How to Change Your Mouse Cursor in Windows

The Mouse Control Panel in Windows controls the look of your mouse cursors, including special cursors such as the spinning "busy" cursor and the text entry cursor. Windows includes several sets of alternate cursors, or for even more options, use CUR or ANI files found on the Internet -- no need to install any extra software.

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Large and extra large cursor schemes help if you lose track of the pointer.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Search for and select Mouse on the Windows 8.1 Start screen or Windows 7 Start menu to open the Mouse Control Panel.

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If you have Windows 8 but not 8.1, press Windows-W to search for Control Panels.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
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Windows 8 defaults to Windows Default (System Scheme).
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Switch to the Pointers tab and pick a cursor set from the Scheme menu. Windows includes several variations on its regular cursors, including options for larger cursors, black cursors and cursors with inverted colors.

Step

The (None) option reverts to the simple black and white cursors from pre-XP versions of Windows.

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The Enable Pointer Shadow option applies a shadow to all cursors.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select a specific cursor, such as Text Select for the vertical bar used in Word and Notepad, and click Browse to change the cursor.

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Don't like the text entry cursor? Choose a pointer instead.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Pick a new cursor in the Browse window. When you first press Browse, the list shows every cursor that comes with Windows. You can also select cursor files from anywhere on your computer, including cursors you download from the Internet or draw yourself. Static cursor files use the CUR extension, while animated cursors use ANI.

Step

Repeat these two steps to apply a different cursor to each of the cursor types you want to change.

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You can delete your own schemes, but not those included with Windows.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Click Save As to save your changes as a new scheme. Saving isn't necessary, but by saving your custom scheme, you can quickly switch between it and other schemes.

Step

Finish by clicking OK to close the Control Panel and apply the new cursors.