Mouse Cursor Disappearing Frequently In Firefox, Internet Explorer And Opera

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 10, 2009
Updated • Feb 28, 2012
Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera

Roman send me an email yesterday about a problem that he researched the other day. He noticed that the mouse cursor in every Firefox tab was disappearing and appearing again with no apparent reason for this behavior. The strange thing was that all tabs were affected, not only one where the webmaster might have played around with JavaScript or other scripts. Roman discovered that the disappearing mouse cursor was caused by the Flickr video script.

Users who want to test it can visit the Drupal User Experience website and start playing the first video on the page. They will notice that the cursor will start to disappear for short intervals on all tabs that are open in Firefox. Tests with other web browsers revealed that some show like Opera and Internet Explorer show the same behavior while others like the Google browser Google Chrome seems to be immune and show the cursor all the time.

The problem persists even after stopping the playback of the video in question. One solution is to close the tab that contains the website with the Flickr video which stopped the mouse cursor from disappearing in Firefox. Another solution offered by Roman was to block the Flickr video script with the Firefox add-on NoScript.

Update The issue has been fixed in the meantime. When you now visit a site with an embedded video script you should not notice the disappearing cursor issue anymore. It is not clear if Flickr or Mozilla have fixed the issue. But since it is resolved, it should be the end of the issue.


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  1. Bob said on March 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Same MO here, but it was some dull blog which I had open in a forgotten tab. I closed all tabs opened in the last few hours – when the problem was first noticed. Closed the blog and problem went away. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous said on September 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    HOLY CRAP!! I’d been wondering ALL WEEK what was causing that!!! THANKS!!!

  3. Bibhu Prusti said on August 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for the help. My opera 11 was also hiding the pointer after few seconds. I was thinking to reinstall Opera. After going through the article, I closed some suspicious tabs and the pointer reappeared. Thank you a lot.

  4. Anonymous said on February 22, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Wow, thank you so much, this problem has been bothering me for so long.

  5. Dave said on February 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for this tip. Checked it out and yes Flikr script has major flaw that causes this on all browsers. Frustrating, as I thought it was a virus and cleaned my whole system. I have a feeeling they didn’t test this script before releasing it.

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