iPad Pro shown with a Bluetooth mouse
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

Apple finally added cursor support to the iPads running iPadOS 13.4 (and higher). Once the update is installed, connecting a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad like any other accessory gets you a dynamic cursor with gesture support on your iPad. Here’s how to get started.

Apple has implemented cursor support for the iPad in its own unique way. The iPad is still a touch-first operating system, but that doesn’t mean that the cursor is simply emulating your fingers.

The cursor in iPadOS shows up as a circle and automatically disappears when you’re not using the feature. It also adapts to what you’re doing. For example, when you hover over a button, it actually highlights the button. Apple TV users will be familiar with this interaction.

iPad Pro showing context menu and cursor pointer in Safari
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

If you’ve been waiting to play with the new cursor, here’s what you can do.

Note: As mentioned, mouse and trackpad support is available starting in iPadOS 13.4. Make sure that your iPad is updated to the latest version to ensure that the feature works on your tablet. You may have to wait a couple of days for Apple to push out the update if it’s not available on your iPad just yet.

iPadOS supports Bluetooth-based mice and trackpads, including Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. If you connect the Magic Trackpad, you’ll also have access to the new trackpad gestures. If you don’t have an Apple-made accessory, third-party options like those from Logitech also work.

Cursor support for iPad works on devices that support iPadOS 13 or newer: iPad mini (4th and 5th generation), iPad (5th, 6th, and 7th generation), iPad Air 2, iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad Pro 9.7 inch, iPad Pro 10.5 inch, iPad Pro 11 inch (1st and 2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9 inch (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation), and newer devices.

When you’re ready to connect a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad to your iPad, first make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is not currently connected to a Mac or a Windows PC. If you’re using a Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth, find your device, and then select the “Remove” option from the right-click menu.

Remove Bluetooth device from Mac

Windows 10 users can access the Bluetooth menu from the Start menu or by clicking the icon in the toolbar. Once in the menu, click on the mouse or trackpad and then select the “Remove Device” button.

You’re now ready to pair your mouse or trackpad to your iPad. Open the “Settings” app on your tablet, then go to the “Bluetooth” section.

Here, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled by tapping on the toggle next to the “Bluetooth” listing.

Tap on toggle next to Bluetooth

Now, put your mouse in pairing mode. If you’re using a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad, you simply need to turn them on to enable pairing mode.

Once the Bluetooth device is recognized by your iPad, you’ll see it appear in the “Other Devices” section. Tap on the name of your Bluetooth mouse or trackpad to select the device.

Select the mouse from the Other Devices list

If you get a pairing request, tap on the “Pair” button.

Now, your mouse is connected to your iPad. You’ll see a circular pointer on the screen.

Cursor shown on iPad screen

If you want to disconnect your mouse temporarily or permanently, you can do so by going to the Bluetooth section in Settings and then tapping on the “i” button next to the device’s name.

Tap on info button next to the device

To disconnect the mouse or trackpad temporarily, choose the “Disconnect” option. To remove the device from iPad’s Bluetooth connections, tap on the “Forget This Device” option.

Tap on Disconnect or Forget this device

You can also do this from the Control Center. Tap and hold on the Bluetooth toggle to expand the devices list. From there, tap on the device to disconnect.

Tap on the device from Control Center to disconnect

Once your mouse or trackpad is connected, you can customize how it looks and works from Settings > General > Trackpad & Mouse.

Mouse customization in iPadOS

From here, you can change the tracking speed, disable natural scrolling, and customize the secondary click.

The new cursor support is only available on iPads running iPadOS 13.4 or higher. If you want to connect a mouse to your iPhone or an older iPad, take a look at our guide on using the accessibility pointer feature.

RELATED: How to Use a Mouse With Your iPad or iPhone

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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