One keyboard and Mice two units.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Theone0581, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Theone0581 macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2010
    I have a keyboard and a mouse that I would like to use on my PC and my mac. I thought that this might be as easy as buying a female to two male usb cords for each hardware component, but from what I've been researching that's not the case.

    How I have my desk set up is that I have my computer one HDMI channel and the mac on the other, so I won't be using my mac and the PC and the same time. Does this make and difference?
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    You are looking for a KVM (keyboard video and mouse) switch, but won't use the video part. There are some dedicated KM switches, but I have yet to find one that has great reviews all around.

    I went a different way recently, using a Ligitech wireless keyboard that is Bluetooth based, and can itself switch between several computers. I find it better than all my previous KVM experience though I still have separate mice for each of the three systems on my desk.

  3. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Give this a try.

    My brother in law uses it to operate two computers with one keyboard/mouse set. No hardware needed and FREE!
  4. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    If you don't plan on using them both at the same time, as the first reply mentioned, a KVM switch will do what you want. You can usually switch "output" computers by using a physical switch on the KVM or a special key combination (like tapping Scroll Lock twice).

    As the second poster mentioned, Synergy will work, but you'll need to leave one of the computers (the Synergy "server") on whenever you want to use the other computer (Synergy client). I used this about 8 or 9 years ago and it was pretty neat to use my PC and Mac at the same time with separate displays but the same keyboard and mouse as if they were one computer, but it's not quite the same as a KVM. Of course, Synergy also requires the computers to be able to talk to each other over your network, but that's probably a reasonable assumption these days.

    Basically, I'd choose your options depending on what the situation is with your display. The KVM might be better if you only have one display (unless you configure Synergy to make it very hard to accidentally move over to the other computer--otherwise when using the PC, for example, you might accidentally and confusingly move the cursor over to the Mac screen you can't see). In the unlikely even the KVM supports HDMI, you could even get by with putting both computers into the same HDMI port on your monitor, but I don't you'll find that. Most KVMs will still work with just the K and M parts.
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I use Synergy a lot - but I have two monitors and am often switching back and forth between them - its probably not the tool you are after.

    I also have one of these:

    ...its not perfect (the switch feels a bit cheesy) and I've had a few problems with the mouse not responding after I've switched back and forth (maybe something to do with Mavericks, or the logitech mouse plugged into the keyboard) but if you're not planning on 'hot switching' between the two computers, it should be OK for what you want.
  6. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    You can also utilize the VNC server built-in to OSX and use a VNC client on Windows.

    My preferred method is to use TeamViewer, as an alternative to VNC....since TeamViewer works over the Internet as well as every device I own (including Windows RT).

    What is nice about using VNC or TeamViewer is that you can enable copy/paste (text) between host and client. So if your surfing on one computer, you can copy the information over to the other.
  7. BaddestArvai macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2014
    Wisconsin USA
    For my PC and Mac I keep two usb extension cables that are hooked up to each computer right under my monitor. To that I keep a USB hub with the keyboard and mouse hooked up to either one of the USB extensions. This way I can also hook up USB thumb drives and switch them to different computers as well.

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