How To Use One Keyboard & Mouse For Two Computers (Windows)

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use one keyboard and mouse for two computers It’s your friendly neighborhood admin with a solution to a common computer problem around my house.

Chances are if you have one computer in your household you have more than one computer in your household. It’s just a fact. More and more homes have servers, media centers and multiple desktops/laptops.

Some people use KVM‘s to control multiple machines. These KVM’s are a simple switch that lets you switch control to another physically connected machine. A for the server, B for the desktop and C for your media center. This is OK but not the best setup.

Let’s say I want to copy information from my desktop to my server. I can remote desktop in, use VNC, AAMMY or any number of remote control programs. But what if I want to be able to view both machines at the same time? What if I want to use one keyboard and mouse for two computers.

If you have two or more machines in your home with monitors attached you can now control multiple computers from one single mouse and keyboard. It gets better because you can also share clipboards and wait, Input Director is FREE!.

input detector-control multiple computers with one keyboard

Input Director’s Website breaks it down like this:

Before kicking off the installation and configuration of Input Director it’s important to first explain the master/slave terminology used throughout the documentation and application.

The master system is the computer that has the mouse/keyboard that you be using to control it and the other system(s). A slave system is one that can receive input (keyboard and mouse) from a master.

The quick start guide will run though setting up two computers, one as the master, the other as a slave. You need to decide now which computer you will use as the master – that is, which one has the keyboard/mouse that you want to use to control it and the other system (the slave).

For the remainder of the quick start guide, the two Windows systems that Input Director will be installed onto will be referred to as the master and the slave.

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Got it?

Your main machine with the keyboard and mouse that you want to use will be called the MASTER and other machines that you will remote control are your SLAVES.

This application is installed on each computer and you are give a bunch of security options like what computers can control your slave and neat hotkeys to make switching machines a breeze. You can setup a situation similar to multiple monitors with remote machines. You can move your mouse off your screen and right onto the next machine (basically, have multiple computers on one monitor). Even if you have multiple monitors this will still work.

I have used other programs that claim to do what Input Director does – but hands down this is the easiest to make work. It is really easy and if this fits a need that you have I highly recommend it!

Let’s take a look at it.

multiple computers on one monitor

You first run the setup on the master machine and simply set it as the master machine like seen here:

Then you setup the client machine. Come on back over to the Master machine and tell it where your Slave machine is.

You can now go and configure hotkeys and other goodies but that’s it. You are ready to manage multiple machines from one keyboard and mouse. Next step world domination!

Update: Also see, Synergy- Multiple Computers On One Mouse & Keyboard.

Do you use something similar? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments (23)
  • Amit Banerjee

    Brilliant ! Saves me the pain of maintaining 2 keyboards and mouse. Though, The keyboard letters are sent to the slave machine slowly.

  • sem

    I definitely see some positive aspects of this application, but I am still not convinced that it is better than Synergy which I am already using. Can somebody sway me?

  • Chris

    Please help. Is there a way to configure either synergy or ID to span across multiple gateways?

  • Upsentete

    What’s up, is there anybody else here?
    If it’s not just all bots here, let me know. I’m looking to network
    Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.

    Bye,

  • Daly

    Does this allow for copying and pasting between the two (of the same) OS?

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.