Mouse pointer disappeared or became invisible on a Mac computer, how to fix?
Most computer users rely on a mouse cursor and only a small percentage use keyboard shortcuts to replace mouse functions. Despite the popularity of the device, users might occasionally experience problems when their mouse pointers disappear, seemingly without reason. On initial inspection, the cursor appears to have gone and the mouse is inoperable, however, moving the mouse by dragging or clicking the left or right buttons repeatedly, reveals that buttons and functions are actually working and the cursor is simply invisible. Although the mouse is still working, it is obviously very difficult to work without a pointer.
Many people report that this issue occurred for no particular reason, however, research indicates that it might be related to a lack of available memory. For example, when using multiple monitors. Also running apps such as Photoshop, Chrome, or Safari with a number of open browser tabs, especially if combined with additional display devices. Although you might have encountered a disappearing pointer for no particular or logical reason, there are several ways to enable you to complete your work and return the cursor. Explore the tips below for more details.
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Start with keyboard shortcuts - these might help you to finish or save your work, until you find a way to return the mouse cursor. Many experienced Mac users employ keyboard shortcuts, since it is a faster and more efficient way to work.
Basic keyboard shortcuts
- Copy = Command +C
- Cut = Command +X
- Paste = Command +V
- Undo = Command +Z
- Redo = Command +SHIFT+Z
- Select All = Command +A
- Find = Command +F
- New (Window or Document) = Command +N
- Close (Window or Document) = Command +W
- Save = Command +S Print = Command +P
The most useful shortcuts
Mac Icons For Windows
- Open = Command +O
- Switch Application = Command +Tab
- Swap Windows in current application = Command +~
- Switch Tabs in current application = Control+Tab
- Minimize = Command +M
- Quit = Command +Q
- Force Quit = Option+Command +Esc
- Spotlight = Command +Spacebar
- Open Application Preferences = Command +Comma (,)
- Force Restart = Control+Command +Power Button
- Quit All Apps and Shutdown = Control+Option+Command +Power Button (or Media Eject )
List of quick tips to bring your cursor back
- Resize the mouse or trackpad on-screen cursor to a larger size.
- Move the mouse down to the Dock, wait few seconds, and then move up to the screen center.
- Call Siri for help in locating the mouse on-screen or increasing the cursor size to help you find it.
- Switch the active window by pressing the Command (⌘) and Tab keys.
- Create a new hotkey in Mission Control.
- Check battery levels for wireless mice and trackpads.
- Turn on the Shake Mouse Pointer to Locate option under accessibility preference.
- Click and drag or right-click to make your mouse pointer visible.
- Try using a finger gesture on the trackpad.
- Enter the Force Quit applications menu or force restart the computer.
- Reset the NVRAM or PRAM on Mac.
Basic steps to solve your disappeared cursor problem
Restarting is a common solution to many problems encountered when working with Mac computers. If clicking around the screen did not recover the cursor and you are unable to restart the Mac, follow the steps below.
Ensure there are no connection or interactive issues
If you are using a wireless mouse, check the battery status and that it is turned on. If using a mousepad, try a solid color, rather than multicolored or patterned, which can confuse the mouse. If you have configured interactive corners on the screen, try to move the mouse into one of them - this simple step often returns the cursor. Some people report that even without enabled interactive corners, opening Mission Control restores pointer visibility.
Adjust System Preferences
Increasing the size of the pointer often makes it visible. To change the size of the cursor, go to System Preferences and choose Accessibility. Select Display from the left side of the window and adjust Cursor size. Also, enable the Shake mouse pointer to the locate option - this will automatically increase the size of pointer temporarily and sometimes returns the cursor.
Switch active apps using the shortcut
If moving the mouse does not return the cursor, attempt to switch between active windows by clicking the Command and Tab keys. This step often solves the problem, especially if it is related to a bug in the application. Switch several times and check if the mouse cursor returns.
Visit the Dock or Menu bar
When the cursor becomes invisible, moving it to the Dock (usually located at the bottom of the screen) is probably the simplest method to return it. This is sometimes enough to cure the problem. Alternatively, move the mouse to the Menu bar (located at the top of the screen) and click anywhere to restore visibility.
Use the Trackpad or Touchpad
If you have a trackpad or touchpad, try to use a three finger swipe to the right to open the Widgets menu. Wait from ten to twenty seconds and then swipe left to return to the Finder window. The cursor should return. Alternatively, try using a four finger swipe up and down function or double click with two fingers on Trackpads or Touchpads to return the pointer.
NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) is a small section of Mac memory that stores certain settings in a location accessible to the macOS. NVRAM stores information such as speaker volume, screen resolution, start-up disk selection, and any recent kernel panic reports. To reset the NVRAM, shutdown the Mac. Turn it on, and after you hear a loading chime, simultaneously hold the Option, Command, P and R buttons. Keep holding this combination for at least 20 seconds. The computer should appear to be restarting. If you hear the start-up chime again, release the buttons.
Enter Force Quit menu
Entering the force quit applications menu is often enough to return the pointer. You do not need to close any running apps - simply press the combination of Command, Option, and Escape and the cursor will return. Alternatively, if this does not work, use a keyboard shortcut to force restart the Mac: Command, Control, and Power button.
Use third-party applications
If you an experienced Mac user, you will be aware that App Store offers many applications for virtually any situation (including invisible cursor). There are a number of mouse locating apps that claim to swiftly locate the cursor. Just type mouse locator via App Store and choose one to suit.
Ask Siri, to help you bring back the pointer
Apple released Siri on Mac computers together with macOS Sierra, so you can ask her to complete outstanding tasks while the cursor is invisible. If Siri is enabled on your computer (and you have not changed the shortcuts to access her), try the default shortcut of Command/Option/Function and Spacebar. When Siri launches, ask her to increase the size of the cursor (this might return the mouse pointer).
Create a new Hotkey Via Mission Control
Another quick and easy step is to assign a new hotkey to bring up the dashboard as an overlay. Clicking the new hotkey twice will often return the cursor. To set up a new key, open Mac's System Preferences and choose Mission Control. In the opened window, find the Show Dashboard option and click on the drop-down menu next to it. Then, choose your preferred key.
Oct 26, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions
It might sound surprising, but a lot of Mac users undergo issues like this related to their Mac folder icons, dock, and desktop. For instance, the chances are that some folders can get disappeared from the desktop on Mac unexpectedly, or your Mac toolbar can get hidden as well. Don't worry – we are here to help you with every essential solution regarding Mac desktop and other related problems.
In this guide, we will discuss stepwise solutions related to numerous Mac desktop issues and even teach you how to get back lost Mac folders.
Why Does Everything on Desktop Disappear on Mac?
Before we discuss various Mac desktop issues, it is important to learn what could have caused them in the first place. When everything on my desktop disappeared on Mac, I tried to diagnose the problem and discovered the following reasons behind it:
- You could have accidentally deleted a file or icon from the desktop.
- The chances are that you might have disabled dock or taskbar.
- A third-party application could have changed your desktop settings.
- Mac settings would have been altered during an update or OS repair.
- There might be some change in the overall display or system settings on Mac.
- A clash between some other kernel and local OS process could have caused the issue.
- A broken firmware process or tamper with macOS can also cause the same.
- Sometimes, a virus or malware attack can also make your desktop icons or dock disappear.
Problem 1: Folders Disappeared From Desktop Mac
When it comes to everything disappearing from the desktop, the first problem must be the missing folders or hidden Mac folder icons. There would be a problem with system settings, or you might have accidentally deleted something as well. Don't worry – we have an easy solution for both of these issues.
1. Disable the iCloud Drive Sync
Many users have noticed that when the iCloud sync option is enabled on their Mac, it leads to the temporary unavailability of certain folders on the desktop. This is because while iCloud syncs the data, the relevant Mac folder icons become missing or hidden. If you want, you can wait for the sync to finish or disable it altogether.
- Firstly, go to your Mac's System Preferences and open the iCloud application.
- From here, disable the iCloud Drive option by unchecking it.
- If you want, you can also go to its 'Options' to further customize things.
In the end, close the iCloud application on your Mac and go to the desktop to see if the icons are still missing or not on Mac.
2. Use a Missing Folder Recovery Tool
If you have accidentally deleted a folder from your Mac's desktop, then this would be an ideal solution for you. With Recoverit Mac Folder Recovery software's help, you can get back all kinds of deleted and lost content.
This includes the deleted folders on Mac as well. The tool is developed by Wondershare and is extremely easy to use. It can help you recover data lost due to a virus attack, formatted disk, accidental deletion, corrupt storage, and every other common scenario. The application features different scanning modes and is known for its high data recovery rate.
You can get the Mac desktop folder or any other content back using Recoverit by following these steps.
Step 1: Select the desktop disk.
Go to the official website of Wondershare Recoverit and install the recovery tool on your Mac. When you launch it, you can select a location to scan. In this case, we will be performing data recovery on Mac's internal hard drive (Macintosh HD) instead of any other connected source.
Step 2: Scan the desktop disk.
As soon as you click on the 'Start' button, Recoverit will take the needed steps for data extraction. If you want positive results, then try not to close the application in between.
Step 3: Preview and recover desktop folders.
When the data recovery process is completed, the application will display the results on the interface. You can go to any category of your choice from here and preview the retrieved content. Make the needed selection and click on the 'Recover' button to save your files to a secure location.
In this way, you can easily get your documents that were disappeared back on Mac. If the quick scan could not fulfill your requirements, you could do a deep scan as well. To do this, click on the 'All-around Recovery' and wait as Recoverit would extract data from your Mac's storage. While the deep scan would take more time than the quick scan, the results would also be far better.
How to Recover Desktop Files on Mac
Problem 2: Downloaded Folder on Mac's Dock Disappeared
If you are a regular Mac user, you must be familiar with the Downloads folder on Mac's dock. By default, the Downloads folder is available on the dock for us to access with a single click. Nevertheless, there are times when the Downloads folder gets disappeared from Mac's dock. You would have done it by mistake, or an overwriting of settings could have also caused the same issue. To fix this and get the Download folder back on the dock, follow these steps:
1. Drag the Downloads Folder from the Home Directory
This is the easiest and the fastest solution to get the Downloads folder back on Mac's dock. Firstly, we will go to the Home directory to access the folder, and later we will reposition it on the dock.
- First, click on the 'Go' option on the menu and open the Home directory from here.
- Once the Home directory is opened, you can access multiple folders from here. Find the 'Downloads' folder where all the downloaded data is stored.
- Now, drag the Downloads folder and drop it to a relevant position on the dock. This will make the Downloads folder reappear on the dock.
2. Reset the Mac Dock
If the dock on your Mac is not working in an ideal manner, then you should consider resetting it as well. This will restore the dock to its default settings, which would automatically have the Downloads icon present. Here's how you can quickly reset the dock and even resolve issues as the Mac dock disappeared.
- Click on the 'Go' option from the menu and visit the 'Utilities' folder.
- Here, you can view all the utility tools on your Mac. Launch the Terminal app from here.
- Now, enter the following commands on Terminal and press Enter: defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock
- Close Terminal and try to access the Downloads folder on the dock once again.
Problem 3: Mac Desktop Icons Disappeared
A lot of times, users complain that their Mac's desktop icons have been disappeared. Why did Mac desktop icons disappear? What can make the icons gone? Sometimes missing icons are due to disk permissions or a macOS fault. In most cases, the reason is simple. An application could have overwritten the desktop icon settings, making them hidden or go missing. Therefore, if you wish to get your Mac icons back, then follow these steps.
- Click on the Finder on your desktop and go to its Preferences.
- Once the Finder Preferences tab is opened, go to its General section.
- Here, you can see an option to show various icons on Mac. Just make sure that the relevant options (like hard disk, connected drives, etc.) are enabled here.
Problem 4: Toolbar on Mac Disappeared
The toolbar is one of the most important features on Mac's desktop, which is often termed as the 'menu bar' by many. Apart from having the icons of the important apps, it also gives us access to numerous settings and tools. Also, it displays time, notifications and helps us manage our system. Though, there could be a change in your system's settings that might have made the Mac toolbar hidden. You can easily fix the Mac toolbar missing issue by following these solutions.
1. Use System Preferences to Show the Toolbar
Just like the dock, you can also get back the Mac toolbar hidden on your desktop via System Preferences.
- Firstly, go to the Apple menu on the top left and visit System Preferences.
- From here, visit the General preference panel settings to explore the available options.
- Under the Appearance section, you can view an option for 'Automatically hide and show the menu bar.' Just disable this feature by unchecking the box to make the toolbar stay on Mac's desktop.
Custom Mouse Pointer For Mac
2. Exit the Full-Screen Mode
Mac comes with a full-screen feature that lets us have an uninterrupted and wider view of the screen. While the full-screen mode is good for watching videos, it makes the Mac toolbar hidden, making it harder for you to access its settings. Therefore, you can exit the full-screen mode to get the toolbar back.
To exit the full-screen mode, go to the menu bar location, and hover the cursor. Once you see it, go to the 'View' menu and click on 'Exit Full Screen.'
Additionally, you can also use the keyboard shortcuts to do the same as well. Just press the Command + Control + F keys at the same time to exit the full-screen mode and get back to the toolbar on your Mac.
Problem 5: Mac Dock Disappeared
As you know, the dock is the inbuilt feature of Mac that allows us to access all the vital apps and settings quickly. Ideally, you can customize your Mac's dock as per your needs. Sometimes, while customizing, users end up hiding the dock by mistake. Also, a sudden change in your OS can cause this problem. When my dock disappeared on my Mac, I followed these steps, and it quickly solved the problem.
1. Use System Preferences to Hide or Show the Dock
The easiest way to fix the Mac dock disappeared is by visiting the System Preferences on your Mac and changing the dock settings.
- Firstly, go to the Apple logo on the top and click on the 'System Preferences' button.
- From the System Preferences window, you can open the 'Dock' settings.
- Here, you can see an option for 'Automatically hide and show the Dock.' Ensure that the feature is disabled (unchecked) so that the dock will stay visible all the time.
2. Use the Keyboard to Show or Hide the Dock
As you know, Mac has a setting to hide the dock automatically, and it will only be visible when we hover the mouse over it. If you still can't access the dock, follow this quick drill to fix the Mac dock disappeared issue.
- Move the mouse arrow over the dock to view it or press the Option + D keys simultaneously.
- Once the dock is visible, right-click it to get its context menu.
- From here, click on the 'Turn Hiding Off' option, which will make the dock static and visible permanently.
After reading this post, you would resolve queries related to the toolbar on Mac disappeared, or Mac dock disappeared. From getting back the missing dock to desktop icons, we have listed solutions for every common issue. If the Mac folder icons are missing on the desktop, then consider using Recoverit Data Recovery to get them back. If you have accidentally deleted some files, you will retrieve them using this reliable data recovery tool. You can also download it for free on your Mac and use it when needed to recover missing files and folders without any trouble.
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