Having multiple monitors can improve productivity by allowing you to multitask more efficiently. However, the mouse pointer moving between screens can sometimes be annoying, especially when gaming or giving presentations. Here are some of the best methods to confine the mouse pointer to a single screen.
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Use Operating System Settings
On Windows, you can use the built-in display settings to position your secondary monitors diagonally. This prevents the mouse pointer from accidentally moving between screens unless you deliberately move it diagonally across.
To do this:
- Right-click on the desktop and select “Display Settings”
- Under the “Multiple Displays” section, select your secondary monitor
- Drag it to position it diagonally from your main monitor
Now the mouse pointer will remain confined within your main monitor, only crossing over if moved diagonally.
On MacOS, open System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement and drag your secondary monitors to be positioned diagonally from your main screen. This confines mouse movement in the same way as on Windows.
Use Third-Party Software
Specialized software can lock mouse movement to a single screen:
Dual Monitor Tools
Dual Monitor Tools is a free utility for Windows that can lock the mouse cursor in place.
To use it:
- Launch Dual Monitor Tools
- Right-click on the icon in the system tray
- Go to Options > Cursor > Lock Cursor Onto Screen
- Set a hotkey to toggle locking on and off
DisplayFusion is a paid multi-monitor software for Windows. It has an option to lock the mouse cursor to the current monitor.
To use it:
- Go to Settings > Functions
- Assign a hotkey for the Lock/Unlock Mouse Cursor to Current Monitor function
Use Game Settings
Many games have a “Confine Mouse Cursor” or equivalent option in their settings. Enabling this restricts mouse movement to the game window.
- Path of Exile
- Call of Duty
So be sure to check for a mouse confinement option within the game settings.
Use Presentation Mice
Special presentation remotes and mice use gyroscopic tracking to control the mouse cursor. This allows presenters to move around while giving a seamless on-screen presentation.
Popular presentation mice include:
- Logitech Spotlight
- Kensington Expert Presenter
- Gyration Air Mouse
Since these devices are self-contained, the cursor remains fixed on your presentation slides. Your body movement controls the on-screen cursor rather than absolute mouse position.
Tips for Confined Pointing
If you confine the mouse pointer to a single screen, keep these tips in mind:
- Use keyboard shortcuts for any system commands needed
- Try reducing mouse sensitivity to limit erratic cursor movement
- Practice confined pointing to get used to restricted movement
- Set a hotkey to easily toggle confinement on and off
Proper configuration makes dealing with a confined mouse cursor much easier. Carefully positioning secondary monitors and using utilities or settings to restrict pointer movement keeps the cursor where you want it. Follow these tips to stop annoying pointer jumps between screens.