Making your mouse pointer larger in Mac OS X

Many people have difficulty seeing the mouse pointer, this section explains how to make it bigger in ‘ Tiger ‘ OS X 10.4


The pointer changes shape depending on where it is on the screen. Most often it appears as a small white arrow with a black outline; over a white background this is simply a black outline.

In some cases it is even less easy to see. For example, over any area where you can type it turns into a ‘I‘ cursor (called an ‘ I-beam ’).

Note: Mac key convention: ‘ Ctrl ’ is used for ‘ Control ’, ‘ Apple ’ is used for ‘ Command ’ and ‘ Alt ’ is used for the ‘ Option ’ key.

Note: For keyboard access make sure ‘ Full keyboard access ’ is turned on - you can turn it on or off; by pressing ‘ Ctrl ’ + ‘ F1 ’ at any time.


In Mac OS X 10.4 there is a new enlarging cursor feature; to access and use it:

Make sure you are in ‘ Finder ’ - press ‘ Apple ’ + ‘ Tab ’ if necessary to cycle through open applications until you return to ‘ Finder ’.

Click on the ‘ Apple ’ menu or press ‘ Ctrl ’ + ‘ F2 ’.

Click on ‘ System Preferences... ’ as shown in Fig 1 or press the down arrow key to highlight it and then press ‘ Enter ’.

select system preferences

Fig 1

Click on the ‘ Universal Access ’ icon or press ‘ Tab ’ repeatedly (you might need to press ‘ Ctrl ’ + ‘ F7 ’ first) to cycle through the icons until the ‘ Universial Access ’ icon is highlighted with a blue border as shown in Fig 2 and then press the ‘ Spacebar ’.

system preferences

Fig 2

Click on the ‘ Mouse ’ tab or press ‘ Ctrl ’ + ‘ F7 ’ (once or twice) to highlight one of the four tabs for example ‘ Keyboard ’ and then press the left or right arrow key to select the ‘ Mouse ’ tab (highlighted in blue).

Click on the ‘ Cursor Size: ’ gauge bar as shown in Fig 3 to change the pointer size, or press ‘ Tab ’ to reach the gauge bar and use the left and right arrow keys to select your pointer size.

When you are happy with your pointer click the ‘ Close ’ (red) button at the top of the ‘ Universal Access ’ window or press ‘ Apple ’ + ‘ W ’ to close the window and return to the Finder desktop.

universal access window

Fig 3

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.