How to Turn the Mouse Locator On or Off in OS X

OS X 10.11 El Capitan includes a new “mouse locator” feature. If you lose your mouse pointer, just shake the mouse or move your finger on the touch pad vigorously, and the mouse pointer will temporarily grow very large so you can see it.

There’s a good use for this feature, and it’s somewhat surprising that Apple would put it in the Accessibility preferences, instead of somewhere perhaps more well traveled. Being able to find the mouse pointer amidst a busy background or a bunch of open windows and applications is definitely a big help, especially if you have multiple displays.

However, there are times when you may be using your Mac, such as playing a game, where you may need to move the mouse rapidly. In a case such as this, you probably don’t want the mouse pointer enlarging. Still, there are others who may simply not want this feature for any reason whatsoever. In any event, you can disable it if you find it annoying.

To do this, first open the System Preferences and then click on Accessibility.

In the Accessibility panel, make sure you click on “Display” and then you will see the option near the bottom “Shake mouse pointer to locate”. Simply uncheck the box next to this option and the feature will be disabled.

If you want to turn this feature back on at any time, simply return to the Accessibility preferences and check the box to re-enable it. In our experience, this feature isn’t bothersome or intrusive and while we don’t often tend to lose the mouse pointer, it’s still handy to have, just in case.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.