Mouse Grab / Ungrab Failure in Windows 10 in VMware Workstation 12 Pro

For weeks I have been struggling with the failure to grab or ungrab the mouse in one specific Windows 10 virtual guest. Troubleshooting included:

  1. Confirmed that “Automatically grab and ungrab the mouse” was set in VMware Workstation Preferences.
  2. Removed and re-installed VMware Tools.
  3. Fixed a recurring error in the Windows system log.
  4. Turned on VMware Tools logging

This virtual machine was migrated from VMware Fusion and had survived a couple product upgrades. I also suspected it was related to the migration to VMware Professional 12 Pro on Windows, though several other machines transferred without this issue. A few days ago I observed the same behavior on the original machine (it has licensed software that I find myself needing more recently).

Several searches failed to find anything useful. Today I finally ran across this article from someone with the same issue.

The solution turned out to be disabling the “Display pointer trails” in Control Panel inside the virtual machine guest. How could the solution be so simple?