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microsoft software tips

use a single mouse and keyboard to control all your computers

Photo by SJ . on Unsplash

Working from home created a unique set of problems. For example, sharing your mouse and keyboard between your private laptop and your work laptop. Having two keyboards and mice around isn’t an option. It would clutter the desk massively, and I hate clutter.
I don’t like messing with cables either, so my setup is wireless. But having to reconfigure Bluetooth settings every time I want to switch between laptops is equally annoying. I just want to use the keyboard and mouse I always use at home, on both computers, without any special hardware. Some keyboards and mice have buttons to switch between multiple devices, but frankly, even that is quite annoying if you end up having to do that too often.
I just want to use the same keyboard and mouse I always use at home, on both computers, without any special hardware.

I came across a few software solutions to do this, some free and some not, and found this great side project from a Microsoft hackathon called Mouse without Borders. It’s awesome.

All you need to do is install the client software on all your computers (it handles up to 4) configure them as described in the setup guide, and you are set. You can from then on move your mouse from one machine’s screen to the other, as if they were the same computer. You can also copy-paste across machines, or even transfer files if you want.
There are plenty of small tweaks in the options panel to tweak it to work the way you want it to.

I used it with 3 laptops at some point, and it worked great. If you can see all the screens, this is a lot handier than using remote desktop software like TeamViewer or the Windows RDP client. It even handles (re)connecting through VPN’s and works on the login screen (if you hibernated the OS).
Give it a try. It could make your working-from-home life a lot smoother.

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