Mouse cursor flashing busy

In windows, the mouse cursor changes with the different activities that are performed.The cursor is usually ‘arrow’ for selection. It changes to a ‘vertical bar’ when typing. When there is some process running at the background and the CPU is busy processing, the cursor changes to a ‘spinning circle’ or a ‘hourglass’ commomly known as the ‘busy’ cursor. However,sometimes the mouse flashes the ‘busy’ cursor constantly with no specific reason known to you. There is no active process displayed in the system tray that you can find that is taking up the CPU time. Also a constant spinning circle is a distracting factor and affects the work. If the mouse cursor is flashing busy all the time, then some process at the background is causing it. Finding the cause is a process of elimination. Below are some of the reasons and tips to try out incase you face this issue.

First thing to check is what Processes are running in the Task Manager. To check this:

  • Right click the Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  • In the new window select the Processes tab.
  • Click the option at the bottom to “Show processes from all users”.
  • Click the CPU column to list processes in CPU Usage order. This will display the processes that are taking maximum cput time and continuously using cpu time.

Check if there is any process with the name ‘spool’ or ‘spooler’. If present kill it.

Reason : When a page/selection is sent for printing on a browser and due to some reason if the printer is not connected or having connection issues, we generally try to execute the print command more than once. This print process/spool may not go away even after a reboot. It does not show in the system tray. Every time the computer is rebooted, this spool is picked up again causing the flickering.

In some cases this cursor flashing busy issue occurs after the installation of antivirus. If this is the case then disable the antivirus and then check if the issue is resolved.

If not then check which process is taking the maximum CPU time. If you see some process taking maximum time, then disable that service and stop it from starting when you reboot the machine [this can be done by changing the “Startup type:” to Disabled].Check if the problem is resolved.

If not then you need to enable that service and then try the same process with the next process that is taking the maximum time.