How to Use a Mouse with iPad via Accessibility (iPadOS 13)
Want to use a mouse with iPad? Now you can, and it’s fairly easy to setup and use. Plus the iPad and mouse experience works really great with an iPad, particularly if you have the iPad setup as a desk workstation.
This article will show you how to setup and use a wireless Bluetooth mouse with iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, or iPad mini.
Update: using a mouse or trackpad with iPad is easier than ever with ipadOS 14 and newer, read here how it works if you’re on a newer operating system.
The ability to use a mouse with iPad is one of the best features of iPadOS 13 and later, and it works to use nearly any bluetooth mouse with iPad, iPad Pro, iPad mini, or iPad Air. In other words, those are the system requirements to get this working; you’ll need a minimum of iPadOS 13 on the iPad, and a compatible Bluetooth mouse. Most Bluetooth mouses will work with iPad, for example the Logitech M535, M336, and M337, work great and are affordable. Both the Apple Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad works with iPad as well, for those wondering.
How to Setup and Use Bluetooth Mouse with iPad
Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on the iPad before beginning this process of setting up a mouse for use with iPad. You can turn Bluetooth ON in Settings if you have not done so already.
- Open the “Settings” app on iPad and make sure that Bluetooth is turned on
- Go to “Accessibility” settings then choose “Touch”
- Tap on “AssistiveTouch”
- Toggle the switch next to “Assistive Touch” to the ON position
- Now scroll down and tap on “Devices” further down in the AssistiveTouch settings screen
- Tap on “Bluetooth Devices”
- Place the Bluetooth mouse into pairing mode and wait for it to show up on the “Bluetooth Devices” screen, when it becomes visible tap on it
- When the Bluetooth mouse connects, tap on it in the device list and configure the button options as desired (for example, setting right-click to go Home)
- After the Bluetooth mouse is shown as a connected device and configured, tap or click back to “AssistiveTouch”, the mouse is now working with the iPad
- Scroll down to “Pointer Style” and tap on that to configure mouse cursor size, mouse cursor color, and if the mouse pointer automatically hides or not
- Next back at the AssistiveTouch screen, adjust the ‘Tracking Speed’ slider to determine how fast you want the mouse to move on iPad
- Optionally, uncheck the box for “Always Show Menu” to hide the onscreen AssistiveTouch button
- Exit out of Settings as usual
The mouse will move around on iPad screen just like any mouse you’re accustomed to using on Mac or PC, and you’ll find the experience works great.
The iPad Mouse Cursor
You will quickly see that the iPad mouse cursor looks like a circle with a tiny dot in the middle, it does not look like the traditional arrow pointer that most platforms use as their mouse cursor style including macOS and Windows.
Instead the cursor / pointer which looks like a circle with a dot in the center of it looks a lot like the dot reticle of an optical scope on a red or green dot sight, for those who are familiar with scopes, microscopes, telescopes, and other sighting systems.
You can change the color of the mouse pointer on iPad in the AssistiveTouch settings as was covered earlier.
Customizing the Mouse Buttons Behavior for iPad
One of the other great things about setting up iPad with a mouse is that you can set multi-button mouses to have different functions for each button.
There are tons of options available for what each button can do; Home screen, single tap, double tap, open menu, accessibility shortcut, app switcher, control center, dock, lock rotation, lock screen, screenshot, shake, activate Siri, you can even activate Siri Shortcuts and much more.
You’ll almost certainly want to assign at least one of the mouse buttons to be ‘Home’ so that you can easily return to the Home screen of the iPad from the mouse, and without having to either swipe or tap on the screen itself, or press any buttons on the iPad hardware.
There are a lot of mouse options out there, and some users may be wondering what the best iPad mouse is for them. That’s really a user preference, but many people like the various Bluetooth mouse options from Logitech, Microsoft, and Apple branded Magic Mouse. If you already have a Bluetooth mouse laying around, try it out with iPad and see how you like it.
Are you using a mouse with iPad? Do you have any particular experiences or thoughts about using iPad with a mouse? Share your thoughts, experiences, and tips with us in the comments below!