Some app on my XP development PC left the mouse cursor stuck in the “move” state.  The mouse was behaving correctly, but it was stuck in move image, the one with the four direction arrows.  Normally, the mouse cursor is application specific.  One the apps is coloring outside the lines and the cursor image was stuck for all of the running applications.  I’m using a beta version of a Twitter client app, it’s the obvious suspect, but I still need to prove that.

I couldn’t figure out which app was doing this and I was in the middle of editing some code and I didn’t want to break my concentration by restarting everything.  So I decided to address the symptom and not the problem.  The question is how to do you reset the mouse cursor?

First, I tried the simple solution and just removed the mouse.  It’s plugged into a USB port on my monitor so I just turned off the monitor and turned it back on.  After coming back on, the mouse still had the wrong cursor.  What I did next was to bring up the Mouse applet in the control panel.  I selected the “Pointers” tab and it was obvious that something was a little off.  On this tab, you can select the theme to associate with the nouse cursors and the preview display shows the “move” cursor image for each possible mouse cursor image. 

I selected another theme and then went back to the current theme.  Now the preview showed the correct images.  I clicked the “Apply” button and the mouse was back to normal.  There’s probably a command line for doing this, but I’m not going to spend the cycles looking for it unless this happens again.