Using two keyboards on one computer is as easy as a cakewalk if you don’t want a separate control on all your multiple peripherals. It’s a simple plug-n-play or a one-touch Bluetooth connect process (in the case of a wireless keyboard/mouse).
But yeah, this way you’ll get the same command registry (for all keyboards) or a single cursor (for all the multiple mice).
But when it comes to how to use two (or multiple) keyboards on one computer both work independently of each other. It then demands you a bit of extra struggle i.e. going for some third-party assistance, etc.
Well, let’s get down to and explore every single thing regarding using multiple peripherals on one system.
Two Keyboards On One Computer – When and Why?
I know you know the answer to this. You know why and when would you need to use more than one keyboard or mouse.
Perhaps, when you are an office employee with some outstanding tasks where you and your colleagues want to collaborate on the same project, maybe on the same screen too. So, you people need more than one input source to work on.
Or, perhaps when you are an entry-level gamer wanting some next buddy beside you. So that you could learn and play, both at the same time.
Or, probably if you’re a gaming enthusiast wanting a second keyboard. So that you could have two keyboards for two different functions i.e. one for your routine works whereas the second (the whiz one) for your gaming hours.
Or whatsoever else. There are, no doubt, situations when you do need a secondary peripheral in favor.
How to Use Two Keyboards On One Computer? Let’s Explore
Depending on your kind of needs, here are a few widely practiced ways to connect multiple keyboards and mice to one computer.
#1. Plug it in via I/O Ports or Connect via Bluetooth
This one is the simplest of all the methods you can try to have more than one peripherals on your system. It’s just a plug-and-play game.
You only need to look for those I/O ports on your computer/laptop. Then simply plug in your secondary keyboard or mice’s cord in the USB slot therein. Once done, you would just need to wait for a few seconds so that your computer can add, optimize, or install the necessary drivers. To detect signals from and register commands from the secondary devices and run them.
Well, that’s definitely for the wired dongles. But if you have a wireless secondary keyboard or mouse, then the simplest way out for you is “Bluetooth”.
Yes, just simply turn the Bluetooth “On” on both i.e. your secondary peripheral and your laptop. If on Windows 10, go to your system’s Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices. And then, click on “Add Bluetooth or another device”. Your computer will search for and show up all the available Bluetooth connections roaming.
Therein from the list, click on and instantly connect to your wireless keyboard/mouse. So, you’ve now got more than one input peripheral on your system.
The plus you get with this method is the promptness while setting up a new (secondary) device. In the case of wired connectivity, the one-step plug-in into the extensive slot whereas in the case of wireless, the one-touch Bluetooth link does the job for you.
The flaws with this method include.
- You can only connect to just one or a maximum of two new wired devices.
- Wireless connectivity issues (connection drops) – in case of multiple Bluetooth connections.
- The inability to have a dual (independent) control on all your primary and secondary peripherals i.e. one cursor despite multiple mice or one command registry despite multiple keyboards.
#2. Using A USB Splitter or A Unifying Receiver
To battle the first two lacks of the previous method, here comes this one for you.
Say, your laptop is poor in I/O ports’ selection and you can’t connect more than one or perhaps two external (wired) devices. The solution is simple i.e. simply go and buy a USB splitter. Now you have plenty of apertures to plug your secondary peripherals in.
In case of wireless connectivity issues, go for a wireless receiver. These dongles offer a focus point to all your wireless devices (keyboards/mice) for their Bluetooth connectivity. And are less susceptible to the issues you usually encounter with Bluetooth.
Logitech’s Unifying Receiver
If you are a Logitech junkie having a Logitech computer setup, you are decidedly ahead of the game. Almost all the latest Logitech peripherals (keyboards and mice) come packed with a unifying receiver from the manufacturer.
You can easily use the mini gadget to connect to up to six wireless devices at a time. What you need to make sure of is that all 6 devices must be Logitech devices. And, that you already have the “Logitech Unifying Software” installed on your computer.
Both things confirmed, just plug the dongle into any of your system’s USB slots and open up the software. You can easily add/remove all of your secondary devices then. Just follow all the prompts and you’re good to go.
In case, if a device is already paired, simply open the app and go to the “Advanced” option and therein click on “Pair a new device”. Tail the prompts, on/off, and your device will straight away connect with the (existing) receiver.
The Flaw Here
Here again, you will have no distinct control over all the secondary devices. Both the primary and secondary peripherals (be it one or all the six) will have the same i.e. one and ward control.
#3. Using Third-Party Apps/Plug-Ins
None of the previous methods authorizes you to have autonomous control over each of your input device’s functionality. So, here comes the solution to all that.
If you want two or multiple cursors on the same screen or an independent command registry for each of your secondary keyboard strokes, you would need to install and use a third-party app. Well, while there are many, the few widely-known and widely-used ones include, “TeamPlayer”, “MouseMux”, and “EitherMouse”, etc.
These apps allow you to switch between multiple “user profiles” each one being assigned a specific set of secondary peripherals. You only need to connect your external device and give your computer a slight (initial) signal from that device. A minor cursor movement or a single key-stroke, I mean.
The first signal is received and your device(s) is immediately assigned to a user profile. Every activity would be easily noticeable to you due to the color and configuration (silhouette) changes to the profile or device(s)’s icons.
Some of the apps are available free whereas some are paid and that’s why you can have a variety of options everywhere depending on your user plan.
So, I’d suggest you do a brief research on each one of these apps before going for one. About their offerings, options, and everything else. This will pretty ease up your final decision.
Still, confused about how to use two keyboards on one computer? Although I deem all those methods enough, here are a few other way outs you can consider.
- You can install and use remote access & control software to connect to and control a remote computer from far away. “TeamViewer” is one such app for you. Just install it on both i.e. your computer and that second (remote) computer. Connect them both. And you now have two cursors on the same screen.
Well, it’s not a perfect dual-cursor (autonomous control) setup, thus not recommendable. It only allows you to control a machine from far away and any movement you make via your remote machine will disturb the host’s cursor, etc. So, again, it’s just a remote control setup for reviewing docs, etc. on a second computer while using one.
- You can also go for virtualization when needing to collaborate with someone else on some tasks. Go for some virtual machine software i.e. “VirtualBox” – the most admired one. Add your secondary devices to the virtual machine and you’re all set then.
Must do a bit of research on how to use a virtual machine to use multiple devices on a computer.
- Or, you can search for and use lots of other collaboration tools available to make multiple users work on a single screen.
With a claim, and hope (actually), that nothing has been left undiscussed regarding “how to use two keyboards on one computer”, here’s to conclude all this.
I’ve discussed in the article all the different methods you can try to connect multiple peripherals, all at once, to a single computer.
From the simplest methods where all the secondary devices, although cannot operate independently, can be connected for a multi-user collaboration. To another, subsidiary (a bit complex) methods, where you can have independent control on each of your connected peripheral, everything’s been put clear above.
Go and check out each minute thing about how to have multiple input devices on one computer, all the possible methods, and all the pros and cons coming with each method. There’s a detailed guide for you.