How to Share a Mouse and Keyboard Across Multiple Computers

Stock photo of someone working on multiple laptops

For a ton of us, day-to-day computing involves utilizing much more than one computer—and at times additional than a person computer functioning program too. That can imply a lot of wires and a large amount of swapping among keyboards, mice and trackpads, but there are now many hardware and software selections for sharing a single established of enter units involving quite a few laptop or desktop computers.

Universal Control

Screenshot of Universal Control on macOS

Environment up Common Command on macOS.
Screenshot: macOS

The new arrival in this particular discipline is of course Universal Manage from Apple, which operates with Macs and iPads. The keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) of 1 key Mac can be utilized to management up to two other close by Mac or iPad products, and you get a limited total of drag and drop aid thrown in as perfectly.

For everything to perform, Universal Regulate requires to be switched on. From macOS Procedure Tastes, this is performed by way of Displays and Common Handle from iPad Settings, you need to go to Common and AirPlay & Handoff, and turn on Cursor and Keyboard. With that completed, all your gadgets will need to be close jointly, signed into the very same Apple ID, and on the same community.

Meet all of all those criteria, and relocating the cursor off the edge of 1 unit should really see it land on another (you can manage the arrangement in Shows in Program Choices). If you are only on Apple products, then it is the selection that in all probability helps make most perception: It is created suitable into macOS and iPadOS, and does not have to have significantly in the way of setup.

Mouse Without Borders

Mouse Without Borders screenshot

Configuring Mouse Without the need of Borders.
Screenshot: Mouse Without having Borders

Microsoft actually has its own model of Universal Regulate, though you could possibly not have listened to of it: Mouse With no Borders is a “Garage project” by Microsoft staff Truong Do, which signifies that they worked on it in their spare time. As you might assume, it’s essential and it is only obtainable for Home windows, but it does the task.

To get everything set up, you set up Mouse Devoid of Borders on the desktops you want to use it with, then use the stability codes shown on each screen to get linked across a local network. You will be prompted to reveal how your personal computer displays are positioned, and then it’s just a circumstance of going the mouse cursor off the display screen edge to a further computer system to switch manage.

You are equipped to use any keyboard and mouse related to any of your pcs as the enter devices right here, and it is additional stable and dependable than you may assume a aspect challenge would be. The utility will work with up to 4 computer systems, and supports further capabilities this kind of as file drag and drop and textual content duplicate and paste.


Synergy screenshot

Picking a structure in Synergy.
Screenshot: Synergy

Synergy has been close to for a whole lot more time than Common Control and Mouse Without Borders, and it’s additional thorough too—not least mainly because it operates on Windows as very well as macOS. Pricing begins at $29 for the fundamental edition, which addresses you for three different computer systems: The computer with your key keyboard and mouse attached functions as the server, and the other people are clients, as configured in the Synergy software.

After Synergy can see all the computers—which need to get seconds, as extended as they are on the similar network—you can tell it how your screens are laid out. Then it is just a problem of swiping the cursor off the edge of a person display on to another (considerably as you could do with multiple monitors) to alter the laptop or computer that you’re in control of.

Delve further into the Synergy software and you can set up custom-made keyboard shortcuts, which comes in quite useful if you are using Home windows and macOS personal computers in tandem, and clipboard syncing. There are alternate options accessible, which includes ShareMouse, which functions in a similar way: That is absolutely free, but only for essential features on two desktops, and subsequent pricing starts at $95.

Logitech Move

Logitech Flow promo image

Logitech Movement performs with Logitech components.
Image: Logitech

Lengthy-founded purveyor of enter products, Logitech, has its personal solution for utilizing one particular keyboard and mouse with numerous pcs. It is identified as Logitech Move. You will locate it out there as aspect of the Logi Options computer software package deal, and as you may count on, you are heading to want Logitech peripherals for this to perform.

As soon as you’ve linked your keyboard and your mouse as a result of the Logi Options program and put in the application on just about every computer system you’re making use of, Logitech Move performs in a related way to the other alternatives we have protected in this record. Under the Movement tab on the mouse configuration screen, you can established out how your screens and personal computers are arranged. After that, you can swap gadgets by dragging the mouse cursor off the edge of one screen on to a further.

If you like, you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch concerning pcs (simply click the Switch in between personal computers choice). There’s plenty much more to investigate in the software program as nicely, from remaining equipped to transfer documents between personal computers, to placing up tailor made keyboard shortcuts that perform across all the platforms you’re employing.

A Keyboard Video clip Mouse (KVM) switch

A KVM switch is the traditional approach.

A KVM swap is the regular tactic.
Picture: Greathtek/Amazon

Your other possibility is to just take the components route with a KVM (Keyboard Movie Mouse) change: Your keyboard and mouse of option plug into the change, and then all your other desktops join to the change rather than the peripherals straight. A physical button or a keyboard shortcut controls the switching.

The vital edge below in excess of the software package answers that we’ve talked about is that more ‘V’ for video—you only will need a person keep an eye on. You can have numerous computers concealed absent beneath your desk while preserving every little thing seeking uncluttered and serene on the surface area with a one monitor, keyboard and mouse. It also suggests that if you’ve got a high-end, highly-priced check, it doesn’t have to be limited to a person product.

Some persons desire the hardware choice so they are not relying on Wi-Fi connectivity and don’t have to deal with software program quirks other folks would rather stick to an application and not have an additional product on their desks. KVM switches are out there from the typical electronics merchants, and dependent on how a lot of connections you require and the form of connections, can variety in value from a handful of bucks to various hundred pounds.