How to Highlight the Mouse Cursor in Windows 10 & 11Reading Time: 5 minutes
Keep losing your Windows cursor? Identify it easier by highlighting it.
Highlighting the mouse cursor can enhance recorded Windows video tutorials or live presentations. Applying a highlight effect to a small mouse cursor will make the pointer somewhat clearer to follow for those watching any kind of Windows tutorial video or viewing your desktop while screen sharing.
So, most users who show their Windows desktop areas to others will recognize the appeal of highlighting their mouse pointers. You can highlight a mouse pointer in different ways with some third-party apps and extensions. This is how to highlight the mouse cursor in Windows 11/10 with PowerToys, Mouse Pointer Highlight, and Cursor Highlight.
How to Highlight the Cursor by Selecting the Show Location of Pointer Setting
Windows doesn’t include much in the way of cursor-highlighting features. However, it does have a Show location of pointer setting that enables you to briefly highlight the cursor’s position with a ring by pressing an activation key. That’s not the kind of color highlighting third-party apps offer, but it still shows where the cursor is. You can select the Show location of pointer setting like this:
- Use Win + I to open up Settings (see how to open Windows Settings for more ways).
- Select Bluetooth & devices in Windows 11’s Settings app. You’ll need to select the Devices category in Windows 10.
- Click Mouse to view settings for that device type.
- Select Additional mouse settings (or Additional mouse options) in the Windows Settings app.
- Then click the Pointer Options tab in the Mouse Properties window that opens.
- Select the Show location of pointer when I press the Ctrl key checkbox.
- Click Apply in the Mouse Properties window.
Now try out the new pointer highlighting by pressing the Ctrl key. You’ll see a circle expand and quickly shrink around the cursor whenever you press that key. That’s supposed to help users find their mouse pointers. However, it’s a somewhat unnecessary feature for that purpose since moving the mouse around is usually the best way to find the cursor.
That feature can come in handy for Windows video tutorials though. Activating the circle animation will draw viewers’ attention to a cursor’s position. You can use it to briefly highlight settings by moving the cursor next to any option that needs selecting.
How to Highlight the Cursor With Mouse Pointer Highlight
If you would prefer to add a permanent color highlight to the cursor, check out the Mouse Pointer Highlight app. That freely available adds a transparent color circle to the cursor. This is how you can highlight the cursor with Mouse Pointer Highlight:
- Open the Mouse Pointer Highlight Microsoft Store page.
- Then click Get in Store app to bring up a dialog for opening Microsoft Store.
- Press that dialog’s Open Microsoft Store option.
- Then click Mouse Pointer Highlight’s Install button.
- Open the Mouse Highlight app window.
The app’s window will open with a default yellow circle highlight automatically applied to your mouse’s cursor. You can change the color of the circle by clicking Select Color. Then choose a different color on the palette and click OK.
The default size for the circle highlight is 30, but you can make it bigger or smaller. Enter a value less than 30 in the Size box. Or input a number higher than 30 to increase the circle’s size.
You can adjust the circle’s transparency by changing the value in the Opacity box. Entering a lower value there will increase transparency. Inputting 0 makes the circle invisible, and entering the max 255 value removes the transparency.
This app also has a click highlight effect you can enable. When enabled, you’ll see a second circle with a different color briefly appear around the cursor whenever you click the mouse. Select the Enable checkbox to turn on that feature.
Then you can configure that secondary click highlight circle by entering alternative values in the Size and Opacity boxes much the same. There’s also a Display Time box for click highlight. Enter an alternative millisecond value there to change how long the circle appears. The default display time of 800 milliseconds is close to a second.
When you’re done configuring your cursor highlighting, click the Apply Setting button. The app must be running for its cursor highlighting to work, but it doesn’t run in the background with a system tray icon. Minimize the app’s window to the taskbar when you’re utilizing it.
How to Highlight the Cursor With PowerToys
PowerToys is an app with which you can enable a variety of handy new tools and features in Windows 11.10. Our best things to do in PowerToys guide tells you about some of the tools you can activate with that software.
PowerToys includes a Mouse utilities tab from which you can enable a color highlight circle for your cursor. You can set mouse cursor highlighting with PowerToys like this:
- Open the Microsoft PowerToys app page on the Microsoft Store.
- Click Get in Store and the Open Microsoft Store options.
- Select Install to add PowerToys to your app library.
- Now open PowerToys, which you’ll find on your Start menu’s app list.
- Click the Mouse utilities tab.
- Scroll down and turn on the Enable Mouse Highlighter option.
- Then press the Windows logo key + Shift + H hotkey to activate the highlighter.
PowerToy’s cursor highlighting only applies to mouse clicking. You’ll see different color circles whenever you right or left-click the mouse. Those circles are set to yellow and blue colors by default.
To customize PowerToy’s cursor highlighting, click Appearance and Behavior to view further options. Then you can click the Primary or Secondary button boxes to bring up palettes from which to select different colors. Drag the Opacity bar’s slider lift and right to adjust the highlighting’s transparency level. Click the Radius option to select a different size value for the circle.
How to Highlight the Cursor in Edge and Chrome With the Cursor Highlighter Extension
If you only need to highlight your cursor in Edge or Chrome, check out the Cursor Highlight extension for those browsers. That extension adds a color circle to the mouse pointer in those browsers. It also highlights the cursor with a nice animation effect you don’t get with PowerToys or Mouse Pointer Highlighter. You can highlight your cursor with that add-on like this:
- Open the Cursor Highlighter page in Edge or Chrome.
- Click the Add button to install the extension.
- Then press the Extensions button in Chrome or Edge.
- Click Cursor Highlighter to view the extension’s options.
- Turn on the Enable/Disable option.
- Click the color palette box to choose a color for the highlight and select save.
- Now open a new website page in your browser to see your highlighted cursor.
Note that extensions from other stores need to be enabled for Edge users to highlight their cursors with this Chrome add-on. You can access that option in Edge by pressing Alt + F and selecting Extensions > Manage Extensions. Then turn on the Allow extensions from other stores setting.
Make the Mouse Cursor Stand Out by Highlighting It in Windows
You can make your cursor shine by highlighting it in Windows 11/10. The highlighting options in PowerToys and Mouse Pointer Highlight apps will come in handy for numerous presentation and tutorial purposes in Windows 11/10. Windows’ show pointer feature and the Cursor Highlighter extension also provide useful visual cursor indicators, albeit with slightly less functionality.
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