Windows Wait Cursor
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Windows Wait Cursor
Wait cursor
A component of Microsoft Windows
Windows 8 + 10 wait cursor.gif
The wait cursor in Windows 8 and Windows 10
Other names

Busy cursor

Hourglass cursor
Type Cursor
Included with Windows 1.0 and later

The Windows wait cursor (known as the hourglass cursor until Windows Vista) is a cursor that indicates that an application is busy performing an operation. It can be accompanied by an arrow if the operation is being performed in the background.

The wait cursor can display on programs using the Windows API.


The previously used "hourglass cursor."

From the first version of Windows to Windows XP, it was represented by an hourglass, which was inspired by the waiting cursor in Apple Lisa.[1]

Windows Vista introduced a new, animated wait cursor. The wait cursor in Windows 7 was almost identical.[2] It is possible, however, to change the appearance of the cursor into the original hourglass cursor.

Windows 8 introduced a new flat wait cursor. The new cursor is light blue on dark blue and removes the fade and the particles from the animated part.


There are two uses for the wait cursor: short term and long term. The wait cursor is a shared resource in the system across applications and windows. By default, when the mouse cursor is in a window, the cursor shown is controlled by the window's registered window class and handling of WM_SETCURSOR. Different scenarios can be used instead.[3]

In Microsoft Foundation Class Library (MFC) the wait cursor can be controlled by CWaitCursor. If a local instance is created, the wait cursor is reset when the instance goes out of scope. It is used primarily for short term wait cursors.[3]

In Windows Forms, each Control instance has a Cursor property, which can be controlled by the application itself. Control.Cursor is the cursor shown when the mouse is in the control's region; System.Windows.Forms.Cursor.Current is the cursor shown when the mouse enters any window of the application.[3]

For long term wait cursors, the UseWaitCursor property can be set (either Control level or application level) in one occasion and be reset in the other.[3]


  1. ^ Morton, Mike. "Lisa's Hourglass Is Back!". MacTech. 5 (5). Waipahu, HI: Xplain. 
  2. ^ Zheng, Long (15 August 2009). "Windows 7 “busy” cursor misses a beat". 
  3. ^ a b c d "Wait cursor in Windows and C#". Binglong's space. Retrieved 2015. 

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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