Safely Find and Install Custom Cursors for Windows 10

People always enjoy changing how their computer looks to suit their tastes. From desktop backgrounds to unique computer cases, there’s a lot of ways you can make your computer your own. Some people enjoy customizing their cursor in Windows 10 so that it fits their computer’s theme a little better. After all, it makes for a nice change from the default white arrow!

However, while downloading an image to use for your desktop image or profile is very easy to do, cursors need a little more care and attention when installing them. Not only are they a little tricky to set up, but cursor download sites can also be a hotspot for viruses and malware which is definitely something you don’t want to end up accidentally installing.

What to Look Out For

.cur and .ani Files

When downloading cursors, they usually come in two different file formats: .cur and .ani. These are, respectively, static cursor and animated cursor files. If you’re downloading a cursor pack and spot these files in the folder, you’re not going to be running into many problems, if any. It’s safe to install and use these.

.inf Files

Things get a little bit iffy when the cursors come as .inf files which are usually used to install software and drivers. These are typically used by cursor creators to make installation very simple and quick. While they can be used for good, they can sometimes contain some nasty code. If you downloaded an .inf file from a reputable website, you can run it without fear. If in doubt, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and check to see if there’s a .cur or .ani option available.

Anything Else

In general, you should keep your eyes out for .cur.ani, and .inf file types when downloading cursors. This does mean that while these three formats are great for custom cursors, the opposite is also true: file types that aren’t one of these three should be handled with extreme caution. If you download a cursor pack from a somewhat shady website, and it contains something like an .exe file, don’t run it! No matter how good the cursors look, it’s not worth the potential risk of infecting your computer with something nasty.

Where to Get Them

When it comes to downloading cursors from websites, try to stay away from shady-looking sites. As stated earlier, websites advertising custom cursors and screensavers are often packed full of nasty malware which isn’t worth the customisation that comes with it. DeviantArtRW Designer and are examples of websites that are highly rated for safe cursor downloads.

If you want to download a cursor from a different website, first check if it has been marked as a malware distributor. Free services such as Norton Safe Web can tell you if a site has been marked as unsafe, as well as inform you if users reviewed the site as legitimate or a malware distributor. Make sure to check both the service’s and the user’s reviews before downloading anything from a website!

How to Install and Use

So you’ve found a safe download for cursors and downloaded one you liked the look of. How do you use the file you downloaded? It depends on what kind of file you actually downloaded.

Installing Cursors (For .inf Files)

If the cursors came with an .inf file, you’re in luck! Installation is as simple as right-clicking the .inf file and clicking Install. This will automatically install the cursors to your PC.


However, this won’t automatically change your cursor to the ones you’ve installed. If you want to actually change your cursor to the ones you’ve just installed, follow the steps below.

Navigating to the Mouse Menu (For All File Types)

.cur and .ani files need to be installed manually via the Mouse menu, while users installing .inf files also need to access it to change their cursor to the one they’ve just installed. To do this, follow these steps.

First, right click the Start button and click Control Panel.


Here, click Mouse.


Click on the Pointers tab.


Scheme Change (For .inf Files)

If you installed the cursors via an .inf file, you can easily set them by clicking the Scheme drop-down menu and selecting the name of the cursor theme you just installed. Once done, you can click Apply to see how it looks or click OK to change and finalise the new cursor theme.


Cursor Browse (For .cur and .ani Files)

If you have .cur or .ani files instead, you’ll need to manually set the scheme. Select the specific cursor type you want to customise and click Browse.


In the window that pops up navigate to the folder that contains your .cur or .ani files and select the file that corresponds to the cursor you’re changing. For instance, if you selected the Normal Select cursor, find the cursor in the pack you’d like to use for the basic cursor.


Once done, you might want to save your scheme using the Save As … button above so thar you don’t have to do all that work again!


A Few Pointers

Custom mouse cursors can be a lot of fun if you want to add that extra element of customisation to your computer. Unfortunately, there are a lot of virus and malware distributors who use custom cursors to spread their programs to victims. Now you know how to stay safe searching for cursors and how to install them using Windows 10.

Do you use custom cursors on your PC? Or do the Windows default options do the job for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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