Why is my mouse/cursor shown as a small dot when connecting to VNC Server running on Windows?

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You may find that when connecting to a Windows computer running VNC Server that a dot is shown instead of the mouse cursor. This is typically seen when the VNC Server computer either has no mouse attached to it, or no displays connected.

To resolve this, you can either attach a mouse and/or monitor to the VNC Server computer, or try one of the options below on the VNC Server computer.

VNC Server 6.11.0 and later

Enable the AlwaysShowCursor parameter in VNC Server's Options, Expert section.

VNC Server 6.10.1 and earlier

This requires a change within Windows itself.

  • Windows 10:
    • Click "Start" > "Settings" > "Ease of Access" > "Mouse" > Enable "Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen".
  • Windows 7:
    • Open "Control Panel" > "Mouse" > Select the "Pointer Options" tab > Check or uncheck the box for "Display pointer trails" > Click "Apply".
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17 comments
  • Thank you Jack. This also fixes the issue of mouse hover not working, which was driving me nuts. Also - thank your SEO folks because this fix was really easy to find with my search engine.

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  • Hi Jack! I am using Windows 10 21H1 - there I don't have the option "Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen".
    May the changed/removed it with an update?
    Is there any other way to resolve this annoying mouse cursor dot issue on actual Win10?
    Thx for help - BR Tom

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  • Hi Tom,

    I can see the option on my device running Windows 10 21H2 - it has been slightly renamed to "Turn on Mouse Keys to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer"

    Do you see this option?

    Thanks,

    Jack

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  • I work on the UBUNTU platform. I never had a problem having a mouse while working on the server computer. More recently, there is no visible mouse. I can see where the mouse is when it runs over a button and the button becomes highlighted, but there is absolutely no mouse to see. using keys is slow and imprecise. Is there any other solution?

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  • I have VNC Viewer 7.1.0 and this issue is still unresolved. There is no "always show cursor" option in the expert section or any other section. My fix was to switch to another free VNC product as the RealVNC support group has not been responsive.

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  • Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your post. Please note that this is a VNC Server setting, not VNC Viewer, so can you please check in VNC Server's Options, Expert section?

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  • If a mouse cursor disappearing is an occasional issue you can try Ctrl + Shift + F2 (if I do remember it correctly:).

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  • Sorry Jack, you double-speak. Look at the context of your first answer. The OP is obviously running VNC Viewer when trying to connect to a device with installed VNC Server. One more time. My Windows 10 laptop is running VNC Viewer 7.1.0. I am connecting to a device (in this case an EOS ECoS model railroad controller which is running VNC Server. Everything works fine EXCEPT for the cursor, which is a small dot and hard to see. This is only when the pointer is inside the border of the remote session. This is NOT an issue with TigerVNC, TightVNC, or Remote Ripple. Only your product fails to properly address this issue. I have even watched YouTube videos wherein VNC Viewer users with my same hardware praise the product BUT refuse to use it because of the mouse pointer issue.

    One last time please. How do I fix this issue in VNC Viewer? Nothing in your so-called expert section addresses or fixes this issue. I can only conclude that it is a bug.

    Ron

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  • Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your reply. VNC Viewer currently relies on the VNC Server sending the appropriate cursor image. In some cases, the connected VNC Server doesn't send a cursor resulting in the "dot" that you see. To resolve this when connecting to a RealVNC VNC Server, we implemented the AlwaysShowCursor setting, but this won't help when you are connecting to devices running a different VNC Server application.

    What I can do is open a feature request for you with our product team to make an equivalent setting available in VNC Viewer so that it draws a cursor no matter what cursor is received from the connected VNC Server.

    Thanks,

    Jack

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  • Thank you. Will I be apprised if and when this change takes place?

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  • Hi Jack, I already set up the option AlwaysShowCursor, and it actually shows my cursor (instead of the dot) and the server cursor is also showed but in the middle of the screen but it doesn't move at all. Any further workarounds about this issue please? My RVNC customers are being aware of this also.

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  • @Jack N RealVNC
    In fact, it's the issue with vncview. It seems that sometimes the menu "UseLocalCursor" does not work after being set. I conducted the latest experiments and found that when accessing Linux through Windows, vncview 7.5.1 is used. On Linux, gnome comes with desktop sharing, gnome remote desktop 3.22.0. Please note that Linux already has a mouse, and I only want a mouse. However, when accessing remotely, the mouse status is a black dot and a mouse, I have checked UseLocalCursor, DotWhenNoCursor, and RelativePtr for all three parameters. When I was about to give up, I tried tigervnc and tightvnc. After setting their options to mouse, they were both normal with only one mouse. Can you say it's not a vnc viewer issue?

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  • **** There is currently no AlwaysShowCursor option available in the Expert settings**** The fix was to attach a mouse.
    I am running RealVNC server 6.21... and this issue had me stumped. First I missed that comment about adding a mouse and/or monitor to the remote system (perhaps due to your bolding to the alternative solutions by version). Further, I have a monitor attached to the remote Windows 11 system but the dot mouse issue presented itself (the screen port was off but the remote system was there and known by the monitor perhaps a dummy hdmi dongle might address the issue by itself but I will leave that for you to test). The mouse did the trick. Until you return the AlwaysShowCursor option please consider removing that advice and folks like me might be more likely to catch that attach a mouse advice.

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  • Hi Lance,

    Thanks for your message. Please can you double that you are checking VNC Server, and that you have version VNC Server 6.11.0 or installed on the remote computer? 6.21.xx sounds like VNC Viewer, as prior to version 7.0.0 VNC Viewer and VNC Server used separate version numbering schemes.

    Kind regards,

    Jack

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  • You are correct and the AlwaysShowCursor option is just where you said it was and works to fix this problem. My apologies as I had my 7.6 release server confused with the client.

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  • Hi Lance,

    No problem! I'm pleased to hear you're all set up now.

    Thanks,

    Jack

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  • Is there any solution to have a cursor if we connect to a virtual machine which cannot have a mouse attached?

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