Enabling pointer trails

Pointer trails can make the mouse pointer much easier to see and follow. This tutorial shows how to set them up.

This tutorial applies to the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. If you have Windows 98 or ME please follow this older tutorial.

Windows first introduced pointer trails for improved visibility on the older LCD monitors found in the first laptops. They can help people who struggle to track the movement of the pointer on both modern TFT screens and traditional ‘tube’ CRT screens.

You might also benefit from changing the size and colour of the pointer or locating the pointer through a keypress.

Here’s how to enable pointer trails on your PC.

Select Control Panel from the Start Menu

Open up the Windows Control Panel by going to Start and selecting Control Panel from the menu.

If there is no Control Panel in your Start Menu then your school’s technician or network administrator has stopped you from being able to access it!

Windows Key, Arrow Keys (to select Control Panel), Enter

Control Panel

Within the Control Panel, locate the ‘Mouse’ icon and double-click it to open the Mouse options.

If you struggle with double-clicking then you can click on it once to highlight it, and then press the enter key to open it.

M (until Mouse is highlighted), ENTER

Pointer Options Dialog

Click on the Pointer Options tab at the top of the Mouse Options dialog

Under the Visibility section enable the ‘Show Pointer Trails’ box.

You can adjust the length of the trails by dragging the slider from short to long. If you find sliders difficult to use then simply single-click the slider to ‘highlight’ it and then use your keyboard’s arrow keys to move it to the left or right.

CTRL+TAB (until Pointer Options is highlighted), ALT+D, TAB, Right and Left Arrows

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