You’ve come to the right place if you want to learn how to control more than two computers with a single keyboard and mouse.
To be able to execute various jobs, including programming, video rendering, or graphic design, many workers require multiple computers. To manage each computer, they consequently require a variety of keyboards and mouse, which are sometimes useless and ineffective.
Using tools created to operate numerous computers with a single mouse and keyboard, this article offers several methods for reducing the number of keyboards and mice on your desk.
To quickly switch between two computers using a single keyboard, you can use a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch or software-based solutions like Synergy or Input Director. Below are the steps for each option:
Method 1: Using a KVM Switch
Research and purchase a KVM switch that suits your needs. After that, follow the following steps:
1. Connect the hardware
Power off both computers and disconnect your keyboard and monitor from them. Connect the KVM switch to both computers using the appropriate cables (keyboard, video, and mouse). Typically, the KVM switch will have labeled ports for each computer.
2. Power up
Power on both computers and the KVM switch.
3. Switch between computers
Most KVM switches have physical buttons on the switch itself or come with a remote control for switching between computers. You can also use keyboard shortcuts, often involving Scroll Lock.
4. Operate both computers
After switching, you can now use your keyboard, mouse, and monitor with the selected computer. The other computer remains idle until you switch back to it.
5. Additional features
Depending on your KVM switch model, you may have additional features like USB sharing (for other peripherals like printers), audio switching, and more. Consult the user manual for your specific KVM switch to learn about its capabilities.
Remember that KVM switches are a convenient way to manage multiple computers with a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse, making them especially useful for tasks that involve working with different machines simultaneously or when transitioning between systems is frequent.
Method 2: Software-Based Solutions
Changing between two computers using a single keyboard is a skill that every data analyst should have. The skill is even more useful for those who are leading project management in an organization. Here’s a more detailed guide on setting up and using software-based solutions like Synergy or Input Director to switch between two computers using a single keyboard and mouse:
1. Choose and install software
The first step is to choose the right software. After choosing the software, download and install it.
2. Configuration on the primary (Server) computer
Configure the software to set up the server computer’s screen layout. You’ll typically define the physical placement of your monitors. Generate a server configuration or key (e.g., a server name or IP address) that the other computer will use to connect.
3. Configuration on the secondary (Client) computer
On the other computer, set it as the “client.” Open the software’s configuration settings on the client computer. Enter the server configuration or key generated on the primary computer.
4. Keyboard and mouse setup
Configure how the software will handle the keyboard and mouse input. Usually, you can choose options like whether the keyboard and mouse should jump immediately to the other computer or if you want to use a hotkey or mouse cursor movement to switch. Test the setup to ensure the keyboard and mouse movements work seamlessly between the two computers.
5. Firewall and security settings
Adjust your firewall settings if necessary to allow the software to communicate between the two computers. Switching between computers.
6. Operate both computers
You can now control both computers with a single keyboard and mouse, and the software will manage the switching process as you move the mouse or press the designated hotkey.