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How to Use a Single Mouse and Keyboard Across Multiple Computers

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If you’ve got multiple computers at your desk, you probably know that it’s a pain to use more than one keyboard and mouse. Here’s how to use a single keyboard and mouse on more than one PC using a tool from Microsoft.

Most geeks will be familiar with Input Director and Synergy, which do the same thing, but now Microsoft has released an application called Mouse Without Borders, which has some great features—like dragging files from one PC to another.

Using Mouse Without Borders

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the application, there’s a quick wizard that helps you setup the application for use on your network. On the first PC, you’ll want to click No to do the initial setup.

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This will generate a security code that you can use on the next PC to connect to the first one.

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Over on the second PC, you will want to enter the code that you generated on the first PC, and the computer name.

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That’s all there is to it – now you can start using the application.

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If you’re still puzzled about how it works, here’s a video that explains it in more detail.

Download Mouse Without Borders from Microsoft

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 09/30/11

Comments (36)

  1. Unforgiving

    This tool is a s*** because only works with Window$, Synergy works in Linux, OSX and Linux. Dragging files from one PC to another is not so big deal.

  2. Raj

    Lovely interface!

  3. Greg Toland

    Looks interesting and as a Input Director user I’ll give this a try. Can anyone answer regarding these functionality points?

    Can you set up the order/sequence in which the screens are ‘stacked’? ie I have a small screen above my main screen
    Can it handle multiple screens attached to the main PC?

    Thanks to anyone who can answer

  4. Greg Toland

    Comment to Unforgiving …

    It doesn’t work with my Sinclair ZX80 – but that doesn’t mean it is not fit for purpose for the purpose for which it has been developed!!

  5. Jean-Francois Messier

    I’d rather have something that works on Linux, Mac AND Windows (if I ever need to use it.)

  6. mathi

    Tried. Works like charm ;-)

  7. guiie

    @Unforgiving: you have to pick the best tool for the job not the best tool for the minority of people using more than one OS. If you use MS Windows (like the majority of the computers market) the Microsoft’s tool is a good option.

  8. BlkDrgn

    @greg i also have a second monitor above my main, what it does is wrap normally to your own second screen, then it will wrap to the next machine in the list. and also, you can set the order and direction of the pc matrix.

  9. Greg Toland

    @BlkDrgn Thanks for the info – will definitely go and try now

  10. Michael

    Hey “Unforgiving”…. Shut the F**K up. Whiny little B**CH!

  11. Tomaso

    Two words: Logitec Anywhere.
    Cheers.

  12. PHil

    Unforgiving, you are a whiny moron, if you don’t like it don’t use it, most people would expect it not to work with non MS-OS

  13. Greg Toland

    Well done my testing and overall I like it. As a Input Director comparison I would say the following:

    +
    Is there as soon as the machine starts so I can use it to log in to my other machines

    Cut and Paste is good

    File drag is good but it would be better if you could drag to a folder rather than it always ending up in a desktop folder

    Not able to change the wrap order of PC’s/screens as flexibly as Input Director. For example I have a small laptop which I ‘wrap to’ by going upwards from my main central screen but deliberately cannot go upwards from the other two screens on my main PC

    You can put ‘mouse circles’ around the pointer as it transits which helps you spot it

    Tested on a main desktop PC (W7) with 3 screens and a laptop (W7) plus a shuttle box (XP)

    I think I’ll use it for a few days and see if I stick with it or go back to Input Director. Anybody know if there are development plans or integration in the future to W8?

  14. Rudy

    Does it work on WIN7 64bit?

  15. vignum

    software is like windshield wipers, they fit on most cars, but not on all

    after 20 years, I am so sick of the Microsoft haters constantly throwing out their opinion about Microsoft not making software work across different platforms…

    why aren’t the companies that make your superior software offering anything like this? Y? because it costs money to program and freebie software, as good as it is, is never ready in a timely fashion and doesn’t always work, you don’t get support and it’s targeted at select users…

    The world uses Microsoft, the same as the sky is blue, you can’t change it….but you can change when you voice your opinions…

    Microsoft gave the world the abiltity to make more money, I don’t care if everything they do is not perfect, I wouldn’t have a job or be able to pay my bills if everything they did was Gold…

    $5 says all the MS haters met their spouces/lovers in windows chat rooms…

  16. Andromeda Seven

    Unforgiving, with all do respect, you are an idiot…
    If you dont like a girl, why the hell you feel that you have to enter her blog and publicize how much you hate her, if you think you have a better girl ????????

  17. Khai

    does Mouse Without Borders support “open on other machine” as the newest builds of Input Director do?

  18. Skip

    This is a great app for my situation, I have a large screen LCD TV that I run YouTube and play music videos on while I am working on my laptop…No more scrambling for the mouse or keyboard (whichever one you can find at that moment to adjust the volume or switch videos ….Just slide the mouse another inch to the left and adjust and back to the right and I am back working…I can take the 30.00 wireless mouse/keyboard back to the store.

  19. yibrushn

    Can you guys do a writeup of how to use this when one pc is connected to VPN? I love this program and it seems like some have gotten this sort of setup to work

  20. Atlscrog

    I installed it on two Win7 64bit machines, both on home WiFi and it works great.

    I like it better than Synergy (I found Synergy to be too verbose for my wireless network).

    Works great!

  21. Hitman

    Simply brilliant!!
    2 laptops, 1 desktop, all running Windows 7…
    Goodbye KVM switch!!!

  22. Davidpcs

    Seems like a great idea, even if it is not cross platform “yet” it is the first step in a new function, like any software it will be improved upon, expanded and most likely imitated by other developers..

  23. whitey

    Works great the file transfer is a step up from Synergy, Win7 64bit to XP dumped Ubuntu back to XP just to try this,setting up Synergy on Ubuntu was a real pain this is good for us windows users.

  24. Harish

    Very nice tool keep it up……..

  25. jitendra

    to use mouse W/O border.is it require LAN among the computer???

  26. mungiv

    “why aren’t the companies that make your superior software offering anything like this? Y? because it costs money to program and freebie software, as good as it is, is never ready in a timely fashion and doesn’t always work, you don’t get support and it’s targeted at select users…” open source has had this for years… what companies? follow the rest of the sheep
    ps I met your wife in a #ineedabigoneforachange irc channel

  27. NE

    As someone who did not know that these programs existed and recently bought a KVM switch… can anyone explain how these programs work and how long they’ve been around?

    Thank you.

  28. konti

    Why must some people be rude when they comment? Everyone has a right to his/her opinion but let us keep this clean and friendly. The world would be more pleasant if people showed more respect.
    In my humble opinion, the remark “ps I met your wife in a #ineedabigoneforachange irc channel” was out of order.

  29. Judy

    really like this program, super easy install. My question is: on my second comp, in a game, its like the mouse movement is on steriods and have not found a fix for it. Any ideas? Want to keep using this if possible. Than you

  30. dcw329

    now see, this is what i like seeing on howtogeek! altho the comics and wallpapers are nice and all, this is the stuff i come here to look for! i would have had no idea this sort of program was available if not for you guys! a true “how to” guide on for being geeky. great find guys!

  31. Vic

    I installed it and I can’t get it to work. I would like to see some helpful info not all the junk some people put in this comments. I could really use some HELP!!

    Thanks

  32. Josh

    Synergy is wayyyyyyy better

  33. Chris Griffiths

    Works just as advertised, thanks Truong!

  34. Jack McGann

    The title speaks of Mouse + Kybd, but kybd isn’t discussed. Is it simply a matter of moving the mouse over and clicking to get kybd to input to other system?

  35. AJ

    Have used this for past few weeks, love it!
    Thanks

    @Vic, what problems are you having? maybe i can help?

  36. Ammar

    It’s work grate but I have one problem. I only have the ability to copy/cut from the main PC to the second and I cannot do the opposite. Is this normal or I missed to configure something?

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