Basicaly my problem is, that when i mouse over some text, the default "text-selection" cursor appears. But the mouse pointer (arrow) is still present and i can see two cursors.

What could be causing this? It seems to happen when i "lock" my mac with the login window and then logging in.


I'm using OSX 10.9.3 on a late 2013 13" macbook pro with retina display and two atached monitors (one on a thunderbolt->DVI connection and another connected via the HDMI out)

  • Is this all applications or just some, if the latter which ones?
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:20
  • on all monitors ?
    – Ruskes
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:26
  • All applications and all monitors, also the other "fake" mouse pointer is lagging like 10-50 miliseconds behind
    – Gabriel
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:29
  • thank you, one more, did you try using different user after log out log in?
    – Ruskes
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:37
  • No, since i'm the only user using this mac. But when it happens, i might try creating another user.
    – Gabriel
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:39

5 Answers 5


It just happened to me on 10.9.5 for the first time; don't know what caused it but unplugging the external monitor and then plugging it back again helped.

  • 2
    This happened to me on El Capitan 10.11.4, and this solution worked. Thanks!
    – Steve
    May 7, 2016 at 14:02
  • This worked for me, too, but I am unhappy with that solution. This happens to me sporadically, and I do screen capture videos often for my job, so it is frustrating. Sep 30, 2016 at 22:34
  • Note that if you have multiple external monitors, you will likely have to unplug all of them.
    – Muhd
    Oct 31, 2017 at 8:49

I am trying to figure this out as well -- it isn't just the the text selection cursor, but I think any cursor. I guess the problem is that the primary cursor doesn't disappear consistently. (It goes away when I start typing, but not while the mouse is moving.) I have 3 possibly related situations, only the last one (remote screen) has started recently:

  • big cursor
  • two displays
  • remote screen

I always use a larger-than-normal cursor, to find it on big displays. When I go to the Accessibility panel to reduce the cursor size now, it doesn't go down to the smallest size any more.

I've been running with two displays a long time without problem, but recently I started using Apple's remote screen capability. (I'm on a 2012 27" iMac, running 10.9.5.) I've used it in lots of different configs this week (one display, two displays, second display powered on or off).

Force-quit of system preferences doesn't fix the problem, but restarting did. Now my cursor is small and there's only one at a time. Increased the cursor size, still no problem.

So my bet is this is a minor bug with the Accessibility software interacting with remote display usage. But hey, your mileage may vary.


I see the same thing here on OSX 10.11.6

I have an external monitor so all I have to do is unplug and replug the monitor back in and the problem goes away.


I had a double cursor, or it looked like a cursor and a "shadow" on my external monitor.

It was on both my laptop display and the external monitor.

I unplugged the external monitor and the cursor was fine on the laptop. Plug the external monitor back it, now it's 50/50 - move to the MacBook display, single cursor - back to external monitor, double cursor - back to the MacBook display, single cursor - back to external monitor, double cursor, etc.

I clicked the Apple symbol, System Preferences, Accessibility, then reduced the cursor size and then increased it again, problem solved.

So, it's a software bug. I'm running a MacBook Pro 17 inch late 2011 with Sierra 12.12.2 Beta


Same problem here. I'm using 10.12.2 and an external display (laptop closed). I went into the accessibility and moved the cursor size slider up and down and problem fixed itself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .