How to Use a Mouse With an iPad

Yes, you can get a mouse for your iPad

A man using a mouse with an iPad


Mr. nutnuchit Phutsawagung / EyeEm / Getty Images

For years, people wanting to use their iPads as replacement laptops have wished for a way to use a mouse with iPad. Well, that time has come. With the right software on your iPad, you can now connect and use Bluetooth and wired mice. Read on to learn how.

This article was written using a beta version of iPadOS 13. As of now, this feature is only available to users who have installed Apple's free public beta of iPadOS. The official version will be available in Fall 2019. Because the software is currently in beta, some things about this feature may change between now and the official release. We'll update this article as needed.

Requirements for Using a Mouse with iPad

In order to use a mouse with your iPad, you must have the following things:

  • An iPad.
  • iPadOS 13 or higher installed on the iPad.
  • A Bluetooth or wired mouse or trackpad.
  • To use a wired mouse, a USB or Lightning to USB-C adapter cable.

How to Use a Bluetooth Mouse with iPad

Using a Bluetooth wireless mouse with the iPad is pretty easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. On the iPad, tap the Settings app to open it.

    Screenshot of the Settings app on iPadOS 13
  2. Tap Accessibility.

    Screenshot of the Accessibility settings on iPadOS 13
  3. In the Physical and Motor section, tap Touch.

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.

    Screenshot of AssistiveTouch menu on iPadOS 13
  5. Move the AssistiveTouch slider to on/green.

    Screenshot of AssistiveTouch setting enabled on iPadOS 13
  6. In the Pointer Devices section, tap Devices.

  7. Tap Bluetooth Devices.

    Screenshot of iPadOS 13 Bluetooth device settings
  8. Put your Bluetooth mouse into pairing mode.

  9. When the name of your mouse appears onscreen, tap it and follow the onscreen pairing instructions to connect to your iPad.

    Screenshot of pairing Bluetooth mouse to iPad
  10. When your mouse is connected to your iPad, a round cursor appears onscreen. Move the mouse to move the cursor and click onscreen items like normal.

Somewhat strangely, Apple's Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad are not currently supported for wireless use with the iPad. This may change in the future. The original Magic Mouse is supported. The Magic Trackpad can be used with a cable, though. More on that later in the article.

How to Use a Wired Mouse with iPad

You can also use a wired, USB mouse with the iPad. Here's what to do:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from the last section.

  2. Plug your mouse into the USB-C port on the bottom of the iPad.

    Unless your mouse has a USB-C connector, you'll need an adapter cable to do this. For example, if you have a standard USB mouse, you'll need a USB-A to USB-C adapter. For an Apple mouse with a Lightning port, you'll need a Lightning to USB-C adapter.

  3. Control the round cursor that appears onscreen with mouse like you would on a desktop or laptop computer.

If you have an Apple Magic Trackpad that you want to use with the iPad, this is how you do it. Get a Lightning to USB-C cable or adapter and follow these steps.

How to Change What Each Mouse Button Does on iPad

Just like you can control what each button on your mouse does when you click it on a computer, you can do the same on the iPad. To make your mouse buttons do exactly what you want, follow these steps:

  1. After pairing your mouse to your iPad, tap the name of the mouse on the Devices screen in Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch > Pointer Devices.

    Screenshot of mouse settings in iPadOS 13
  2. Some mouse buttons may have actions assigned to them by default. To change those actions, tap the button you want to change and skip to step 5 below.

    Screenshot of mouse button assignments in iPadOS 13
  3. To assign actions to buttons that aren't preconfigured, tap Customize Additional Buttons.

  4. Click the first mouse button you'd like to assign an action to.

  5. The set of actions you can assign to the button appears on the screen. Tap the one you want.

    Screenshot of mouse button options in iPadOS 13
  6. Repeat that process for all of the buttons on your mouse.

You can always change the actions assigned to the buttons by going back to this screen, tapping the button, and selecting a different action.

How to Change the Size and Color of the Mouse Cursor on iPad

Don't like the default size or color of the mouse cursor on the iPad? Change them by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings > Accessibility > Physical and Motor > Touch > AssistiveTouch. In the Pointer Devices section, tap Pointer Style.

  2. Move the Size slider to make the cursor larger or smaller.

    Screenshot of mouse size, color, other setting in iPadOS 13
  3. To change the color of the cursor, tap Color and choose one of the options.

  4. To control when the mouse cursor automatically disappears, tap Auto-Hide and make a selection. After auto-hiding, the mouse cursor re-appears when you move the mouse.

How to Change Mouse Speed on iPad

Want to change the speed at which the mouse cursor moves on the screen? Do this:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch.

  2. Move the slider under Tracking Speed to increase or decrease speed.

    Screenshot of mouse tracking speed setting in iPadOS 13