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Universal Control

Using one keyboard and mouse to control two computers

With Apple Universal Control, it is now possible to control two computers from a single keyboard and mouse, thus making computer control easier.

Using this feature is similar to using multiple monitors at the same time. To get to the other computer, simply move the mouse to the edge of the screen, and your mouse will appear on the other computer.

In a way, it's like magic. It's incredibly useful and very cool.

macOS Monterrey Display
macOS Monterey Display System Preference panel showing the Universal Control access

How it helps me

This is an awesome way to switch between a personal computer and a work computer. My work has strict restrictions on what software I am allowed to install on the company-provided laptop. However, with Universal Control, I am able to switch between computers quickly and use the applications that I wish.

The VPN allows me to view websites outside my firewall on my work computer while I can view them on my personal computer. This allows me to view sites from different locations and from different users.

I have a work computer that is one macOS version behind my personal computer, despite the fact that my personal computer always has the latest macOS version.

It allows me to have the most up-to-date version of Snagit on my personal computer, as well as to copy screenshots over to my work computer so that I can show issues that I have discovered over there.

Full details are available on Apple Support page.

Five things I Learned

It is still necessary for you to have a keyboard for both computers in order to log in to them.

This is a very useful feature when you have a cat who likes to walk around the desk and sit anywhere on the desk at will without being asked. The Universal Control saves space on the desktop. (You can hide the other keyboard and mouse.)

When it comes to keyboard shortcuts in applications like Keyboard Maestro, it is important to know that wherever the mouse is, the keyboard controls that application as well.

There are many things you can accomplish when using two computers with just one keyboard and mouse. You will be able to get more things done without having to switch between keyboards and mice.

When I switch between computers, it's sometimes difficult to make the switch between them. I have to bounce the mouse several times to let the computer know that I want to move to the other computer.



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A Mac veteran since 1989, I'm here to share my experience with tips and tricks every Friday. Witnessing the evolution of Mac software and hardware firsthand, I've gained a deep understanding of how these machines work and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may come up.


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