How to Use a Mouse With an iPad

Yes, you can get a mouse for your iPad

For years, people who wanted to use their iPads as laptop replacements 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 an iPad running iPadOS 14. You can use a mouse with an iPad running iPadOS 13.4 and up.

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 13.4 or higher.
  • 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 Bluetooth.

  3. Put your Bluetooth mouse into pairing mode. For Apple mice and trackpads, just turn them on. For third-party devices, check the instructions that came with your mouse.

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

    iPad bluetooth settings with a mouse ready to pair
  5. In the pop-up menu confirming the pairing step, tap Pair.

    Screenshot of an iPad prompting to pair a Bluetooth mouse
  6. 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 with a normal mouse.

    iPad screenshot showing the pointer for a Bluetooth mouse

Somewhat strangely, Apple's Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad were not currently originally supported for wireless use with the iPad. Support was added for them in recent versions of the iPadOS, though the 1st generation version of each still doesn't support scrolling gestures.

How to Use a Wired Mouse With iPad

You can also use a wired, USB mouse with the iPad. Doing that is even simpler than connecting a Bluetooth mouse. Here's what to do:

  1. 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.

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

How to Change What Each Mouse Button Does on iPad

Just like you can control what the buttons on your mouse do on a computer, you can do the same thing on the iPad. The process is a little tricky, so just follow these steps:

  1. After pairing your mouse to your iPad, tap Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch (make sure it's toggled to on/green) > Devices.

    Screenshot of the AssistiveTouch settings screen on iPadOS
  2. Tap Devices > the name of your mouse.

    Screenshot showing the Devices menu in AssistiveTouch
  3. Next, click Customize Additional Buttons. When the pop-up window appears, ignore it and click the button whose action you want to customizer

    Screenshot of the confirmation pop-up when customizing iPad mouse buttons
  4. On the next screen, tap the action you want assigned to the button you just clicked. Once you select this setting, every time you click that button, this action will occur.

    Screenshot of the options for mapping actions to iPad mouse buttons
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've customized the action for each button on your mouse.

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 > Pointer Control.

    Screenshot of the iPad Accessibility menu
  2. Move the Pointer Size slider to make the cursor larger or smaller.

    Screenshot of the Pointer Control settings for iPadOS mice
  3. To change the color of the cursor, tap Color and choose one of the options.

    Screenshot of changing the color of the mouse on iPadOS
  4. To make the mouse cursor automatically disappear when you're not moving the mouse, move the Automatically Hide Pointer slider to on/green. When the cursor is hidden, just move the mouse to have it re-appear.

    Screenshot of the Pointer Control settings for iPadOS mice

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 > General > Trackpad & Mouse.

    Screenshot of the iPad General Settings screen
  2. Move the slider under Tracking Speed to increase or decrease speed.

    Screenshot of the iPad mouse tracking speed setting
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