How to use the same keyboard and mouse on multiple Macs

Wireless Aluminum Keyboard

Apple doesn’t provide an option for users to use the same set of keyboard and mouse on multiple devices. Such a move would be in their best interest since people would buy more devices in order to take advantage of the enhanced functionality.

Having two Mac devices side by side, say a personal and utility one can be a hassle to control. Stacking keyboards on top of each other and looking for enough space to fit all the pointer devices is not a wise move.

You can use apps to handle all devices from one station. Not only is this option suitable, but it also saves on time. As you handle many devices from one station, it’s vital that you install antivirus on your Mac to protect all data, and it should be applied on all Macs. Antivirus keeps your Macs from crashing. It also scans the registry which in turn speeds up your device.

Some techniques such as KVM switches, remote controls, among others, can be used to control multiple Macs with the same keyboard and mouse. This review will look at these techniques and plenty more besides.

Touch ID Magic Keyboard

Some of the techniques used to control multiple Macs

Keyboard-video-mouse (kvm) switch technique

Perhaps the most well-known and stable technique to control multiple Macs with the same keyboard and mouse is a KVM switch. A KVM switch enables you to input a keyboard prompt or rather click a button to switch between manipulating and viewing two or more Mac devices.

You can purchase basic dual-port switches that let you control and switch between multiple devices easily, or you can be ambitious and purchase a 16-port switch if you are in the market for a framework that can handle very complex tasks.

It’s also possible to get a KVM that can let you manipulate a set of devices over a shared network. Where space is at a premium, you’ll typically find multiple devices hooked to servers in closets and can all be controlled from the same keyboard and mouse. 

Remote manipulation technique

This is another technique that you can use to control multiple devices from the same keyboard and mouse. It involves a procedure whereby you ‘remote’ to the secondary device you want to access and control.

While you are evidently not far from the secondary device, you can use the remote desktop features to initiate a link to the other device on the network. If you have another monitor, this technique works just as well since you can use it to view the first monitor’s contents.

For you to access and manipulate a device using this technique, then you have to initiate it. This system is quite fragile with regard to securing your data, but it is a very efficient way of controlling more than one device efficiently.

Logitech MX for Mac

Software based technique 

The software-based technique allows you to use your keyboard and mouse combo by hovering the mouse pointer between each screen linked to a different device. You can also copy and paste between devices just like it was one device.

One software that has been an industry leader in this technique is Synergy. Synergy has been around for quite some time now, and not only does it work with Mac devices, but it also works on Linux and Windows devices as well.

Synergy functions with a single keyboard and mouse combo, whereby both hover over all devices seamlessly. In Synergy, the device in which the keyboard and mouse are connected is the server, while all others you intend to manipulate are the clients.

Alternative keyboard and mouse

Use specialized keyboard and mouse combo

Certain keyboard and mouse combos let you manipulate various devices, be it Mac, Windows, or Linux. Typically these mouse and keyboard combos have software that enables you to share an integrated link such as a Bluetooth signal.

That alone will let you manipulate multiple devices. One such keyboard and mouse combo is the Logitech Flow. With the Logitech Flow, you can use the inbuilt flow software, which lets you assign a distinct tag to each device.

After assigning the tag, you can switch between various devices easily using the distinct tags. It’s also possible to switch between devices manually as well because this keyboard and mouse combo has physical buttons for this.

All in all, having a single mouse and keyboard combo from where you can control multiple Mac devices is crucial as it reduces fatigue and saves time. There is a wide array of techniques that can be used to implement this, as illustrated above. 

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