We often get a confusion whether to use hand cursor or default cursors for buttons and other clickable elements. If you consider iCloud and Onedrive both are having their native and web Interfaces, In Native they use default cursor on a button, while in the web they use the hand cursor on the buttons.

But when the same os and web applications come to our touch screens(Notepad/Tab/mobiles) our hand acts as cursor which try to interact with the clickable elements.

  • Do you have a question to go along with this? If you want any answers or assistance, you would be best served by asking a question!
    – Mattynabib
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 17:00
  • What is the question?
    – Jonny
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 6:26
  • Do we need default cursors for clickable elements?
    – Pradeep
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 6:28

2 Answers 2


No question here. Anyways, the implementation of changing cursors was more prominent when visual elements are not distinguishable. This happened when web had a very static texty look.

Nowadays, a button can be visualized clearly, and users are no longer confused with elements they can click on. So, it now depends on the design itself. It's advisable to use hand cursor for inline links, logos, and other non-button clickable elements.

  • 2
    This is pretty inaccurate as far as history goes. The early, "static texty" web had very strong, completely standardardized indicators of clickability: all links were colored and underlined, all linked images had a prominent colored border, and the cursor changed to a pointer on hover. Modern design generally drops two of those three indicators in favor of other, non-standardized cues; the only one that remains consistent is the cursor change (on non-touchscreen interfaces, anyway). Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:12

In Native they use default cursor on a button, while in the web they use the hand cursor on the buttons

In both cases they are following the standard interface convention for the platform: desktop apps typically do not modify the cursor for clickable elements. Web apps typically do. (Touchscreen apps are irrelevant to this question, because there is no cursor to modify.)

There is no good reason to break the web UI convention of "pointer cursor indicates clickability". It's standard, it's effortless (you would have to do extra coding to prevent it happening, in fact), and it does serve as a useful -- if minor -- visible cue to the user. (It may often be a redundant indicator, for elements whose design already indicates clickability -- but not intrusively so; there's no particular drawback to that redundancy, as it adds no screen clutter or cognitive load.)

For desktop apps, you would be justified in following the standard convention of not modifying the cursor for clickable elements. (When in doubt, "follow the standard convention" is usually the right thing to do.) Or you could equally defensibly follow the web standard and use pointer cursors, on the grounds that it's nonintrusive, harmless, and potentially useful.

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