This is an old and ongoing thing with most computers: the mouse pointer.

You need to enter text in a field and you click in the field. As you are typing the mouse is obstructing your view of what you type.

An old system (Amiga) got around this by having an option to actually make the mouse pointer vanish.

"It can't be done!" is what I hear from people nowadays.

But weirdly, I have seen it on THIS machine - Ubunutu. That is any of the versions I run, and on a Raspberry Pi also, but only in a certain condition.

"And what is this condition?" I hear you ask.

When using VLC player.

I have VLC player playing a song. The big window is open (don't know why: it is music not a film) but if you move the mouse into that area, the pointer vanishes!

Keep moving it and it reappears at the other side of the window. So it isn't just gone. The computer knows where it is. It is just VLC is somehow hiding it.

Gee, this would be great if there is/was an option to do that in normal use mode.

"But how do I know where my mouse is?" I hear you ask.....

Honestly? Who cares? you are typing something. If you need to know where it is, bump the mouse and the pointer will reappear for a nominated time then disappear again.

Anyway, I'm just putting it out there. For a long time I have been told that it can't be done on "these machines". But as I said: VLC seems to be able to do this in their window. So there must be a way of doing it.

  • I don't see an actual question, it's more an off-topic rant (askubuntu.com/help/dont-ask).
    – guiverc
    Nov 26, 2020 at 5:21
  • this isn't a question Nov 26, 2020 at 5:31
  • I think the question is "how do I make the mouse pointer disappear when I type and reappear when I move the mouse pointer?" or "hide the mouse pointer after so many seconds of inactivity"
    – mchid
    Nov 26, 2020 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


There is an application named Unclutter on Ubuntu which will hide the mouse pointer after a certain time of inactivity1. Run the following commands to install the application.

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt update
sudo apt install unclutter

The default is 5 seconds. Run the following command to see a list of options:

unclutter --help

Here are some options you may be interested in.

First, hide the cursor after 1 second of inactivity:

unclutter -idle 1

Alternatively, you can use keystrokes instead of inactivity:

unclutter -keystroke

You can also try combining some of these options to see what works well for you and there are some options for setting unclutter to work on certain specified windows or displays.

Also, if you need the command to release when you run it in the terminal, you can append an ampersand to the command like in this example:

unclutter -idle 1 &

and, of course, to kill unclutter, you can run the following:

sudo killall unclutter

Additionally, I would recommend adding this to your startup applications. Just search for "startup applications" on your Gnome desktop and add your preferred command like unclutter -idle 1 so it will startup automatically.

1: Auto-Hide Mouse Pointer in Ubuntu When Idle – OMG! Ubuntu!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .