It happens all the time. You relax on your computer reading the news or your social media notifications or perhaps work with Chrome, only to see the cursor disappear out of nowhere. The cursor is still there and the mouse still works – you can rollover buttons and links to see them highlighting. However, it can become extremely annoying not knowing where it is – not to mention time-consuming.
The problem is more common when you work in the touchscreen mode. Switch from the normal screen to the touchscreen and give it a few minutes. The pointer will be gone. Initially, the problem will be occasional and it will occur every now and then. With time, it will become more and more frequent – unfortunately, the bug has not been officially fixed yet.
The frustration will reach unusual limits. You have no idea where the issue comes from. Initially, you might believe it is a Windows related problem. But if you use other operating systems, you will find out that it affects other systems too – in fact, it seems to be connected to the Chrome browser and Google does not have a solution yet.
The problem may arise in a few different ways. Sometimes, the pointer disappears completely and you cannot get it back. Even if you move it around, it is not there. Other times, it is not that severe. Basically, the pointer is gone, but scrolling through a web page would bring it back. Some say it is a bug. Others say it is the way Chrome was designed to work.
Either way, if the cursor disappears in Chrome and you hate it when it happens, here are a few handy solutions to overcome the problem.
You may find these useful:
Toggle (turn on/off) hardware acceleration
Hardware acceleration comes as a default feature in Chrome. It may demand some extra resources from your device, but it also has a useful purpose. Its primary role is to ensure smooth functionality. The display will perform better and graphics will be shown as they are intended to be while using the Chrome browser.
Hardware acceleration goes in more directions though. For example, it will also work on peripherals associated with your device – the trackpad, the touchscreen display or even the keyboard. From this point of view, enabling or disabling this feature will solve the annoying problem when the cursor disappears in Chrome.
It is hard to tell which option is better. Should you leave it enabled? Should you disable it? To some people, disabling the fixture will solve the problem when the cursor disappears in Chrome Mac – or other operating systems. For others, disabling and enabling it straight away will solve the automatic hiding issue.
Disabling hardware acceleration may also affect the functionality of Chrome. Some graphics may not be displayed as they should. It will not necessarily affect your experience unless you are a tech freak who wants to see every pixel. 😎
You will have to try both options to see which option is better. The feature is enabled by default. Disable it and keep it like that to notice any potential changes. If the pointer no longer disappears, you have solved the problem. If it appears again, try enabling the feature and give it time. Sometimes, you might need to disable and enable it straight away. It is a bit of a challenge, but it could be alright if it solves the problem.
Disabling hardware acceleration may also affect the functionality of Chrome. It is not a matter of actual functionality, but there will be graphics that will not be displayed as they should. It will not necessarily affect your experience unless you are a tech freak who wants to see every pixel. Some drivers might be slightly slowed down too.
How to turn hardware acceleration off?
All in all, here are the steps you have to go through in order to reach the feature:
1) Open the Chrome browser – it makes no difference if you do it from the start menu, from its directory, or over a shortcut. Just make sure it runs.
2) Go through the top menu or simply hit the button for settings. The hardware acceleration in Chrome runs under the browser and not under your system.
3) Ignore the first settings showing up. Instead, scroll down and try to find advanced settings – hardware acceleration is not the average setting for newbies.
Find the section related to the system. Once in there, you will have the option to use hardware acceleration when available. Simply toggle it off.
Kill Chrome from task manager and restart it
Sometimes, killing everything you do and restarting will get the job done. Something wrong with your computer? Laptop acting funny? Restart it and most problems will be fixed – sure, it only works if there is a basic problem that you cannot even detect. The same rule may apply to your browser too if cursor disappears Windows 10 or over other operating systems.
Restarting the problem is often the easy way to get the problem solved. However, closing it like you normally do it may not really work. Instead, you have to opt for a hard restart. In other words, you must go through the task manager and literally kill the process before restarting the browser. It is important to know that this solution may not always provide too many hours of error-free operations.
How to kill Chrome?
If your cursor disappears in Chrome, here are the first steps to kill the program before restarting it:
- Run the task manager in Windows. There are more ways to do it. Sometimes, you might need to press the Windows key and R simultaneously. You will then have to type taskmgr.exe in the program. Other times, you can go for the classic Ctrl, Alt, and Del combo and choose the task manager from the menu that pops up. You can also right-click on the Windows taskbar and find the task manager there.
- As Chrome is running, you will inevitably find it in the programs available in the task manager. The more programs and applications you run at the same time, the more you will have to scroll.
- Once you find Chrome, click on it, then hit the end task button. The task manager will automatically kill the browser and stop it from running. This kind of shutdown will also kill all the Chrome processes that might be running in the background.
Based on extra applications associated with Chrome, you may find other threads running in the task manager. Killing them is just as simple – select them and hit the end task button. Do not make any assumptions though. If you are not sure what a certain application does, avoid it. If it has the Chrome name in it, it is probably related to the browser, so you can close it.
Killing the wrong process while trying to get rid of Chrome may also kill applications that you actually need – programs responsible for your operating system.
Killing the wrong process while trying to get rid of Chrome may also kill applications that you actually need – programs responsible for your operating system. You may need to restart the system then, so stick to Chrome extensions and the actual browser only. The procedure could be a bit tedious, especially if the mouse cursor disappears in Chrome after using the touch screen all the time.
Once you are done, start Chrome again and the problem should be gone.
Switch to Chrome Canary
In fact, you could switch to any other browser. If you are sick and tired to notice that your cursor disappears in Chrome, get a different browser and you are ready to go. There are loads of options out there, with the most popular solutions including Firefox, Opera or Edge – apart from many other less known browsers.
However, one of these browsers tends to stand out in the crowd. When interested to use alternative browser that is somehow similar to Chrome, Chrome Canary could be the best choice. In fact, this is the most common recommendation if you struggle with the disappearing pointer, but you do not want to leave Chrome.
What’s Chrome Canary?
Chrome Canary is based on the Chromium project. It comes with pretty much the same features as Chrome, but some settings are twitched to ensure a different experience. The project is not 100% complete, meaning you might end up discovering other bugs – based on what you normally use a browser for.
Is it stable enough?
Some say it is quite unstable. Some others say it is mostly used by developers who want access to more tools. If you only use a browser to read the news or explore social media, Chrome Canary might be alright. If you need it for work or more sophisticated applications, it may not necessarily be the best option – it is worth a try though.
How much it costs?
You do not have to pay anything for Chrome Canary. At the same time, you do not need to have the Chrome browser installed. It is not an extension, but a completely different browser with similar settings and features. If you do not want to hear from Chrome again, simply uninstall it and you will still be able to get Chrome Canary.
Will it work on my computer?
Just like Chrome, Chrome Canary is compatible with most operating systems out there. You can install it on a Windows platform, but it also works on Mac or Linux. Keep in mind that it is not the most stable browser in the world and it may crash unexpectedly. Besides, it will not provide a fully 100% efficient solution to the disappearing pointer issue – it may still occur every now and then, but it will not be that common.
Use the Chrome restart command
Sometimes, killing all the Chrome related applications in the task manager could be a tedious and time consuming job. You are in the middle of something at work and you have to waste a few minutes every now and then to do it. Well, the good news is there is a quicker way to get the job done within seconds only.
The bad news is that you are not killing all the Chrome related processes in the task manager. In other words, this option may not always work. Sure, you could close Chrome manually, then restart it. But then, there is a simpler way to do it. Switch back to the mode you were using and see yourself if the pointer shows up again.
Chrome has a restart function that works fairly well. It simply restarts everything associated with it. Click on the browser URL slot, delete the current address, and type chrome://restart. This command will close everything associated with Chrome and it will restart it straight away. You will be back to where you started.
However, it is important to know that this option will give you some headache as well. If you have a bunch of tabs open, they will all be closed. Moreover, they will not be reopened when Chrome restarts. Therefore, if you spent a while finding something online, make sure you bookmark those links before using the restart command.
On the same note, you should finish all the unsaved edits in the browser. Whether you were sending a long email or completing a form, it pays off finishing everything first. While doing it without the pointer could be annoying, these things will be lost once you restart the browser.
Furthermore, you can also bookmark a normal URL with the address chrome://restart. When the cursor disappears in Chrome, you can simply tap this bookmark, rather than highlight the URL bar to type the command manually.
Close alternatives to Chrome
Whether the mouse disappears Mac or over another operating system, you do not necessarily have to use Chrome, do you? The truth is Chrome comes with a bunch of handy features that other browsers may not really have. Besides, if you have been using it for years, you might be used to its features, capabilities and shortcuts, so making a change could be daunting.
Firefox comes with numerous security features, a user experience that matches Chrome’s, plenty of useful extensions and a minimalistic interface. It is stable and efficient, but it is not perfect. It takes a lot of memory and it has a few compatibility issues. Also, it will not resume downloads automatically if you have to close it.
On the other hand, Opera is super quick and responsive and brings in a small memory profile. It has a few built in protections and there is an impressive community behind it for support. On the downside, Opera is not a priority for web development companies, so the browser may not always display certain projects correctly.
While often associated with the old fashioned and slow Internet Explorer, Edge could be the best alternative to Chrome – even better than Chrome Canary at times. The new browser designed by Microsoft is also based on the Chromium project – the project powering Chrome and Chrome Canary. It is also given by default in the latest versions of Windows.
From a technical point of view, there will not be too many aspects to make the difference between Edge and Chrome. But then, Edge will help syncing Microsoft accounts, so it cannot sync Google accounts. Other than that, it could be described as a general clone of Chrome with a few twitches and upgrades. For certain uses and applications, Edge may even be better than Chrome.
A few other useful articles:
As a short final conclusion, the cursor disappears in Chrome when least expected or when you need it the most. Sometimes, you may not even notice the problem until you actually need the cursor – you read a long article and try to find the cursor to share it or perhaps close the tab. Fortunately, there are a few ways to overcome the issue.
While each of the above mentioned solutions will work, most of them will provide temporary relief. In other words, they will work straight away, but the problem may still appear later on. It is all about trial and error, as well as random annoying episodes. Unless you change the browser, you may never be able to get rid of the issue. Find the solution that works for you the best and work around it whenever the problem shows up.
The issue has not been flagged as a major flaw for the Chrome developers. Given its constantly growing popularity, chances are it will soon become the most annoying part of Chrome. It is hard to tell whether the browser was designed to work like this, but one thing is for sure – more and more people get annoyed with it.
Sooner or later, Chrome developers will most likely have to address and fix it forever. On a more positive note, you do have a bunch of viable solutions to overcome it. Some of them could be daunting – especially when you have to close every Chrome related process through the task manager, but others could be relatively fast – the restart command.
Working on the hardware acceleration could be a better longterm solution, yet it is not permanent. If the problem is that annoying for you, changing to another browser is likely to be your best option at the moment.