Customize your iPad’s Mouse Cursor

If you’re surprised to learn that the iPad has a cursor, you’re not alone. Cursors on the iPad only appear when you connect a mouse (typically Bluetooth) or one of the few iPad cases that have a trackpad built in, such as the Apple Magic Keyboard Folio Touch. Unlike your Mac, the cursor appears not as a black or white arrow but as a translucent gray circle, but can change to a text cursor line or highlight an app or app folder on the Home Screen. For many people this cursor is fine. But there are some options to make it more visible.

Open the Settings app and tap the Accessibility section. In the right hand pane, scroll down to the “Physical and Motor” and tap on on “Pointer Control”. Note this will only appear if the mouse/trackpad is actively connected to your iPad. If you don’t see the option, then your iPad doesn’t see the device.

The first section is primarily about appearance where you can increase the contrast, set whether the cursor is always visible or disappears after a few seconds of inactivity, and set the color of the outline of the cursor. Increased contrast means that when the cursor changes its internal color the difference will be more noticeable. Setting the cursor color here doesn’t change the whole color just the outline. By default you have no outline, but can change it to white, or 5 of the 7 colors of the rainbow (Indigo and Violet are excluded). But you can increase the border size so at least its more of your preferred color.

Going back to the main cursor options, you can also increase the cursor size. At a certain size a small dot will appear in the center of your cursor indicating the specific selection point when clicking on something.

You also have trackpad inertia. When enabled, it makes the pointer feel more floater as it continues moving a bit after you let go. How much and how fast it moves depends on how fast you move your finger over the trackpad or move the mouse.

Lastly is the cursor speed, meaning how fast it moves the cursor across the screen in response to your movement (this is not the same as page scrolling speed when you’re reading an article or web page). This is one I had to quickly find and change, as the default cursor speed is a little to slow for me, and I needed to move it up to a little over halfway up the line to make it usable for me.

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