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I'm experiencing a jittery/buggy mouse cursor when moving my mouse over hyperlinks.

Every time the mouse transitions from the hyperlink pointer to the arrow pointer, the arrow pointer briefly visibly flashes in the wrong position before correcting itself.

This is in macOS 10.15 Catalina on my new 16" MacBook Pro, provided by work and with a variety of software installed. On other computers running 10.14 and 10.15 I am not experiencing the problem. I am connected to a 30" Apple Cinema Display via Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 3.


Reproduction steps:

  1. Hover mouse above a hyperlink. (Shows "Mickey Mouse glove" pointer.)
  2. Move mouse pointer off the hyperlink so that cursor changes to the arrow pointer.
  3. Arrow pointer initially flashes at the "top left" position of the mouse bounding box for 1 frame.
  4. Arrow pointer then flashes back to its true position, pointing at the same pixels that the hyperlink glove was originally pointing.

When I create a screen recording via QuickTime, the mouse glitch is not visible in the recording.

Here is an iPhone video of Mac's screen demonstrating this issue:

In regular speed:

gif of this problem in action

Relevant section in slo-mo:

enter image description here


This is driving me nuts. On link-heavy pages, moving the mouse across the screen results in a dizzying blur of pointer motion. Middle-clicking a link also produces a similar jitter.

The problem remains after Restart.

  • I’m really trying to see the “glitch” but I can’t see where the issue is. Either way there’s a “buffer” between when the pointer is handling a hyperlink and when it’s a plain pointer. It’s also important to remember that the pointer is rendered not “switched.” For something like that there’s no user setting - you might have to leave a bug report at Apple.com/feedback – Allan Jun 15 at 20:11
  • @Allan note that the Cursor/Pointer is moving generally over the 2nd "p" in Apple. But watch for a pointer that briefly flashes over the 1st "p" for one frame, during the transition. That's the bug. That does not occur on my other computers. – pkamb Jun 15 at 20:14
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    You can use a gif extractor to slow it down and you'll see – very weird ezgif.com/speed/ezgif-4-e4e756581852.gif – Talos Potential Jun 19 at 23:03
  • Also, have you tried deleting the cursor and mouse plist files: this might be a good place to start: osxdaily.com/2014/08/01/… – Talos Potential Jun 19 at 23:05
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    do you have your cursor set to a very fast tracking speed? If so minor movement of mouse could cause cursor to move. Check you tracking speed by looking at System Preferences/Mouse. – jmh Jun 19 at 23:08
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This is probably a bug that you can report via radar to Apple.

The issue is that the location for the hit test for the two icons is in a different place. For the pointer, the hit test is in the top left of the arrow. For the mouse glove, it’s on the index finger.

When changing icons, the image is simply swapped over using the same x,y coordinates. However the hit point effectively moves, so the pointer image jumps to the left to compensate and so the hit point is in the same place on screen as before.

Ideally the changed icon image shouldn’t be shown until the hit point is recalculated and both steps are done at the same time, but that’s why you’re seeing the jump. The reverse occurs and the jump is to the opposite direction when going in reverse.

Apple used to care about quality and fixing these sorts of issues but my guess is they won’t fix it for their current shipping os now that big sur has been revealed. Of course if it still shows up there then you might have a shot. You can use the feedback assistant to file a bug with Apple.

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