If your Windows 10 mouse cursor disappears, you’re not alone. It happens to me too. It’s a bit maddening but not super hard to fix.
Why the Windows 10 mouse cursor disappears
This problem happened to my son on his HP Elitebook. Then a few months after, it happened to me on my HP Elitebook. The issue seems to revolve around the Synaptics touchpad device, so other laptops that use the same touchpad are also likely to experience the issue. I haven’t seen this issue on laptops that use touchpads from other vendors, at least not yet.
I think the problem is due to the driver getting confused and disabling one or more of the devices on you. Fortunately, it’s a very intermittent problem and not difficult to fix.
Plug in an external mouse
For whatever it’s worth, plugging in an external USB mouse brings the mouse cursor back immediately. But it doesn’t necessarily make the touchpad start working again. One time that this happened to me, I found the trackpoint controller (the little mini joystick between the G, H, and B keys) still worked too.
This isn’t a permanent fix. But having an external mouse makes the permanent fix easier, if you’re not comfortable maneuvering around Windows with a keyboard.
If you have an external mouse and it’s the cursor that disappeared, try unplugging your mouse and plugging it back in, or better yet, plug it into a different USB port.
Launch the mouse control panel
Click the Windows logo or hit the Windows key on your keyboard to launch the Windows start menu. Type the word “mouse” and then select Mouse Settings when it appears. You can use the arrow keys and the enter key as a substitute for pointing and clicking if you don’t have an external mouse available or if plugging in an external mouse didn’t help for some reason.
In some cases, simply launching the mouse control panel is enough to bring a mouse cursor back. I don’t know why that is, but the first two times this happened to me, that was enough to make it work.
If you’re not so lucky, click Additional Mouse Options. If you can’t point and click, hit the tab key until Additional Mouse Options is highlighted, then hit the enter key.
Once there, navigate to Device Settings. Again, you can use the tab key to navigate if you need to. Hit shift-tab to navigate to the tabs at the top, then use the arrow keys to select the Device Settings tab. Ensure the device you want to use is enabled. Highlight the touchpad, then navigate to Enable to enable it, and click OK. You might also try Reset Devices and see if that helps.
Updating your driver
Sometimes your first instinct is to update your driver when something goes wrong. This is a case where that may not work out so well for you. If your manufacturer offers a newer driver for your specific laptop model, go ahead and install it. Installing a driver for a laptop other than the one you own may cause malfunctions. If you did this, open Device Manager, then select Mice and other pointing devices, then select your driver, right-click, and choose Roll back device driver to restore the supported driver.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.
One thought on “Windows 10 mouse cursor disappears? Try this.”
I don’t use the touch pad, but the external mouse on my Toshiba (Synoptics keypad) freezes up occasionally also. I’ve found that on mine unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in after a couple of seconds takes care of the problem and haven’t explored it any farther.
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