How to turn off El Capitan’s ‘shake to find’ mouse cursor feature


This feature might bother you - might as well disable it.
This feature might bother you - might as well disable it.
Photo: Apple

When I lose track of my mouse cursor, I’ve always just wiggled it a bit to find it on the screen. It’s a natural gesture, and Apple’s capitalized on it with its new “shake to find” feature in El Capitan.

If you’re constantly shaking your mouse or swiping quickly on your mousepad, maybe while gaming or editing, the new feature might bug you.

Here’s how to turn it off (and turn it back on again if you want to).

Shake to find preferences are hidden in here.
Shake to find preferences are hidden in here.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

First up, launch System Preferences on your Mac running OS X El Capitan (10.11). You can click on the icon in your Dock, double click on the app in the Applications folder, or choose it from the Apple menu.

Click it off, yo.
Click it off, yo.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Next, click on the Accessibility icon; then click on Display in the left-hand panel. Once you do that, you’ll see a little checkbox next to “Shake mouse pointer to locate.” Un-check that to disable the shake to find feature, or check it to re-enable it once you’ve turned it off.

The change takes place immediately, so shake your mouse cursor to see if you’ve got the cursor you want. Quit System Preferences when you’re finished, and all is well.

  • Richard Liu

    Why are you constantly shaking your mouse ?

  • iMac Lovin

    I never got it to work in the first place… Maybe because I have a logitech mouse and driver that might disable it. No big deal though

  • Joe

    Does anybody else find that the cursor goes large when you’re not expecting it, and when you want to find it, the feature doesn’t work?

  • dave

    I know this is a minor feature but I got really excited when it came out and I’ve used it a handful of times already since I downloaded El Capitan. It’s worked exactly as advertised with no ill effects. To be fair though I haven’t done much gaming since upgrading.

  • DaemonSevin

    i forgot about this feature until this post

  • Nilesh Parmar

    Thank you, i find it annoying.