What Is a CUR File?

Using Windows Cursor Files

What to Know

  • A CUR file is a Windows Cursor file.
  • Open in Mouse Properties to change an existing mouse pointer.
  • Convert to a different image format with Convertio.

This article explains what a CUR file is, how to view the file as a normal image or import it into Windows to change how a cursor appears, and how to save it to a different image format like PNG, ICO, GIF, JPG, or BMP.

What Is a CUR File?

A file with the CUR file extension is a Windows Cursor file. They're still images that are identical to .ICO (Icon) files in every way aside from the different extension. Animated cursor files have the .ANI extension instead.

A different cursor is seen in Windows when the mouse pointer is doing certain tasks, like as a capital "i" when positioned over text or as an hourglass when something's loading.

CUR files in Windows 10

Both animated and static cursor files are found in the %SystemRoot%\Cursors\ folder.

How to Open a CUR File

Custom CUR files that you want Windows to use can be imported through the Mouse Control Panel applet.

  1. Open Mouse Properties. One way to get there is with this command:

    control mouse
  2. From the Pointers tab, select the pointer you want to customize. You can adjust the busy pointer, text select pointer, the pointer used when the selection is unavailable, and several others.

  3. Use the Browse button to locate and select the CUR file to replace it with.

    CUR files in Windows 10
  4. Select Open after choosing the file, and then select OK on the Mouse Properties window to save the new cursor.

If you want to see what the mouse pointer looks like as an image but not apply it in Windows, open it with Inkscape, ACDSee products, or Axialis CursorWorkshop—other graphics programs may work as well.

RealWorld Cursor Editor is free software that can edit CUR files and create new ones from other images. They also have a huge library of free cursor files you can download.

Cursor.cc is another way to make your own mouse pointers, either by importing an image or drawing on the screen.

If you find that an application on your computer tries to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, learn how to change file associations in Windows.

How to Convert a CUR File

The best way to convert a CUR file is to use the RealWorld Cursor Editor program mentioned above, or the free online converter at Convertio. Some of the formats you can convert CUR to include PNG, ICO, GIF, JPG, and BMP.

There's also the Filestar desktop CUR converter, which can convert the cursor file to over 100 other formats.

Still Can't Open It?

If your file isn't opening as described above, double-check that you're reading the file extension correctly and not confusing it with a different file.

The CUR extension looks a lot like CSR, CUE (Cue Sheet), CUS (AutoCAD Custom Dictionary), and CUB (Analysis Services Cube), but none of them are related to cursors.

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