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I know nothing about KVM switches, but they seem to be what I need to easily swap between my home computer and my work laptop on my HDMI Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse.

I bought https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M66SD79/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 but when I swapped to the MacBook Pro which is USB-C only nothing worked. I'm currently using it for the Mac Mini, but I need a solution that actually lets me switch between both.

I'm not really interested in having it act as a power supply for either because those are seem wildly expensive and I already have power supplies for them.

If I have to: https://www.aten.com/global/en/products/usb-&-thunderbolt/docking-switches/us3310/ seems as though it would work, but they seem focused on having a latop and smartphone plugged in. Not a laptop and mac mini. Power supply seems concerning here.

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  • If your monitor has multiple inputs, use that. Then get a keyboard and mouse that supports multiple devices like the Logitech MX series. I use the MX Master 3 mouse connected to my iMac, a MacBook and a Dell laptop. It switches flawlessly
    – Allan
    Mar 16, 2020 at 20:47

3 Answers 3

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Keyboard and mouse only

Only taking into account the keyboard and mouse you can perhaps use software to share those with multiple devices instead of hardware.

Synergy can do this, but is currently paid. The last free version is 1.8.8 and is available at sourceforge.

Screen, keyboard and mouse

Alternatively you can access one machine (e.g. the Mac Mini) via remote desktop from the other (e.g. the MacBook Pro). If they're on the same local network and depending on the use case the speed should be very acceptable.

I'm not affiliated with Synergy, just a happy user.

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One place I did some contract IT work used StarTech KVM switches and I liked them. https://www.startech.com/Server-Management/KVM-Switches/

I suggest looking through their product line for something that meets your needs. The prices listed on their direct order site is often quite a bit higher than from the distributors they deal with so shopping around can save some bucks. None of the KVM switches StarTech offers has USB-C ports, and very few KVM switches will. Get the Apple Digital AV multi-port adapter, or any of a number of similar "mini-docks" to break out the USB-C port on your MacBook into USB-A, HDMI, and USB-C/power. I just got this one today: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TCDK5PRG/ It's cheap (and pink) but so far is working as advertised.

Personally I've tried a number of software KVM solutions and they don't seem to work all that well and I keep going back to my old KVMs. The KVMs I have use VGA for video but they work nicely. At some point I'll have to get something that uses HDMI or DP for video. One of my KVMs uses a big mechanical knob on the front to select the computer, I like it because there's no boot up time, no power needed, and switches quickly. Nobody makes switches like that any more, at least none I've seen. My other KVM uses keyboard macros to switch which is nice since my fingers never leave the keyboard. StarTech uses a similar keyboard macro switching on all the KVMs I've seen from them, and most also have buttons on the front to switch as well.

I'm not stuck on StarTech KVMs, they are simply the only one I've dealt with and are still in business. The others I've used are from companies that are long gone by now.

Again, I've used software KVM solutions but I've always found them inconvenient or lacking in some other way. They are fine for when the computer is in another room but if the computers are close enough to touch then a hardware KVM is hard to beat.

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  • MacGuffin, I've spent 15 hours trying to figure out what monitors, KVM switch, or whatever to buy in order to make this setup work and I wonder if you happen to know: apple.stackexchange.com/q/405017/53510 Thanks!
    – Ryan
    Oct 24, 2020 at 23:52
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    I'll post a response to the question you linked to.
    – MacGuffin
    Dec 5, 2020 at 22:36
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There are many good KVM switches in the market can support both MacBook Pro and MacMini.

To give you the correct recommendation, the following info is required:

  1. built year model of both MacBook Pro and Mac Mini? (different built-year models have totally different I/O on them).
  2. What is (are) the monitor(s) brand and model you want to be shared?
  3. what are the keyboard and mouse, again, brand and model?
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  • The problem with most, and perhaps all KVM switches is that they connect to the computers via USB, HDMI, and other cables but never via Thunderbolt. Newer MBPs ONLY have Thunderbolt ports and some only have two. So we are looking for very specific solutions rather than "many good" ones. :)
    – jay613
    Aug 21, 2021 at 14:46

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