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Mouse movement is not smooth in a hosted virtual machine (1033416)

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  • Mouse cursor movement is jumpy, jerky, or not smooth inside a virtual machine
  • Mouse is not working inside a virtual machine
  • Mouse clicks are not recognized


This article talks about smoothing mouse movement (or enabling clicks) in a VMware Workstation virtual machine.
For more exhaustive mouse troubleshooting, see  Keyboard or mouse do not work in a hosted virtual machine (1008443)


There are two different kinds of mouse movement possible. One kind of movement allow for smoother and more responsive mouse movements by exclusively locking the mouse to the virtual machine. This is often useful for games, and so this is howVMware products refer to it. The other kind of movement allows the mouse to travel freely between the virtual machine and the host, but this can entail a slight loss of precision. The VMware product automatically detects which is more appropriate, depending on the circumstances.
On some occasions, the automatic detection may not operate correctly. In these cases, you can set the mouse mode yourself.
To set the mouse mode:
  1. Go to Edit > Preferences from the VMware Workstation user interface.
  2. Click the Input tab.
  3. From the Optimize mouse for games dropdown menu, choose Always.

    Note: You need to click back in the virtual machine for your mouse to be recognized. Hereafter, you need to press Ctrl+Alt to release your mouse from the virtual machine and you need to click in the virtual machine to return your mouse to the virtual machine.

  4. If choosing Always from the Optimize mouse for games dropdown does not resolve the issue, choose Never from the dropdown instead.


cannot-use-mouse  poor-mouse-performance  smooth-mouse  use-mouse

See Also

Update History

04/04/11 - Removed Player, ACE, and Server from product list. 02/12/2014 - Updated for Workstation 11.x

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 125 Ratings