I use Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) to provide remote support to various users on our LAN.

Sometimes i use "observe" mode, this has always given me a magnifying glass which i could as a cursor use to magnify things on the users screen.

Recently i was on a remote session in "observe" mode and instead of a magnifying glass i had a red arrow, screen shot below.

screenshot of arrow

When i closed the session and went back, again in "observe" mode the red arrow was gone and magnifying glass was back.

Any idea where / how i can toggle between the two ?

Background im running 10.14 (latest sub version) and was connecting to a computer on 10.15 (latest sub version)

2 Answers 2


That's called the assistance cursor, and can be added as a button to your toolbar as per the screenshot.

It sounds like maybe you found a hotkey to toggle it, although I'm not sure what that might be.

Assistance Cursor toolbar buttons


Thank you Harv for answering that. I had encountered the same thing and could find nothing in the Remote desktop help about it.

Turns out, the hot key is the right or left arrow key, which results in the arrow pointing in the corresponding direction. The up or down arrow key returns the cursor to a magnifying glass.

I was also unaware that the magnifying glass cursor will appear on the remote screen if you click the mouse, thereby magnifying the area for the remote user while remaining in Observe mode.

Strangely, I don't see the cursors option in the customize toolbar area (see screenshot), so that may not be available for everyone (I am running Remote Desktop Admin 3.9.3 with MacOS 10.14.6).

screenshot of customize toolbar area

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