Microsoft’s Mouse with out Borders app is an unsung productiveness software whose capacity to let a mouse and keyboard hop from one Home windows system to the subsequent is value testing. It unlocks a versatility just like that of Logitech’s Flow, however for much, far cheaper—as a result of it’s free to make use of with any Home windows system.
Mouse with out Borders initially launched in 2011, lengthy earlier than Logitech debuted Movement. The app resurfaced Wednesday as a part of Microsoft’s inaugural Microsoft Garage Wall of Fame, a celebration of smaller apps developed inside Microsoft. You need to attempt it out.
Like Movement, Microsoft’s Mouse with out Borders means that you can use the identical mouse and keyboard (sure, keyboards too) throughout a number of PCs. As soon as you progress the mouse cursor to the sting of 1 display screen, it hops over to the subsequent related laptop—precisely as if it have been a passive monitor, permitting you to herald extra PCs into your workspace.
Each Movement and Mouse with out Borders additionally mean you can reduce and paste information throughout PCs, and sort on a number of PCs utilizing the identical single keyboard. However whereas Movement is locked to a small coterie of Logitech-equipped peripherals, Mouse with out Borders guarantees to work with absolutely anything.
To be trustworthy, Logitech’s Movement additionally factored into our endorsement of Logitech’s Craft keyboard and MX Master 2S mouse. Whereas we nonetheless stand behind these critiques, Mouse with out Borders serves to focus on that Movement isn’t as unique as you would possibly assume.
Setup: Nonetheless tough across the edges
Even a number of years after its debut, the 1.3MB Mouse with out Borders app appears like a throwback to Win32 utilities of previous, moderately than the extra polished UWP apps Microsoft is selling inside Home windows 10. You’ll have to enter encryption keys manually, tweak choices, and so forth. Nevertheless it’s a dwell app, whose most up-to-date replace was launched in January.
First, you’ll want the Windows without Borders app itself, which runs on all the things from Home windows 7 and above. As much as 4 PCs on the identical community can share the identical mouse and keyboard. The writer, Truong Do, recommends that each PCs be related by way of ethernet, although wi-fi labored acceptably in some circumstances. Clearly, you’ll have to obtain and set up the app on a couple of PC. That is the place it will get a bit complicated.
When Mouse with out Borders first masses, the app will ask you in the event you’ve downloaded it on some other machine. Though you’ve in all probability downloaded the utility to 2 PCs at about the identical time, you’ll want to choose one in all these PCs and choose No. Doing so reveals the identify of the PC you’re engaged on, in addition to an encryption code. (Although it’s not important, you could wish to change the PC identify inside Settings > System > About to rename it one thing intuitive, moderately than only a assortment of letters.)
On the second PC, you’ll want to reply Sure to the query of whether or not the app seems on some other PC. It’s right here that you just’ll enter the identify of the primary PC, in addition to the advanced encryption code/password that the primary set up of the app generated. Clicking Hyperlink will then join the second PC to the grasp PC.
Like Movement or the Sensible Swap expertise Microsoft tied to its Floor Precision Mouse, the PC layouts might be organized both vertically or subsequent to 1 one other, as on a desk.
Your firewall could negatively have an effect on how nicely Mouse with out Borders works. I discovered that turning off Home windows Defender, enabling Mouse with out Borders, then re-enabling Defender labored nicely. (ZoneAlarm, one other in style firewall, allowed Mouse with Borders to work, although the mouse moved very slowly.) To be truthful, I had the identical wi-fi troubles with Logitech’s Movement, too.
The way it works: Fast and slick
As soon as related, I discovered that my mouse cursor zipped from one PC to the opposite, with surprisingly little lag. It was straightforward to chop and paste textual content from one PC to the opposite, and duplicate information as much as 100MB in dimension—proper now, 100MB is a tough restrict, sadly. You possibly can even do tips like lock the entire PCs directly, concurrently, or virtualize a keyboard-video-mouse setup, in order that your mouse and keyboard enter are duplicated precisely throughout a number of PCs. Once more, to be clear—Mouse with out Borders works with mice and keyboards.
Sure conditions, like Distant Desktop home windows or different digital machines, could confuse the app, the developer notes. And also you sadly can’t copy and paste a number of information, until they’re compressed right into a single file that’s lower than 100MB.
When arrange correctly, although, Mouse with out Borders is quick, sooner than Movement. I used it on the identical machines by disabling Mouse with out Borders and turning on Movement. Granted, Movement was utilizing a wi-fi Logitech MX Grasp 2S mouse, moderately than a wired connection. However Movement may copy a number of information with out obvious concern. Any file above 100MB is copied with a progress bar visually indicating how shortly it is going to switch.
The one key benefit that Mouse with out Borders presents is the liberty from devoted . There’s no assure that it’s going to work with all the things, however I used a wired Razer mouse and keyboard to check it, and it appeared to work flawlessly. If it really works simply as nicely for the generic corded USB mice and keyboards that populate our desks, Microsoft’s Mouse with out Borders seems like a utility value proudly owning.
Will Mouse with out Borders ultimately migrate into Home windows? Sure options that enable cross-PC collaboration, comparable to upcoming Timeline and Close to Share options inside Home windows 10’s Redstone four function replace, sign that Microsoft is considering tying Home windows units nearer collectively. For now, although, there’s Mouse with out Borders—and it seems like a helpful app so as to add to your PC’s bag of tips.