Is it possible to use the native keyboard on one Mac, to control the keyboard input of another Apple device, especially another Mac?

And so doing, without having to completely redirect the input device, i.e. disconnecting/connecting a Bluetooth keyboard to switch it between devices.

In my setup, I have a MacBook Pro and an iMac. Ideally, on the MBP, I would like to press a keyboard command or an GUI icon to connect the built-in keyboard as input for the iMac.

Note: Screen sharing is not a viable answer for this question.


Any of these three apps turn your Mac into a Bluetooth keyboard, and should accomplish what you need:

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    Hi, do you know if any of these Apps allow the track pad (and multitouch capabilities) to be shared, as well as the keyboard? – Benjohn Apr 19 at 11:17
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    @Benjohn, mouse and keyboard are generally separate devices in the operating system (different device drivers), so I would not expect any of the keyboard apps to double as mouse/track-pad apps. – emallove Apr 20 at 13:20

1Keyboard is an OS X app that allows a Macintosh keyboard to type on another Mac, iOS devices like iPhone and iPad, Apple TV, PS3 and Android.

I followed the pairing instructions, and while it didn't work the first few tries, it does now. Once I got it up and running, it has worked just fine. Copying, Pasting, keyboard shortcuts and Media keys (Volume, Playback) are supported.

You can set keyboard commands to connect to different devices. I use Shift + + > to connect to my iMac, Shift + Ctrl + > to connect to my iPhone, Shift + Alt + > to connect to my iPad.

Edit 2017-09-09: 1Keyboard unfortunately now does keyboard layout mapping wrong for non-English languages. Buttons are in the wrong places and some letters may not work. I have reached out to the developer but with no response, not sure if the application is actively maintained. I'm assuming the application still works fine for an English keyboard layout.

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  • Can confirm that 1Keyboard still fails with non-english keyboard layouts. – Thomas Kekeisen Oct 4 '19 at 22:22

I am not sure about its compatibility with El Capitan but Teleport will let you do exactly what you want. I used it for years to connect one keyboard and mouse between 3 Macs, but have not used it in awhile.

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Try Synergy, a software KVM: https://symless.com/synergy

This allows you to simply move your mouse pointer to the iMac's screen to control it. Move your mouse back to the MBP and now you're controlling it. You can also do useful things like share clipboards between the machines.

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Supposedly this open source project lets you do it in some way, though I haven't tried it:


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Why don't you just use screen sharing? When connected to it you will be able to use your trackpad and keyboard with the other Mac.

Apple screen sharing

Further examples

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    I stated in the question that I'm not looking to use screen sharing. It may be a good solution overall for some cases, but not relevant to this question. – PAN Apr 4 '16 at 11:36

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