How to Control Two Windows PCs with One Keyboard and Mouse

Are you tired of juggling between two Windows computers and constantly switching keyboards and mice? Managing files, using the same app with different accounts, or simply multitasking can be quite a hassle. Fortunately, there's a little-known Microsoft app that allows you to control two or even more PCs with just one keyboard and mouse. In this article, we'll show you how to use this app and streamline your workflow.

Controlling Two PCs With One Keyboard and Mouse

Before we dive deep into the process, let's go over a few things you need to know:

  • Both PCs should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The app uses Wi-Fi to connect the PCs wirelessly.
  • You need to have Windows 10 or above for the PowerToys app to work.
  • This method works with both wired and wireless peripherals.
  • It's a two-way connection, so you can control one PC with a mouse connected to the other PC.
  • You can even use a laptop's keyboard or touchpad to control another PC.

With that in mind, let's get started by installing the PowerToys application on both PCs.

  1. Install the PowerToys app from the Microsoft Store on both PCs.
    Installing Power Toys on Windows

  2. Open the PowerToys app and select “Mouse Without Borders” in the left sidebar.
    Mouse without Borders on Power Toys

  3. Enable the toggle next to “Enable Mouse Without Borders” on both computers.
    Enabling Mouse Without Borders on Power Toys

  4. On the first computer, scroll down to the Encryption key section and click on the “New key” button to generate a key.
    Generating a security key on Mouse Without Borders

  5. Copy the key and share it with the second PC using any chat application. Also, share the device name mentioned below. You can use WhatsApp Web to send messages to yourself.
    Device name on Mouse Without Borders

  6. On your second PC, click on the drop-down next to the Security key option. Enter the security key and the device name from the first PC. Then click on the “Connect” button. You can connect up to four PCs together.
    Entering Security key and device name on Mouse Without Borders

  7. Make sure both PCs are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Under the “Device Layout” option, you can change the position of the Windows PCs. This can be done on either of the computers.
    Device Layout on Mouse Without Borders

That's it! Now you can seamlessly move your mouse cursor towards the edge of the screen and continue moving to see it on the second screen. You can use a keyboard connected to any of the PCs to type. With this setup, you can effectively use just one mouse and keyboard even when working with two PCs.

Please note that the keyboard will be active on the screen where the mouse cursor is visible. Move the mouse cursor from one screen to another to use the keyboard there.

Features of Mouse Without Borders on PowerToys

Mouse Without Borders on PowerToys offers several customization options to enhance your experience:

  • The “Devices in a single row” option allows you to set the PCs either in a single row or in a 2×2 matrix layout.
    Devices in a single row Mouse Without Borders

  • Enabling the “Wrap mouse” option lets you move the cursor to the first PC by going past the last PC and vice versa.
    Wrap mouse on Mouse Without Borders

  • Enabling the “Share clipboard” feature allows you to copy text on one PC and paste it on another.

  • Enabling the “Transfer file” feature allows you to copy files from one PC and paste them on another. Please note that the file size is limited to 100MB. For larger file transfers, consider alternative methods.

  • The “Block screen saver” option prevents the screen saver from starting on either of the connected PCs, even when you're not using that device.
    Behavior settings on Mouse Without Borders

Additionally, you can enable shortcuts for reconnecting, locking all PCs at once, or quickly switching between devices.

Alternatives to PowerToys

While the Mouse Without Borders extension on PowerToys offers a seamless experience without ads and for free, it has some limitations. It only works on Windows 10 and above, and the app size is around 230MB. If you're running an older version of Windows or prefer a smaller app, you can try the old Mouse Without Borders app.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Page and download the Mouse Without Borders app, which is just 1.3MB in size.
    Downloading Mouse without Borders app on Windows

  2. Double-click the downloaded file to open the installer. Follow the installation process and open the app. You should see the same options as the PowerToys extension.
    Mouse Without Borders app on Windows

  3. Generate the security key and connect other PCs using that key. You can configure settings from the “Other Options” tab.
    Other Options on Mouse Without Borders

With either version of Mouse Without Borders, you can effectively use two or multiple PCs with just one keyboard and mouse. However, keep in mind that you may lose track of your cursor as it can be on either of the computers. To help you find your mouse pointer, PowerToys also offers another tool.

With this setup, you can streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and eliminate the need for multiple keyboards and mice. Give it a try and experience the convenience firsthand!