A cursor seems to be one of the most important parts of a MacBook. It is usually used to point keys on the screen and then indicate the position. If your MacBook’s cursor gets frozen or is jumping randomly, it will absolutely interfere with your work. Here are proven solutions to fix the frozen cursor problem on your Mac.
Solutions To Fix Frozen Cursor On MacBook
Force Quit Apps
If the cursor only gets frozen after opening a certain app on your Mac, the problem can be rectified after closing that app. So, how to close it when you are unable to move the cursor at all?
You can easily do it through the shortcut keys. Simply press Command + Option + Esc keys at once. After you see the popup pane, just highlight the app you want to close and then click on “Force Quit”.
Open Activity Monitor
If there are too many apps or tabs on the web browser opening at the same time, they can make your Mac run out of RAM memory. That’s the reason why you are not able to move the cursor on your Mac. All you need is to free up the RAM to get rid of this issue. Simply press Command + Space keys on the keyboard at once to open Spotlight. After that, type in activity monitor and click on the result from the top. Now, just double-click on the unresponsive process that is eating up too much RAM memory and choose Quit.
Restart Your MacBook
Sometimes, the frozen cursor problem on your Mac can be rectified just by a restart. Before powering off your Mac, you should disconnect all accessories connected to it. If the cursor gets frozen totally and you are unable to navigate to the Apple menu to switch off your Mac, just press and hold the Power button for a few seconds.
Clean-Up & Fix Your Mac Trackpad
If you only use the trackpad to navigate your MacBook, you should clean it from dust. You should also ensure your fingers are clean and dry. Before you start cleaning the trackpad, first unplug the computer from the adapter and then shut it down. Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to clean your cursor. Gently spray the cleaner onto the cloth and wipe. You should not spray the cleaner directly to your MacBook trackpad.
However, a common trackpad freeze issue might also be the reason why your cursor is frozen. Additionally, this problem can’t be solved by doing an SMC or NVRAM reset. The best way to fix it is by using Safe Mode. Simply follow the below steps to fix your frozen trackpad:
- Start by restarting your Mac.
- Hold down the Shift key immediately when your Mac starts booting.
- Then, log in as normal. You will see the Safe Boot indicator in the top right corner of your screen.
Note: If your trackpad is still not working after launching in Safe Mode, it’s most likely that you’re having conflicting login items. To fix this, go to System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items. Then, delete any unnecessary apps that you don’t need to open when starting up your Mac.
Also read: MacBook Pro won’t turn on? Here is the fix
Boot Your Mac into Safe Mode
Once you boot your Mac into Safe Mode, all the third-party software will be disabled and you can check whether it’s the main reason that prevents your Mac cursor from being frozen. If the cursor works fine in Safe Mode, it’s likely that a software on your Mac is working wrong, and it needs to be responsible for this inconvenient issue. Alternatively, you can manage the list of startup software on your Mac manually so that you can check and delete the rogue ones that affect your Mac cursor.
- Connect a mouse to your Mac and hover to Apple Menu > System Preferences
- Click on Users & Groups option
- Select your username, and choose Login
- From there, click on [-] icon to delete startup apps
Once you are done, follow these steps below to boot your Mac into Safe Mode.
Step 1: Power your Mac on
Step 2: While it’s booting up, quickly press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard
Step 3: When the Apple logo appears, release the Shift key and enter the login window on your Mac.
Step 4: You might be required to log in twice if you have turned on FileVault on your Mac.
That’s how to boot your Mac into Safe Mode.
If none of the methods above helped you fix the frozen cursor on your MacBook or it just works temporarily, you can try resetting System Management Control (SMC) on your Mac.
- Turn off your MacBook first
- Press the Shift + Control + Option keys on the left side keyboard
- Now, press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds
- Release all the keys and then power on your MacBook.
If resetting SMC does not help, you can try to reset PRAM on your Mac to fix the cursor issue. To reset PRAM on your Mac:
- First, restart your Mac (press Control + Eject keys on the keyboard)
- Hold down the Command + Option + P + R key combination at once. You need to hold them immediately while your Mac is starting.
- While holding them, you will hear the boot chime again, meaning that the reset has been successful.
Now, simply go off the keys and the reset is complete. Your Mac will now start up as normal. This keyboard combination only works if you hold them down before you see the grey screen.
Check your Mouse to See if There is Something Wrong
Mouse issues are quite common for both wired and wireless devices. And, even the Magic mouse can have problems sometimes. If that’s the case, the first thing you should do is to check whether the Bluetooth connection is stable. If it is still in place but the problem persists, try unplugging all of your peripherals.
- Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse and Trackpad
- Next, tick on the box that says “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present”.
Other Cursor Issues on MacBook
MacBook Pro Trackpad Erratic Cursor Dance Issue
Even though this dancing cursor issue will seem to go away easily at first, soon strange events will follow like a jumping cursor or display settings changing rapidly. Here is how to fix it:
- Open the Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Go to Accessibility settings.
- In the side panel, scroll down until you see the mouse and trackpad option.
- Choose Settings and check the box that says “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present”.
Note: If the cursor doesn’t return to normal, just restart your computer to see if it fixes the problem.
MacBook Cursor Disappears
This issue is most likely to happen when you run out of memory due to CPU-heavy apps or opening multiple tabs. So, the most logical way to fix this is to force quit all the apps that are currently running by pressing Command (⌘) + Option + Escape. This is the easiest way because it doesn’t require the use of the mouse.
The mentioned solutions are enough to fix the frozen cursor on your Mac. It’s a small bug, and you can solve it on your own. If this guide is helpful to you, let’s know in the comment below.