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I reformatted my HDD and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. But i noticed the Windows Animated cursor theme from Windows Vista is gone. Any way to get it back, or an external download source?

I do have access to a Windows Vista installation CD, if they could be extracted from there.

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Do you mean the colorful 3D ones? – Synetech Aug 28 '12 at 1:53
Close. This one isn't "3D", but it is colorful. – Wolfizen Aug 28 '12 at 5:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use the Registry Editor to see a list of installed cursor themes at

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Cursors\Schemes

(There is even a typo in the name of one of the schemes in Windows 7: Windows Aero XL))

In any case, system cursors are stored at %systemroot%\Cursors, so if you have your Vista disk, you can extract them:

  1. Get and install 7Zip if you don’t already have it
  2. Use 7Zip to open the file \Sources\Install.wim from the DVD
  3. Navigate to one of the folders (each number corresponds to a different edition of Windows—you can view 1.xml to see which—but the cursors are available in all editions, so any of them will work)
  4. Now navigate to Windows\Cursors and extract them somewhere
  5. Examine the cursor files and keep the ones you want
  6. Now you can select the files in the Pointers tab of the mouse control panel applet (main.cpl) and save it as Windows Animated
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Nice! Well, it worked, and turns out that the one i was thinking of really was a custom theme installed by my laptop manufacturer. – Wolfizen Aug 28 '12 at 5:59

I have found a "Windows Animated (system scheme)" in Vista and have extracted the necessary files :


Your can find the two zip-files here :

Windows - Extract the contained .reg file and double-click it. - Contains Vista cursors missing in Windows 7. Extract them into C:\Windows\Cursors.

Now open Control Panel -> Mouse -> Pointers, and you should now have in the Scheme drop-down list a scheme named Windows Animated.

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The name when you select a cursor theme is "Windows Animated". It comes with Windows Vista, and it is not "Windows Areo". This theme isn't in Windows 7. – Wolfizen Aug 27 '12 at 15:39
Are you maybe referring to an animated wallpaper ? – harrymc Aug 27 '12 at 18:30
Can you check if there is a cursor "set, theme, etc." in the Mouse Properties section of the Control Panel ? – Wolfizen Aug 27 '12 at 22:25
Lol. It was just a theme from my manufacturer. I checked the disk files and the one i was looking for wasnt there – Wolfizen Aug 28 '12 at 6:00
I don't think it is a manufacturer theme, as I finally found it in my vanilla Vista. I have rewritten my answer. – harrymc Aug 28 '12 at 6:32

Here's the page with Vista cursors for download.

Here's the direct link to the cursor zip.

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Sorry. That's the "Windows Areo" theme from Windows Vista. I'm looking for the "Windows Animated" theme. – Wolfizen Aug 27 '12 at 4:30
What do you mean Animated? That's the only animated cursor theme from Vista – Alex Aug 27 '12 at 4:50
@wolfo9999: The animated cursors in the zip file are the ones ending with ".ani". But these are also available in Windows 7. – harrymc Aug 27 '12 at 6:13
Not the one that I want. This one is animated, the name is "Windows Animated", it has "(system scheme)" at the end, so I know it comes with windows vista, and it is not in windows 7 – Wolfizen Aug 27 '12 at 15:42
Vista had some more colorful cursors, just like it had more colorful tray icons. – Synetech Aug 28 '12 at 1:52

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