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ComputingHow to use two keyboards on one computer

How to use two keyboards on one computer

On computer forums, one often encounters the question, of whether it’s possible to connect two keyboards to the PC or laptop, and how to do it. The query causes bewilderment because it’s not always clear why it’s necessary, whether it will be possible to translate the idea into reality, and whether it’s necessary to complicate your life so much.

What do you need to use two keyboards on one PC or laptop

The world of computer technology is becoming more diverse every day. Some computer-related activities may require the use of additional monitors, speakers, headphones, microphones, computer mice, etc. Keyboards are also not an exception in this case.

In practice, it’s realistic to connect two keyboards to one PC or laptop. If you want, the number of devices can be more, depending on the number of available USB connectors. The problem is that they will work simultaneously. That is when you type the first one, the second one disconnects, etc. 

Many people think that two keyboards are twice as good as one, but that’s not always true.

What can you use two keyboards for

First of all, you certainly can’t type on two keyboards at the same time. So you will use them one by one, for different programs or monitors. And that’s the first benefit because you’re improving your productivity.

For example, you can divide your work into two different parts or two screens. The left keyboard would be for the left window or screen, and the right keyboard for the right one. Moreover, you can choose different keyboards for different tasks. Playing video games on one keyboard, chatting on another. 

Cristi Goia / Unsplash

Some video games provide the ability to use two keyboards to play with a friend at the same time on the same PC or laptop. If you’re playing a game together, being able to see the same screen can make coordination and teamwork much easier.

How to you use two keyboards at once

Using two keyboards on one PC or laptop isn’t that difficult to set up. On most operating systems, it’s easy to connect and work. If you’re trying to use two Bluetooth keyboards on one PC or laptop, you will need a unifying receiver. If you’re using a virtual machine, two keyboards on the same PC or laptop aren’t possible without complicated coding, so most people should try to avoid it.

So, if you want to use two keyboards on one PC or laptop, you can just plug the second keyboard in. It’s easier if you’re using the Windows operating system, as it immediately detects the keyboard and you can use it.

You may run into a small problem if you try to use one or two Bluetooth keyboards because Windows sometimes struggle to differentiate between the two. This is because Windows sometimes just disconnects the second keyboard from the Bluetooth connection while you’re using the first one. To avoid this, you should update the drivers.

If you don’t have enough USB ports, you’ll need what’s called a multi or unifying receiver. Some brands, such as Logitech, have their own unified receiver, which allows you to connect multiple keyboards and mice to a single USB port.

How to you use two keyboards for PC and VM

If you want to use one keyboard for a PC and another for a virtual machine (VM), you may run into difficulties. In some cases, you will have to use complex coding. Ubuntu does have trouble separating external keyboards. 

Using both PC and VM keyboards alternately would be fine. Macs and iOS are much easier because the Mac runs on a multi-user system. This means that not only can you connect multiple users at the same time, but you can also use two mice and two keyboards.

Why do you need to use two keyboards at once on your PC or laptop

If you plan to connect two keyboards to your PC or laptop for gaming, you can make it easier. Leave one device, but reassign the buttons on it to suit the task at hand. To do this you can use different programs, for example, Key Remapper. With it, you can reassign keys, make a reverse substitution, lock the buttons, etc.

Now let’s see why people ask if they can use two devices at once. In 9 out of 10 cases the questions are asked by gamers. They puzzle over how to connect the second keyboard as a gamepad for simultaneous play. In this case, it’s important that the two devices on the computer don’t duplicate each other. Such an option may be required when playing soccer (FIFA or PES) or, for example, Mortal Kombat (of course, in this case, it will be better to buy a special controller).

Chris Hainto / Unsplash

There are also other explanations for why you need to connect two keyboards at once – typing in different languages, two people typing simultaneously, etc. Such an option can be required for other tasks, but the main thing is to understand whether you need it.



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