Increase the Size of the Mac Cursor
Increasing the size of the Mac mouse and trackpad pointer is an important ability for those with visual impairments, but it’s also a great way to make a Mac more friendly for newcomers to computers in general, like kids and grandparents. Adjusting the cursor size is slightly different in newer versions of Mac OS X compared to older versions, and we will cover how to make those changes in both.
Increasing the Cursor Size in OS X Mountain Lion and Later
Ever since Mountain Lion, where and how you change the cursor size has moved. This isn’t bad news though, because the new cursor in the newest versions of OS X is also significantly higher quality with a higher DPI version available that looks great even at the largest setting on a Retina display.
- Open the Apple menu and go to “System Preferences”, then go to “Accessibility”
- Choose “Display” then adjust the cursor size slider next to “Cursor Size”
Changes are immediately notice, and the largest setting is significantly bigger and more visible than the default setting.
Note the cursor size adjustment tool has been shuffled around not only from the Mouse setting to Display setting, but the Universal Access panel is now called Accessibility. That is primarily how the latest versions of OS X differ from prior versions of the Mac in regards to the pointer size.
Change the Cursor Size in Mac OS X 10.7 and Earlier
You can increase the size of the Mac OS X mouse and trackpad cursor by adjusting a setting in the Universal Access preference pane:
- From System Preferences, click on “Universal Access”
- Select the “Mouse & Trackpad” tab
- Near the bottom you’ll find “Cursor Size” with and adjustable slider, the screenshot demonstrates the cursor on it’s largest size
- Changes set and save automatically
The slider causes immediate changes, allowing you to see live representations of what the new cursor size looks and behaves like.
This setting is intended for use with those with difficulty seeing the cursor, but it’s also a great feature to enable for young kids. Combine this tip with increasing the desktop icon size or even making Mac OS X look like iOS to further simplify the user interface.
Updated 2/20/2013 to reflect differences in latest versions of OS X