How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer’s Mouse and Keyboard
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These days, smartphones and tablets are just as important as your main computer from a productivity standpoint Productivity Problems? Check Out This Productivity Android App Guide Productivity Problems? Check Out This Productivity Android App Guide Sometimes, getting work finished feels impossible. You want to get more done, but you just need a little help. Where are you to turn? Read More . You can download apps for all the major office suites 12 Ways Android Can Improve Your Home Office Productivity 12 Ways Android Can Improve Your Home Office Productivity If you work from home, these apps are going to make your life a lot easier. Read More , access data you’ve saved in cloud storage services, edit photos and videos on-the-go 3 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for Android 3 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for Android Adobe makes a couple of great Photoshop apps for Android (Express and Mix), but what alternatives are there? Read More , and even log into all your financial accounts.

Obviously, the vast majority of Android devices use your finger as the primary input method. It’s arguably their biggest drawback – using your digits to control your devices simply isn’t as fluid or fast as using a mouse and keyboard.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use your computer’s input devices on your phone or tablet? Well, good news — you can!

Here’s how to control your Android device using your computer’s mouse and keyboard.

The App That Does It All

To follow this tutorial, you need to use an excellent app called DeskDock. There are a couple of other methods available (which I’ll touch on at the end of the article), but using DeskDock is the fastest, easiest, and most reliable approach.

Despite its quality, only a few thousand users have downloaded the app. Don’t let its small userbase put you off, though — DeskDock has earned fantastic reviews from both users and critics since its release in mid-2016.

At the time of this writing, it boasts a four-and-a-half-star rating. I think it deserves much more attention.

Download: DeskDock (free)
Download: DeskDock Pro ($5.50) [Broken Link Removed]

What Features Does DeskDock Offer?

As you’ll have noticed from the links above, there are two versions of DeskDock — one is free, the other will set you back a few dollars. The pro version is well worth the investment, but test the free version first to ensure it meets your requirements.

The app essentially turns your Android’s screen into a second monitor, allowing you to move your mouse onto your device by moving it over your computer screen’s boundary.

The free version offers the ability to share your mouse. If you want to share your keyboard, you’ll need to purchase the pro version.

Here’s a rundown of the other features the free version offers:

  • Shared clipboards: You can easily copy and paste data between your PC and your device.
  • Multitouch support: The app provides shortcuts that can simulate multitouch gestures on your device, meaning you’ll never need to physically touch your phone while the app is active.
  • Multi-device support: If you’ve got several Android devices, you can hook them all up to one instance of the app and use them at the same time.
  • Customizable mouse input: You can choose what action you want to occur with either a left- or right-click.

As mentioned, the pro version introduces shared keyboards. It also lets you map up to 10 mouse buttons, offers drag-and-drop support, and has keyboard shortcuts for your phone’s power, volume, and screen brightness. The pro version is ad-free.

As well as installing the app on your phone or tablet, you’ll also need to install the app’s server on your computer. The server has versions available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Lastly, the app does not require root access, unlike some of the other alternatives available in the Play Store.

How to Setup DeskDock

Now you know what DeskDock offers, so let’s take a look at how to install the app and get it up and running on your machine.

Setting Up the Server

Before you install the app on your device, you first need to install the server on your machine. This is the most complicated part of the setup process.

The server relies on Java JRE 1.7 or higher to run. If it’s not already present on your computer, head to the Java website and follow the on-screen installation instructions.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard java download 670x464

Next, you need to enable USB debugging What Is USB Debugging Mode on Android? Here's How to Enable It What Is USB Debugging Mode on Android? Here's How to Enable It Need to allow USB Debugging on your Android? We explain how to use debugging mode for pushing commands from your PC to your phone. Read More on your phone or tablet. The option is tucked away in the Developer Options menu. To activate the Developer Options menu, head to Settings > About Phone and tap on the Build Number seven times.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard usb debugging 571x500

Once your device confirms Developer Mode is enabled, go to Settings > Developer Options > Debugging > USB Debugging and make sure the sliding toggle is set to the on position. Tap OK on the on-screen confirmation.

Now you need to connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable. For most users, the charging cable will suffice.

Hopefully, connecting your device via USB will cause your computer to automatically install your device’s ADB drivers. If you’re unlucky and only the MTP drivers (or no drivers at all) are installed, you’ll need to find and install them manually.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard device setup

Sadly, the number of Android devices are too numerous for me to list all the downloads in this article. A simple Google search should provide what you’re looking for. If you struggle to find the right file, trying visiting the Android Developer website (scroll to the bottom of the page for individual manufacturer listings). If you still can’t find the right drivers, contact your manufacturer’s customer support line directly.

Note: If you’re using a Mac, you do not need to install any drivers.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard oem drivers 670x323

Finally, you need to download the app’s server software. Make sure you download the version to match your operating system. The server is a standalone app 100 Portable Apps for Your USB Stick for Windows and macOS 100 Portable Apps for Your USB Stick for Windows and macOS Portable apps let you take your favorite software anywhere via a flash drive or cloud storage. Here are 100 of them to cover your every need, from games to image editors. Read More  — you don’t need to install any files on your system.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard deskdock server 670x441

If it’s launched successfully, you’ll see an icon in your system tray. Right-click on the app to customize its settings.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard deskdock settings

Install the Android App

Use the download links I provided earlier to install the Android app on your device.

If you set up the server correctly, all you need to do is attach your phone to your computer via USB. The app should automatically locate the server and make the connection.

How to Control Your Android Using Your Computer's Mouse and Keyboard deskdockIf the app and server cannot establish a connection, it’s likely that you don’t have the right drivers installed. Revisit the previous section and verify you’re running your device’s ADB drivers rather than MTP drivers.

What Alternatives Are Available?

Synergy used to be the go-to app for using your keyboard and mouse on your Android, but it’s become too unreliable to recommend.

If you’re looking for an alternative to DeskDock, you could try Weak Control [No Longer Available]. It allows you to cast your phone or tablet’s screen How to Cast Your Screen: Wired and Wireless Solutions to Share Your Screen How to Cast Your Screen: Wired and Wireless Solutions to Share Your Screen There are many situations where you might want to mirror your smartphone or PC display to the giant TV in your living room. There are multiple ways to do this, both wired and wireless. Read More to a browser window on your PC, and by extension, therefore lets you use your computer’s peripherals. Unfortunately, it requires root access.

Alternatively, purchase an OTG (On-The-Go What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android What is USB OTG and how can you use it on Android? We explain the feature and the many ways to utilize it. Read More ) cable and a PS2-to-USB adapter. Plug everything in, then head to Settings > Language and Input to set up PS2 devices.

Do You Use Your Mouse and Keyboard on Your Android?

In this article, I’ve explained how to use your mouse and keyboard on your Android device using the DeskDock app, as well as introduced you to a couple of alternatives.

Now it’s your turn to share your tips and recommendations. How do you share your keyboard and mouse with your Android device?

Remember to pop back over if you run into problems with your keyboard or mouse, like if your left mouse button suddenly stops working Left Click Mouse Button Not Working? Here's How to Fix It Left Click Mouse Button Not Working? Here's How to Fix It Did the left click mouse button stop working on your PC? Here are the most common ways to fix a broken left mouse button. Read More .

Explore more about: Android Tablet, Multiple Monitors.

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  1. gth
    November 18, 2018 at 8:30 am

    USB type C has revolutionised the connectivity options available for mobile phones (some brands just don't know it yet). The Huawei P20 Pro can use a hub like those in the Hootoo range and, with the single USB type C connection on the phone, enable connectivity to a 4K screen via HDMI, Ethernet cable, 3 x USB 3.0 devices and on top of all that, be recharging.

    Software that requires the USB port for ADB connectivity ruins this, which is a pity, because having Android on a Real Monitor would mean the only thing missing is remote keyboard + mouse for an awesome experience of a VERY productive phone when you're at a desk (home or work) with grab-and-go portability built-in.

    Here's hoping the Remote Keyboard featureset moves to a 'roving mouse' style of connection in the near future...

  2. Gjergji
    August 25, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Hi, I am a disabled person with limited hands movement. I can use a keyboard and mouse but not a touchscreen. An year ago I discovered that I could connect a wireless mouse with USB dongle to my Galaxy S8 and use the phone as I would use the PC. I use a digital camera arm to hold the phone in front of me while sitting on the wheelchair and on my left hand I keep a finger trackball mouse (bought on ebay for 20 bucks). It revolutionised my life, now I can use my phone as much as I want without needing help. Unfortunately this mouse is offered with a USB dongle only, there are no Bluetooth versions of it, nobody else produces a mouse like it. While i am lying on my bed I use a Logitech K380 Bluetooth compact Keyboard and a Logitech M720 Bluetooth mouse which are great but some table to be put on so I can't use them on my Wheelchair. Another problem is that many Android apps lik the Chrome browser can't be normally controlled by a mouse, i can click but can pan the browser window, so I'm forced to use Firefox.
    What I would like to say and be heard of is: Phone producers, Mobile Software producers, please keep in mind that there are a lot of people like me that ain't got much to do in their life like sports and many other things, computers and smartphones are our best companions so think also about us when you make your products, the mouse and keyboard control for smartphones is the best thing that could happen for me in the electronics world.
    Keep improving it.

    Please spread this message.

  3. Prasanta Shee
    December 29, 2017 at 7:43 am

    You can easily control your Android devices from your computers using apps like R-HUB remote supprt servers. Android mobile clients can show a web browser, photos and Dropbox files. In addition, Android 5.x and newer can show the entire screen.

  4. maciesspace
    August 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    So if I'm reading your title correctly, support for leftist policies will go up by 2,000 if they use a dollar?

  5. Amit Shan
    June 25, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Windows actually has an in built remote keyboard and mouse that can be used via Bluetooth, but that does not have any of the other features mentioned above. It is purely a keyboard and mouse input.

    • Bennysway
      July 12, 2017 at 7:11 am

      OP I think you got it the other way wrong tho. Windows remote keyboard and mouse controls the PC, this post is about controlling the Android. Correct me if I'm wrong. :)

      • Amit Shan
        July 12, 2017 at 10:26 am

        No. I meant controlling your android phone through your PC. Unfortunately, I was wrong that Windows has this in built. It seems it comes with Broadcom bluetooth drivers. My laptop could not do it with its Qualcomm chip. My desktop could.

    • Panda
      October 2, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Nevertheless using a BT mouse and keyboard directly connected to your Android device works pretty well.