Use an external mouse with your iPad

More information about using an external mouse with your iPad via iPadOS.

Image: Apple

With iPadOS you can now set up and use an external mouse with your iPad. You can use a wired mouse that connects to the Lightning or USB-C port on your tablet, or a wireless mouse that connects via Bluetooth. Once you have established the connection, you can use your mouse in the same way as on a PC. Depending on the type of work you need to do, an external mouse can be more effective and easier than using your fingers to maneuver around your iPad.

SEE: Apple iPadOS: a cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

First make sure you use iPadOS 13.1 or higher on your iPad. You then need the right type of adapter for your mouse based on your iPad model. An iPad Pro uses a USB-C port, so you would need a USB-A to USB-C adapter. With every other iPad you need a USB-A to Lightning adapter. You use the adapter to connect a wired mouse directly or to connect the Bluetooth dongle for a wireless mouse.

Connect your mouse with your iPad via the adapter. If it is a Bluetooth mouse, make sure it is turned on. Navigate to Settings and select Accessibility. Tap Touch and then AssistiveTouch. In the next screen, switch on the switch for AssistiveTouch; a large circular mouse cursor appears on the screen. Move your mouse to see if the cursor responds to its movements (Figure A).

Figure A

If a mouse that uses Bluetooth does not respond, swipe down to the Pointer Devices section and tap the Devices item. See if the mouse appears under Connected devices. If not, tap the entry for Bluetooth devices (Figure B). Let Bluetooth search to find and find your mouse.

Figure B

You can now move your mouse and the cursor will follow. Click the left mouse button to select an item. Right click and a menu with different commands appears. From the menu you can go to your home screen, activate Siri, open the Control Center and view your notifications. Click the Custom icon to create your own custom commands (Figure C).

Figure C

Click on the Device icon and you can access more commands such as volume control, screen rotation and Lock screen (Figure D). Left click anywhere outside the menu to close it.

Figure D

You can adjust your mouse button actions. In Settings go to Accessibility, Touch and then AssistiveTouch. Swipe the screen down to the Pointer Devices section and tap Devices, and then tap the item for your mouse. Here you can adjust the settings for button 1 (left button), button 2 (middle button or scroll wheel) and button 3 (right button) (Figure E).

Figure E

Tap a specific button and you can choose from different commands (Figure F).

Figure F

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