Why Does My Cursor Keep Blinking?

By Tommy Charles

Your cursor has a fixed blink rate that you can set yourself. The default blink rate is medium, but you can set it to blink much faster than this. The cursor's blink actually plays a practical role in the Windows environment, but there are many factors that can affect it. By learning about blink rate and your Windows cursor, you can gain a better understanding of the factors that can influence it.

Cursor Blink Rate

If the vertical cursor that appears when you type is blinking too fast, you can change its settings from the Control Panel. The cursor blinks so that it will catch your eye. You may find this helpful when returning to the computer after a long break. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to find the cursor. To change the blink rate, click "Start," "Control Panel" and then type "keyboard" into the search bar in the right-hand corner. Click the "change cursor blink rate" result that appears. When the "keyboard properties" dialog box appears, drag the "Cursor blink rate" bar toward the "none" side to slow it down and then click "OK."

Pointer Trails

If your mouse cursor appears to blink when you drag it around the screen, you may have inadvertently activated pointer trails. When pointer trails is activated, you will see several mouse pointers appear behind the main one as you move the mouse. To deactivate this setting, click "Start," "Control Panel," type "mouse" into the search bar and then click "Change mouse settings." Click the "Pointer Options" tab, deselect "display pointer trails" and then click "OK."

Cursor Blinks On and Off while Typing

Your cursor can seem to blink erratically if you have a high cursor blink rate and the "Hide pointer while typing" option active at once. This option causes the pointer to disappear when you type and to reappear when you stop. If this option is not set, the cursor will cease blinking when you type. To check this setting, click "Start," "Control Panel," type "mouse" into the search bar and then click "Change mouse settings." Click the "Pointer Options" tab. The "Hide pointer while typing" option is located at the bottom of the "Mouse Properties" dialog box.

Memory and Programs

If you have more programs open at once than your computer can handle, you may see the cursor blink erratically. Each open program consumes RAM, and basic Windows functions such as the mouse cursor requires this resource as well. If you have taxed your system to the max, the cursor may blink slower than usual, or not at all. Additionally, this situation can result in the mouse cursor moving across the screan in jerks, and this can create the impression that it is blinking. You can address this problem by closing programs that you do not need.