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Sharing Keyboard And Mouse Between Computers: Definitive Guide

Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated May 7, 2021

Given the current pandemic situation, staying productive and efficient when working from home is one of the main struggles.

That saying, some professionals like software engineers, designers, and online streamers might want to use the keyboard and mouse with several computers at the same time.

Instead of getting tangled with numerous input devices, there are software and hardware tools to control two computers with one keyboard and mouse.

In this detailed guide, we show several ways of controlling a multi-computer setup by using the same mouse and keyboard simultaneously.

Effective keyboard and mouse sharing software (over WLAN)

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 386+ Reviews
FlexiHub is a cross-platform communication application that facilitates the use of a single keyboard or mouse on multiple Windows, Mac, or Linux machines.
FlexiHub

You can use a software solution that enables you to control two computers with one keyboard and mouse. FlexiHub is the software that shares and controls the mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. Simply connect your mouse to your computers via the software’s interface in just a few clicks.

FlexiHub advantages for using one keyboard or mouse for multiple computers

  • FlexiHub is a cutting-edge USB over Ethernet software tool by which you can share access to any USB device via the Internet on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  • FlexiHub helps with sharing the keyboard and mouse between computers by using a personal redirection server and you won’t even need a public IP address. Due to this, you’ll still be able to connect to shared USB devices even if a computer with an attached shared device isn’t connected to your LAN or cannot be detected by your PC.
  • FlexiHub additionally protects all the data transmission with 2048-bit SSL encryption, that’s why you can safely share USB devices and your information won’t be lost or exposed to a 3rd person.
  • FlexiHub doesn’t need any USB drivers to share the keyboard and mouse, therefore no driver installation is required on your PC or any remote computer.

How to share the keyboard and mouse between two computers

1
First of all, register a free FlexiHub account to be able to log into the app and share the keyboard and mouse between two computers.

Register a Flexihub account

Note: you can register an account later in the app or if you already have a FlexiHub account, skip this step.

2
Choose a required number of connections and sign up for a FlexiHub demo period to be able to connect to the shared mouse and keyboard.
 sign up flexihub demo period
3
Download and install the latest version of the app to all the machines that will use the same keyboard and mouse, and log into the software.
 download flexihub for sharing mouse and keybord
4
The final step would be connecting to the shared keyboard and mouse.
 connect one keyboard and mouse for two computers
connecting to the shared keyboard and mouse

The app will display a list of devices available for connection. Here you may press the "Lock" button for devices you would like to keep blocked from remote access. That’s it, the shared keyboard and mouse can now be used on all machines where FlexiHub is installed.

Switch keyboard and mouse between computers with FlexiHub!
30-day demo period

KVM switches for keyboard and mouse sharing

kvm switch

Controlling multiple computers at the same time can be tricky as each of them has a connected monitor, keyboard, and mouse. To make life a lot easier, you can get yourself a KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) switch.

A KVM switch is a compact gadget purpose-built for operating multiple machines from a single (or several) keyboard+mouse+monitor setup. You connect your I/O devices to the KVM switch, then link the switch up with all your computers via USB cables.

This hardware tool enables you not only to share a keyboard and mouse between computers but a display as well — just push the button and you get switched to another PC.

It will take you just a few steps to share the keyboard and mouse between the 2 computers:

  1. First, plug a keyboard and a mouse you would like to share into the USB ports of this box-like device.
  2. Then connect the switch with the computers. As simple as it gets.

In most cases, the switches are equipped with buttons to toggle between USB ports and computers.

Choosing out the right KVM switch for your specific operating conditions can be a pretty hard thing to do. Besides, if you already own several monitors, a simple USB switch can do the work. Anyways, every single switch has its own merits and flaws, so there’s a lot of review studying and operational testing ahead of you before you’ll find your perfect match.

You can use KVM switches to share not only the keyboard and mouse but other devices as well such as microphones and speakers. The switches usually work with both Windows and Mac machines.

Best software alternatives for sharing mouse and keyboard

Another type of KVM switch that you can use to share the mouse and keyboard between 2 computers is a software-based solution.

Note that software KVM switches only work via LAN, so make sure that all PCs you’d like to operate are network-connected. Also, you can’t use said software to switch between displays, only to share the keyboard and mouse. All you need to do once the software is installed on every machine of your network is to decide from which one of them you wish to share the mouse and keyboard.

Here is a tip: Looking for a multi-purpose sharing software? FlexiHub is compatible with a wide range of USB devices, and can share not only mouse and keyboards between computers.

More than just keyboard and mouse sharing
30-day demo period

Input Director

input director

Input Director is freeware available since 2007 and perfectly compatible with any networked Windows system up to Windows 10, but you can’t use it to share keyboard and mouse between Mac and PC.

  1. After installing the software on each computer, start with configuring the secondary PC.
  2. Press “Enable as Slave” in the app interface, then click the Slave Configuration tab. There you can either type the hostname of the Primary computer manually (as identified on the Main tab on Primary PC) or just select “Allow any computer to take control” from the list.
  3. On the PC with keyboard and mouse that you’d like to share (primary computer), press “Enable as Master”, then go to the Master Configuration tab, click Add and type in the hostname of the slave computer (see the Main tub of secondary PC), then press OK.
  4. After that, you’ll be able to position the second monitor left, right, below, or above the main one by arranging icons in the configuration box.

Now you can move the cursor on both screens wherever you like. The drag-and-drop feature isn’t available, so to transfer files or folders you’ll have to copy and paste them through the shared clipboard. For extra security, you can enable AES encryption. Note that both master and slave PCs should have identical encryption settings and a password.

ShareMouse

sharemouse

ShareMouse is commercial software but there is a free version for non-commercial use only. The paid version supports drag-and-drop, password security, switching prevention, or remote shutdown/lock/screensaver and can be used on up to 9 Macs and/or PCs. What is more, it is capable of sharing mouse and keyboard between Mac and PC.

Right after installation ShareMouse detects your computers and links them up. If auto-connection has failed, open Settings, then go to Network and click “Find free port” for UDP and TCP or connect manually via the Client window (for qualified users only). Once the connection is up, open the Monitor Manager and arrange your monitors as you please: side by side or one above the other.

Free ShareMouse doesn’t have the customization capability of the paid version but you can still use copy and paste by Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V even if their website lists this among paid functions. Also, you can choose a hotkey for quick jump, scroll speed/direction, do or don’t dim inactive monitors, and how many presses of the Esc button will disable the remote control.

Mouse Without Borders

mouse without borders

Mouse Without Borders is a product of Microsoft Garage — a special project for Microsoft staff members to work on projects unrelated to their scope of employment.

Mouse Without Borders is a freeware adapted to use one keyboard and mouse to operate up to 4 PCs. It’s fully compatible with Windows from XP to 10. This software comes with a wizard to simplify setting it up.

How to share a keyboard and mouse between two computers using Mouse Without Borders

  1. Start with installing Mouse Without Borders on a secondary PC and when you’ll see the question “Have you already installed Mouse Without Borders on another computer?” click NO to open the window with the security code and computer’s name.
  2. Leave it for now and install the program on the primary computer with the mouse and keyboard you’d like to share. Сlick YES under the same question and enter the security code and computer’s name from the secondary PC.
  3. Finally, then press LINK to connect.

In the main window, you’ll find checkboxes that can enable or disable each of the computers. To move the cursor right or left off the desktop edge, just drag computers in the same direction. If you’ve linked more than 2 PCs, check the Two Row box to arrange computers in a square so you can move your cursor between the monitors both vertically and horizontally.

Mouse Without Borders allows you to use a clipboard and drag-and-drop, though not in full: you can only transfer one file at a time to the unchangeable destination folder on the desktop named "Mouse Without Borders".

Synergy

synergy share keyboard mouse

Synergy is one of the software tools designed for mouse and keyboard sharing between two computers. In concept, it’s very similar to hardware KVM switches, except that Synergy lacks video support. But as long as you have a monitor connected to each of your machines, you can operate them through the app using the same keyboard and mouse on two computers.

Originally, Synergy was a Windows-only app, but now they have versions for Linux and Mac too. What they don’t have at the moment is a free demo or trial of any sort for non-business offers. However, if you’re a health care worker you can apply for a free Emergency version. Another important thing you need to know before buying this app is that there is no encryption feature in the Basic Edition, so if you’ve got sensitive data on any of your PCs it’s better to look for some other option.

Barrier

barrier share keyboard and mouse

Barrier is, to all intents and purposes, Synergy without accessories. It's free, yet super minimalistic if not oversimplified. All it can do for you is allow you to share a mouse and keyboard between two computers.

Once you share a mouse between computers, you’ll be able to move the pointer from one machine’s screen to another and use the drag-and-drop function to pass files. That’s all.

On the bright side, apart from the popular operating systems. like Windows, Linux, and Mac, Barrier can be also installed on ARM-based Linux. So if you’ve been looking for a way to share some entry units with your Raspberry Pi or other SoC machine, you may as well give Barrier a try.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.
Size: 8.97MB
Version: 5.3.14268 (20 Oct, 2021)
User rating: (4.8 based on 386+ reviews)