How to Move a Mouse Out of Virtual PC

Written by jason artman | 13/05/2017
How to Move a Mouse Out of Virtual PC
The mouse pointer can sometimes get stuck in a virtual machine window. (mouse image by Bosko Martinovic from

When you use a computer virtualisation such as Microsoft Virtual PC or VMware Player, the machine runs in a window over your primary Windows desktop. You can interact with a virtual machine using your mouse and keyboard, just as you would on your physical computer. Usually, you can move the mouse pointer freely between the Windows desktop and the virtual machine. However, you may occasionally find that the mouse pointer is "stuck" in the virtual machine window and that you are unable to return to the Windows desktop. Microsoft Virtual PC and VMware Player both have keyboard shortcuts that you can use to release the mouse from the virtual machine and return it to the host machine.

Press the right "Alt" key on the keyboard and then test the mouse. You should now be able to move the mouse out of the virtual machine window. If not, continue to the next step.

Press the "Ctrl," right "Alt" and left-arrow keys simultaneously, and then test the mouse. If the previous keyboard shortcut did not work, you should now be able to move the mouse. If not, continue to the next step.

Press the right "Alt" and "F4" keys simultaneously. This brings up a new window asking if you are sure that you want to close the virtual machine. You should now have control of the mouse.

Press the "Ctrl" and "Alt" keys simultaneously. This releases both keyboard and mouse input from the virtual machine, giving you control of the mouse pointer. In most cases, VMware Player allows you to move the mouse pointer out of a virtual machine window automatically. If this is not the case, you may need to reinstall VMware Tools. Continue to the next step to learn how to do this.

Click the "Virtual Machine" drop-down menu at the top of the screen and then click "Reinstall VMware Tools."

Click "Next," select the radio button labelled "Repair" and click "Next" again.

Click the "Repair" button at the bottom of the window.

Click "Finish" when the repair process is complete, and then click "Yes" to restart the virtual machine. When the machine finishes restarting, you should have full control of the mouse.

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