How to Fix Cursor Stuck on White Cross on Excel

Wondering why your cursor is stuck on white cross on Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet tool that can help you analyze data, organize charts, and crunch numbers. Excel is incorporated with Microsoft Office Suite and has been around since 1948. 

With over 50 years of experience, Microsoft Excel is tried and tested when it comes to processing thousands of data. 

But this doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter issues while using Excel. 

Like any app or software, Microsoft Excel can also suffer from unexpected errors and downtimes. 

If you are here, we can assume that your cursor is stuck on a white cross, which can be used to drag the fill handle over multiple cells. While this is a helpful feature, it can get in the way of your activities if you don’t need it. 

To help out, we’ve decided to make a guide on what to do if your cursor is stuck on a white cross on Microsoft Excel. 

Let’s get right into it!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

When you encounter problems with Microsoft Excel, it is always a good practice to try and restart your computer. This should reload your resources and eliminate temporary bugs and glitches that may have occurred during use. 

Here’s how you can restart your computer: 

  1. First, save your progress and ensure that Microsoft Excel is closed. 
  2. After that, access the Start Menu and click on the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, choose Restart and wait for your computer to reboot. 
Restart your PC

Once done, relaunch Microsoft Excel and check if the problem is solved. 

2. Enable Drag and Drop. 

If your cursor is stuck on a white cross, you can try enabling the fill handle and cell drag and drop feature.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel on your computer. 
  2. Access your workbook and navigate to File > More > Options
  3. Now, go to the Advanced tab. 
  4. Lastly, look for Editing Options and ensure that the ‘Enable Fill Handle and Cell Drag-and-Drop’ option is marked checked. 
Enable Drag and Drop

Go back to your worksheet and see if your cursor is still stuck on a white cross. 

3. Check Your Mouse Settings. 

Some programs might have changed your mouse pointer settings, causing your cursor to get stuck on a white cross. To confirm this, go to your mouse configurations and ensure that normal select is active.

Check out the steps below to tweak your settings:

  1. On your computer, open the Start Menu and look for Mouse Settings
  2. Next, open the settings and click on Additional Mouse Options under the Related Settings tab. 
  3. Finally, access the Pointers tab and ensure that Normal Select is active. 
cursor stuck on white cross on excel

Save the changes afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

4. Run Microsoft Excel As Admin. 

Some users reported that they were able to solve the issue by simply running Microsoft Excel as an administrator. While there’s no direct explanation why this workaround works, you can try it in your system. 

Follow the steps below to run Excel as an admin: 

  1. Go to your desktop and locate Microsoft Excel
  2. Now, right-click on its icon and choose Properties
  3. After that, navigate to the Compatibility tab. 
  4. Finally, enable the ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ option.
cursor stuck on white cross on excel

Relaunch Excel and see if your cursor is still stuck on a white cross. 

5. Disable Extend Select Mode. 

Extended Selection is a function that allows users to select a range of cells in one go. However, you might have accidentally enabled the feature, which explains why your cursor is locked in the fill handle indicator or white cross.

To confirm this, check Excel’s status bar for the ‘Extend Selection’ notification. If you see it, you can simply press the F8 key on your keyboard to turn off the function. 

Try clicking on a random cell afterward to check if your cursor is still locked in a white cross. 

6. Install Updates. 

The version of Microsoft Excel you’re using might have an issue related to the cursor. To rule out any bugs in the app, we recommend updating Excel to the latest version possible to patch errors. 

Here’s how you can update Microsoft Excel: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel and access the File tab. 
  2. Now, go to Accounts
  3. Lastly, click on Update Options and choose Update Now or Enable Updates
cursor stuck on white cross on excel

Restart your computer afterward to apply the changes. 

That ends our guide for fixing your cursor if it’s stuck on a white cross on Microsoft Excel. If you have questions, please drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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1 comment
  1. In Excel, you can use VBA to set Application.Cursor = xlNorthwestArrow when you open a Workbook.

    1. Enable the Developer tab on the Excel Ribbon and click on it.
    2. Click the Visual Basic icon.
    3. Under VBAProject (Workbook filename) / Microsoft Excel Objects, double click on ThisWorkbook.
    4. In the window that opens in the VBA workspace, type:

    Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.Cursor = xlNorthwestArrow
    End Sub

    This will set the cursor to the familiar “Select” arrow every time you open this workbook.
    Do the above in every workbook that you use.

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