if it’s consistently missing in a single app you may need to relaunch that app itself. Very rarely the cursor will be missing everywhere, which needs either every single application be quit or the computer to reboot.
This is of course a bug, which means it is probably an easy fix for Apple. In fact, it may already resolve in OS X Mavericks because I have yet to run into it using the developer preview builds of 10.9.
If you have got the dreaded “phantom cursor” haunting your Mac (and you are also running a version of OSX 10). Then here is a rundown of the major causes of this issue to help you diagnose what is causing your cursor malfunction.
1) Adjust Your Trackpad Settings
For some Mac laptops, the problem is actually related to your trackpad settings. In order to figure out if your cursor issues are caused through your settings, then go into System Preferences. Choose Trackpad, and then de-select the box for Trackpad Gestures and check “Ignore accidental trackpad input”. If effectively make your trackpad less sensitive to your input, then you may eliminate the cause of your cursor issues.
Another possible way to resolve the phantom cursor issue on a Mac laptop is to attach a USB mouse and then use that in lieu of your trackpad as well. If a faulty trackpad is the cause of your cursor bouncing around the screen, then using a mouse rather can circumvent the fault. Just make sure to go into System Preferences after plugging in the mouse and choose “Ignore Trackpad When Mouse is Present” under Trackpad Settings.
2) Reset Your PRAM
The parameter RAM (PRAM) is where a Mac stores basic information (like the time). So that you do not need to re-enter it every single time you start up the computer. Resetting the PRAM is sort of like a smarter way of trying to fix a tech problem through turning the machine off and on again. Not particularly elegant, but it can mostly get the job done.
First, you need to shut down your computer. Then, unplug it, remove the battery, and then hold the power button down for a count of ten. Replace the battery re-attach the power cord now. Turn the computer back on and immediately hold down these following keys: Option, Command, P, R.
Keeping holding these keys down, and then you will hear a soft chime. Keep holding those four keys down until your computer chimes for the second time, then you can release them. The reset is then complete, and you are all set to try writing again and see if the phantom cursor program still persists or not.
3: You have Got Malware
If you have malware, viruses, or spyware infecting your computer, then they can sometimes cause cursor malfunction. As we all know, Macs are generally less likely to get these sorts of problems than PCs, however, it can still happen anyway. Use a free trial of a program such as MacScan to check your hard drive for anything nasty. If the program finds anything, then it can isolate and delete it safely.
4: Trackpad Damage or Misalignment
Well, in my case, this was the source of all my phantom cursor woes. Over time, (and partially because of playing too many video games that caused me to do vigorous clicking). My trackpad had gotten slightly depressed, sending it out of alignment and also causing my computer to read it as constantly clicked on.
In the case of my MacBook, I removed the battery from my laptop’s case. And then I used gentle pressure with my fingers to nudge the battery housing very slightly just underneath the trackpad. This slight pressure was just enough to pop the trackpad up a few millimeters into its correct position as well.
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