Your cursor in Photoshop could be disappearing because Caps Lock is on (this is the most common reason), the Start Workspace is not disabled, you have selected a precise cursor or some preference files need to be deleted or updated. If you have multiple monitors or an external keyboard attached, they could also be causing problems.
Alternately, you might need to update your Operating System or fix your graphics card. But before trying these more drastic solutions read through the article below and try one of our simpler solutions first.
Reasons why your Cursor disappears and how to fix it
1. The Start Workspace is not disabled
Your preferences are saved every time you close Photoshop and they are automatically transferred when you update to a new version. However, if you go back to a previous version of Photoshop or it crashes your preferences may be lost. Here’s what to do if your cursor has suddenly disappeared in Photoshop.
Fix: In Photoshop go to Edit > Preferences > General. Clear the “Start Workplace when no documents are open” check box. In newer versions of Photoshop, you only have “Use Legacy New Document Interface”.
2. The cursor has been replaced by a cross hair or other brush shape and won’t go back
Sometimes after working with a specific editing tool when you return to brush mode the cursor either disappears completely or changes shape so it is barely visible.
This can be annoying because even though the crosshair or other brush is visible you can’t see the area covered by the actual brush so precise editing becomes difficult. If this has happened it means you have switched to a mode called “precise cursor”.
To return the cursor to normal, that is, to a shape you can actually see just press the Caps Lock button. Sometimes when working with Photoshop the cursor can disappear if you accidentally press Caps Lock so make sure to avoid that button.
Another way to change between the precise cursor and other brush tips is by the following method. Go to Edit > Preferences > Cursors and click the “Standard Cursor” or “Normal brush tip” depending on which one you need to use.
3. Some preference files may be causing the problem
Find the Adobe Photoshop folder in Drive C (or whichever drive you have installed Photoshop in) and look for the .plist and .pref files. Select these files, select the cut option and then paste them onto the desktop. This forces Photoshop to reset its preferences so the cursor issue resolves.
4. The cursor or brush is disappearing midstroke
Check the following settings on your Mac. Go to the Apple menu, Accessibility >Display Preferences and uncheck the option “Shake Mouse Pointer to Locate.” Then restart Photoshop. This way your cursor or brush will stop disappearing mid-stroke.
5. Your Mac OS is out of date
If you are using a Macbook there is a possibility that due to newer updates being available the system programs are not working properly. Updating the operating system will resolve the issue of the cursor disappearing.
6. Your Photoshop needs a technical fix
- Open Notepad and type:
- Save the file as PSUserConfig.txt
- Press Windows key + R simultaneously to open the “Run” box
- In the bar type “appdata”
- Go to Drive C
- Click “Users”
- Click “Your username” (This will be the name of the profile you created when initially setting up your device”
- Click “appdata”
- Click “roaming”
- Click “Adobe Photoshop”
- Click “Adobe Photoshop Settings”
- Save the Notepad file (the one saved as PSUserConfig.txt) into this Settings folder
- Restart your system and Photoshop
7. Your external keyboard is causing the problem
If you have an external keyboard attached to your computer and Caps Lock is on in either the internal or external keyboard then Photoshop can get confused as it may be receiving signals from both keyboards. Double-check that Caps Lock is off on both your keyboards.
8. Photoshop may need a reboot
Yep, you read that right. A lot of people have had problems with the cursor disappearing and not reappearing and none of their brush tools seem to work either. No matter which one of the above solutions they try, nothing seems to work and then one fine day, after restarting the computer as well as Photoshop the cursor just reappears. This tip especially works if the cursor disappeared after a system update.
The reason your cursor disappears in Photoshop could be because of the Caps lock button being turned on, the wrong cursor may be selected in the Preferences, some Preference files may need to be manually deleted, your OS may be out of date or Photoshop may need a simple reboot.
I hope you found this article useful and solved the Photoshop cursor problem.
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