With this guide, you’ll learn how to use the same keyboard and mouse on multiple computers, without having to switch cables, using free applications such as the Input Director.
With the computer that will keep the keyboard and mouse connected, go to the official page of the Input Director (inputdirector.com) and download the latest version available: it is free for home users and only works with Windows computers. After downloaded, you must extract and install the application.
Once you open the app, you will encounter an interface similar to the Windows configuration settings window. On the main tab, click ‘Enable as Master’, so that this PC is set as the primary computer, where the keyboard and mouse are always on. Then create a shortcut through a key combination that will allow you to return control of the peripherals to this computer.
3-Install to other computers
After the main PC is configured, go to the other computers (they must be connected to the same network), install the Input Director and open the application. In the main screen, like the one you did on the PC, in the previous step, you should assume the role of this one by clicking on the ‘Enable as Slave’ option, available on the main tab of it. Make a note of the name of the PC, identified in the application through the system information, in the Hostname option, a name that will allow you to identify on the main PC whenever you want to access it with your keyboard and mouse.
4-Configure Secondary Computers
In addition to configuring a PC as a Slave, you must access the ‘Slave Configuration’ tab, which will allow you to identify which computer will play the role of Master. You can choose any PC to take on that role, computers that are within your home network or choose only one PC in question. To do so, you should choose the option ‘Allow only the computers listed below to take control’, clicking ‘Add’ and entering Hostname of the main PC.
5-Add secondary PCs
Return to the main computer again and access the Master Configuration tab. Here you will find the computers that can be accessed from this PC. You need to add the secondary computers you want to use, then click on the ‘Add’ button, then enter the name of the PC you want, using Hostname. Finally, set the shortcut key combination to use your keyboard and mouse on another PC.
Once properly configured, it is time to test the system. To do this, use the shortcut previously created (in this case ‘CTRL + Shift + L’) and confirm on the screen of the secondary computer that both the keyboard and the mouse started working there. The easiest way to confirm this is to check the warning effect around the mouse pointer on that computer’s screen.
To return to the main PC, simply use the shortcut created on this computer, or simply drag the mouse to the side, returning to the main PC.
After mastering the main functions, it is time to delve into everything this application allows you to do. From the main computer, go to the ‘Master Configuration’ tab and drag the representative icons of the connected computers. This will make the dragging of the mouse pointer easier to switch to the computer you want to use at the moment, as we told you earlier.
By default, this tool starts automatically every time you turn on the computers, but will not activate the configured positions, ie you must always manually activate the Master and Slave function on each device.
To avoid this setting, you can access the ‘Global Preferences’ tab on each computer and enable the auto-start function for Master or Slave, depending on the computer you want to perform a particular function. We also recommend enabling the sharing of the Clipboard, so that a selected image or text on one computer can be shared in the rest, through the functions of ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’.
If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!