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Mouse Without Borders (#mousewithoutborders)

Mouse w/o Borders makes you the captain of your computer fleet by allowing you to control up to 4 computers from a single mouse and keyboard. This means that with Mouse w/o Borders you can drag and drop or copy and paste text, screen capture and file across computers.

Mouse Without Borders is available from Microsoft Download with millions of downloads as seen on Google, Twitter, Seattle Times, CNet, TechNet, Channel 9, TechCrunch, Engadget, PCMag, YouTube

Would you want to have an incredible mouse that can seamlessly move from one machine to another?
Would you want to get risk of the KVM and be more productive working with multiple machines?

If you are new to the idea of using a single set of mouse and keyboard to work with multiple machines or if you are having more or less troubles while using other software/hardware KVM then you really wanted to give Mouse Without Borders a try. The first impression of a new user is “It is incredible! It is impossible!”

Mouse Without Borders runs on all versions of Windows (XP/2K3/VISTA/2K8/WIN7/WIN8/WIN10/2016, X86 or AMD64)

Setup

  1. After install Mouse without Borders, you will see a Setup dialog. You can also bring up this dialog anytime by clicking on the Mouse without Borders system tray icon on the taskbar.
  2. In the first machine, click NO on the first dialog. It will brings you to the second dialog where you see the security code and machine name. Keep the dialog open and go to the second machine.
  3. In the second machine, click YES to the first dialog then enter the information that you got from the first machine.
  4. Click LINK to link the two machines, after the machines get connected you can simply move the mouse cursor from one machine to the other, keyboard input follows your mouse cursor to the other machine as well.
  5. After setting up your machines, you can bring up the Settings form by clicking on Mouse without Borders system tray icon or using the hot key Ctrl+Alt+M. Here you can drag/drop machine thumbnails to setup machine position and change other options

Main features

  • Control multiple computers seamlessly using a single mouse and keyboard
  • Peer-to-peer system: Any machine can be a master machine
  • Multiple mode: Keyboard/mouse repeat in all machines
  • Shared clipboard: copy text/image/screenshot from one machine and paste to other machines
  • Drag/drop file across machines
  • Selective screen capture (Ctrl+Shift+S)
  • Support on logon/UAC desktop
  • Personalize Logon Screen - a plus feature for Windows 7 and newer version of Windows
  • Customize keyboard layout

Beta version

You can download the beta version at http://www.aka.ms/mmbeta, it has a good number of fixes and improvements:

(If you install this version, it must be installed in all machines)

  • Fix a race condition causing a deadlock in the app.
  • Fix a bug where keyboard may not work in the remote machine when there is a full-screen Remote Desktop running in the host machine.
  • More stable clipboard sharing.
  • Fix mouse-jump issue in machines with custom DPI (monitor scale and layout is greater than 100%).
  • Fix a bug where clipboard may not work with machine with very long name.
  • Support IPv6.
  • Few other minor bug fixes and improvements.

Known issues/limitation

  • Copy/Paste between machines only works with a single file and the size limit is 100MB.
  • Drag/Drop between machines works with single file only and it does not work with network file.
  • Copy/Paste, Drag/Drop do not work with folder and multiple files, the workaround is to zip them first.
  • If the host machine has a full-screen focused Remote Desktop/virtual machine window (or some kind of simulator window), the keyboard might not follow the mouse to the slaver machine. The workaround is to switch the focus to another window first.
  • In Windows 8 & up, the mouse pointer might be invisible if there is no physical mouse attached to the machine. Plug in an unused mouse or turn on Mouse Keys in Control Panel.
  • Clipboard sharing may not work or works only one direction if the machine name has more than 16 characters.

Tips and tricks

Lock/Unlock all machines at once

Hit Ctrl+Alt+L twice to lock all machines. To unlock all machines, first switch to multiple mode (default hotkey is hitting Ctrl 3 times fast) then keyboard will repeat in all machines.

Ctrl+Alt+Del in the remote machine

This is supported in Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows. Please follow these steps in every machine, this needs to be done once per machine: 

1. Enable SAS to allow the Services:
a. Run gpedit.msc (Edit group policy)
b. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Logon Options > Disable or enable software Secure Attention Sequence, select Services in the Dropdown box.

From now on you can use Ctrl+Alt+End is to simulate the CAD in the slave machine.

Full-screen app/game: losing focus when switching machine

If you experience this issue. unchecking the option "Hide mouse at screen edge" would help.

Keyboard does not work in the remote machine when using full-screen Remote Desktop client in the controller machine

Some full-screen apps would eat all key strokes so the option "Hide mouse at screen edge" mentioned above should be checked to work around this scenario.

Mouse Lag

If you use the app with a wireless connection in a busy network, you may experience mouse lag. A wired connection is recommended.

Mouse move speed in remote machine is different between vertical and horizontal directions

This may caused by having multiple monitors in the remote machine. Checking the option "Move mouse relatively" would help.

Mouse button swap is not preserved in the remote machine

In case you change the primary mouse button in Windows Settings, mouse data sent over the network is already reverted. So you should not change the primary button in the remote machine. In case the Settings are sync'd, you may want to turn the "Syncs your settings" off in Windows Settings.

Disable/Enable startup with Windows

To disable the app from automatic startup when Windows starts, run this in the command line window: sc config MouseWithoutBordersSvc start=demand

(You can also do that in the Windows Service Manager (services.msc))

To enable the app to startup automatically: sc config MouseWithoutBordersSvc start=auto

Add a hotkey to start/stop the app (enable/disable app)

Windows does support this for any app, you just need to create a desktop shortcut to the app ("C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBorders.exe") then you can configure a hotkey for the shortcut :

  • In the shortcut Properties' dialog, go to the Shortcut tab
  • Set focus on the Shortcut key value.
  • Type any key to set a desired hotkey, for ex.: type M to set the hotkey to Ctrl+Alt+M
  • Click OK or Apply.

The default hotkey to exit the app is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Q and you can change that in the app's Settings.

You can now use Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Q to exit/disable the app and Ctrl+Alt+M to start/enable the app.

Firewall Settings for Mouse Without Borders

Mouse without Borders setup automatically adds itself to the Windows Firewall allowed program list. But few users found these steps helpful in some cases to allow and customize the tool through Windows Firewall:

1. Click on the Start button then click on Control Panel.
2. Click on Administrative Tools.
3. Click on Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
4. Select Inbound Rules on the right tree.
5. Click on the New Rule... in the Actions list on the left.
6. Select Program option and click next.
7. Browse to select Mouse without Borders application (%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBorders.exe) and click Next.(In X64 machine the path should be %ProgramFiles(X86)%\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBorders.exe)
8. Select Allow the connection and click Next.
9. Select all options for “When does this rule apply?” and click Next.
10. Enter the name for the rule and click Finish.
11. The rule should now show up in the list, you can double click on it to view details and make change.
12. Restart Mouse without Borders.

(If you have multiple network interfaces, wired and wireless, you can also customize to allow the application on the type of interface in step 11 above – In Advanced tab, click on Customize. Mostly you would always want to allow the application through the Local area network).

Skip .Net check when installing the app (or manually install the app)

The installer checks your system to make sure you have a required .Net version 4 before installing. Few users have reported that the installation is blocked even the .Net version is already installed. Some registry key is probably corrupted in this case, to work around this you can run the installer without UI option: msiexec /i MouseWithoutBordersSetup.msi /qn

You can also manually install the app using these steps:

  • Create a folder C:\MM
  •  Download the file MouseWithoutBordersSetup.msi to that folder.
  •  In an elevated cmd windows (run as Admin), run the following commands:
    •  msiexec /a "C:\MM\MouseWithoutBordersSetup.msi" /qb TARGETDIR="C:\MM\Bin" /l*v "C:\MM\Install.Log"
    •  sc create MouseWithoutBordersSvc binPath= "C:\MM\Bin\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBordersSvc.exe" start= auto DisplayName= "Mouse Without Borders Service"
  •  Manually add the program (C:\MM\Bin\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBorders.exe) to the firewall exception list (allow it through firewall).
  •  You can now create a desktop shortcut to "C:\MM\Bin\Microsoft Garage\Mouse without Borders\MouseWithoutBorders.exe"

Personalize logon screen using local pictures

1. Create one folder named MouseWithoutBorders under \Windows\Web\ directory.
2. Drop your photos there (jpg only).
3. In a cmd windows, run del "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp\Low\MM.Local.Indexer.txt" then restart Mouse without Borders.

Customize your keyboard layout

You may want to play around with your keyboard layout by mapping a virtual key to another one, you can come up with a new layout you would invent:) This feature is for advanced users only.

For example, if you want to convert your QWERTY keyboard to a DVORAK keyboard then these are steps:

  •  Run the following commands as Admin to set the virtual key mappings (you can also use Regedit to do this):
    •  reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MouseWithoutBorders /v VKFrom /t REG_SZ /d "081,087,069,082,084,089,085,073,079,080,0219,0221,083,068,070,071,072,074,075,076,186,222,090,088,067,086,066,078,188,190,191,189,187" /f
    •  reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MouseWithoutBorders /v VKTo /t REG_SZ /d "222,188,190,080,089,070,071,067,082,076,191,187,079,069,085,073,068,072,084,078,083,189,186,081,074,075,088,066,087,086,090,219,221" /f
  •  In the Settings form, check the option Use Key Mappings then you are good to go (default hotkey to toggle this option is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+K).

This is just an example. FYI, Windows does support Dvorak layout, the difference here is that this app skips the mapping when Ctrl key is down so Ctrl+[X,C,V] work as original layout.

Discussions/Posts in other languages

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Mouse Without Borders, kendalikan banyak komputer dengan satu mouse

Điều khiển nhiều máy tính với 1 chuột 1 bàn phím

Users love Mouse Without Borders

If you like the app, please share! These are most loved comments among thousands on twitter from real users:



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Very nice application, but it might need some optimizations.

As it is now, unfortunately I can't use it. I have a 1000Hz gaming mouse, and that high update rate seems to cause a lot of lag after I move the cursor to the remote computer, a Surface Pro 3.


Once it works, the app should not depend on mouse/keyboard hardware. Are your machines on wireless? A wired connection works better for this app.

Well, it actually seems to depend somewhat on the mouse hardware, because lowering the update speed on the mouse to 125Hz made the problem go away. Obviously I don't want to use the mouse at 125Hz when it supports 1000Hz, especially when gaming.

But you are right, the Surface Pro is on a wireless connection, and unfortunately it seems Wi-Fi routers, no matter how expensive, still need periodic reboots to perform properly. That one reason I have my laptop connected to the router (an Asus RT-AC66U) with a long cable.

When I did my initial tests the speeds were still over 20mbit over wireless, so I assumed it wasn't time yet for the periodic router reboot. But rebooting the router completely fixed the problem, now the mouse works properly even at 1000Hz.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.


Please explain what "Easy Mouse Mode" is, I don't see an explanation in the documentation.
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You can hover over the options to see what they do. Easy Mouse means you can just move your mouse cursor to the other computers freely.

If you disable it, you will have to press the Control key when you want to move the mouse cursor to other computers.


I want to ask a question about Mouse w/o Borders..

Firstly, I have 1 computer with 2 mouses and 1 keyboard and another computer without any mouse and keyboard.

How can i switch only 1 mouse and 1 keyboard? In other words how can i make 1 extra mouse to stay directing the primary computer when i switched to the other computer?

If "Mouse w/o Borders is not capable of doing this do you know any solution in application level? Otherwise, i have to buy physical switches i guess.

Where is windows phone companion app?

Sorry, it has been gone for long. We no longer support Windows Phone.

This is unsupported and we have no plan to support this narrow scenario, we are sorry about that!

Is there a way to disable File Transfers? I don't see this option in settings or in the registry.

Thanks.


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Discussion Info

Views: 41846 Last updated: December 13, 2017 Applies to: