Customizing Mouse Pointers (Windows 7 and 8)

Have you ever seen your friend’s laptop or PC having a unique mouse pointer/cursor? Do you wish to do the same thing on your machine? Customizing your computer’s mouse pointer or its cursor is a good idea especially if you want to have larger mouse characters (if your eyes are not that good anymore) or smaller ones to make things finer. Thankfully, Windows 7 and 8 makes this possible. Yes! You can actually customize mouse pointers and choose a scheme that fits your taste. In this tutorial, you will learn how to access the Control Panel section where you can find different customization options and mouse pointer schemes and as well as learn the steps in changing them. Deleting schemes will also be shown in the latter part so if you want to do some tweaks on how your mouser pointer looks simply read towards the end of this tutorial and follow the steps shown in each section.

Accessing the Mouse Properties Section in Windows 7

In Windows 7, you need to pull up the “Start Menu” by clicking the “Start” button at the bottom-left corner of the screen or simply pressing the “Windows Key” and once the “Start Menu” appears, type the word “personalize” on the search box then under the “Control Panel” category of the search results, look for “Personalize your computer” then click on it.


The “Personalization” Window will then appear. From here, you need to click on the “Change mouse pointers” link from the navigation panel found at the left side.


After clicking the link, the “Mouse Properties” Window will appear which will show you different mouse images/characters set for the scheme that is currently active on your computer. You can click on the drop-down options box to choose a new one. Below the box showing the the mouse images/characters, you’ll find check boxes for “Enable pointer shadow” and “Allow themes to change mouse pointers”. If you want to enable these options, simply put a check mark on each box. If you want to revert back to the default mouse pointer scheme, simply click on the “Use Default”.


Accessing the Mouse Properties Section in Windows 8

Since Windows 8 doesn’t have a “Start” button or a “Start Menu”, accessing the “Mouse Properties” section is a bit different. Though it can still be accessed through the “Control Panel”, the way in pulling up the “Control Panel” is also different. Here’s how:

First, press on the “Windows + X” keyboard shortcut and you’ll see a hidden system menu will appear on the bottom-left corner of the screen. From this menu, click on “Control Panel” and once it opens, go to the “Appearance and Personalization” -> “Personalization” location.


Another way is by accessing the “Settings” Charm. To open the Charms, simply point the mouse to the top or bottom-right corner of the screen. If your computer has a touch-enabled screen, you can just touch near the right-edge then swipe towards the center to open the Charms. The “Settings” Charm is the one at the bottom. Once you see it, simply click or tap on it then the “Settings” screen will appear.


You need to be on the “Desktop” screen before doing this so you can have the “Personalization” link once the “Settings” screen opens as shown on the screenshot below.


After doing any of the methods shown above for Windows 8, you will be directed to the “Personalization” Window and from here, you need to click on the “Change mouse pointer” link to open the “Mouse Properties” Window.


Just like Windows 7, you can choose a mouse pointer scheme by simply clicking on the drop-down options. Once you’ve chosen one, you’ll notice that the “Customize” box will show the cursor/pointer characters and images used on the scheme. Below this box is the “Enable pointer shadow” options with a check box on its left but unlike Windows 7, there is no “Allow themes to change mouse pointers” option on this section of Windows 8.

Changing the Mouse Pointer Scheme on Windows 7 and 8

The “Mouse Properties” Window on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 look basically the same but the schemes available are slightly different. For instance, on the screenshot below taken from my Windows 8 laptop, I changed the scheme to “Windows Inverted (extra large) (system scheme)” and you’ll notice that the pointers and cursors displayed on the “Customize” box also appears larger. These will be the ones which will be used by Windows 8 once you set as as the mouse pointer scheme by first selecting it from the drop-down options, clicking the “Apply” button at the bottom then finally clicking on “OK”.


The same steps apply to Windows 7 but the mouse pointer schemes may vary. On both Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can check the “Enable pointer shadow” option and see if you like the effect and if not, simply remove the check mark from the box then click on the “Apply” and “OK” buttons again so the changes can take effect.

Customizing Individual Mouse Pointers on a Scheme

Now that you know how to change the mouse pointer scheme, we will now proceed to the steps on how to change a specific pointer  if in case you don’t like the design, size and shape of the one supplied on the scheme you just selected. This process is also the same on Windows 7 and Windows 8. To start with, simply click the pointer that you want to change from the “Customize” box then hit the “Browse” button.


This will then open the folder where all the mouse/cursor thumbnails and images are found. Simply scroll through and select the one the fits your taste. On the screenshot below, you’ll see that I have selected the “aero_busy_xl” cursor so it would fit the scheme I selected.


After selecting the cursor that you want, click on the “Open” button and you’ll be taken back to the “Mouse Properties” Window. You should see the cursor image you just selected to replace the one that is set on the scheme earlier.


You can change other cursor images and if in case you changed your mind and you want the original images for the scheme to be restored, you can click on the “Use Default” button.


After changing one cursor image on a mouse pointer scheme, Windows will consider it as a whole new scheme so be sure to save and name it so you can use it again at any future time. To do this, simply click or tap on the “Save As…” button and enter the name that you want to assign for the new scheme.


After typing the name that you want, simply click/tap on the “OK” button and you’re done!

Deleting a Mouse Pointer Scheme

Built-in schemes can’t be deleted both on Windows 7 and Windows 8. The only ones that can be deleted are those that you customized and as well as the ones downloaded from the Internet. If you try to delete a built-in pointer scheme, you’ll notice that the “Delete” button is grayed-out and is therefore not clickable.


However, if you select a scheme that you customized like the one I made earlier. You’ll notice that the “Delete” button will be available/clickable.


To delete the scheme, simply click the “Delete” button then on the prompt that appears, click the “Yes” button.


More Mouse Pointer Schemes

If you are left handed, Microsoft offers a “left-handed Aero Cursors” cheme which you can download and install. There are also some other sources in the Internet which are free but be careful for some may contain viruses. We would recommend that you get the ones that has a price tag on them just to be safer but if you’re ready to take risks, you can try the free ones. Also, you can read our article on “Awesome Mouse Cursor Schemes You Can Try” and find designs that best fits your taste. If you tried changing your mouse cursor scheme before and found one that really looks and feels good please feel free to share them using the comments section below.