A mouse cursor, also known as a mouse arrow, or mouse pointer, is a graphical image used to activate or control certain elements in a graphical user interface. More plainly, it indicates where your mouse should perform its next action, such as opening a program or dragging a file to another location. The mouse pointer follows the path of the user's hand as they move their mouse. The graphic shows an example of a mouse cursor.
See our mouse page for a full explanation of a mouse, types of mice, and other related information.
Example of a mouse pointer
In the animated next to this paragraph, you'll see an example of a mouse cursor moving around the screen. By default, it looks like a pointed arrow. When positioned over selectable text, it appears as an I-beam cursor. When hovering over a link, it appears as a pointing hand.