You can hook up a mouse to an iPad, as long as the mouse uses Bluetooth. I was delighted to discover that the iPad Pro has mouse support, and it even works on my iPhone! You have to register the mouse as an AssistiveTouch device in the Accessibility menu. The technique should work with most Bluetooth mice, although you may have to use a special workaround for some, including the Apple Magic Mouse. Read on for step by step instructions on how to get your iPad mouse working.
How to Use a Bluetooth Mouse with Your iPad (or iPhone)
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Tap Touch.
- Tap AssistiveTouch. Some people have a hard time operating touch screens, especially gestures. This screen is where you can add devices to help you interact with the touch screen, such as a mouse.
- Toggle AssistiveTouch on.
- Scroll down the AssistiveTouch menu to the section on Pointer Devices and tap Devices.
- Tap Bluetooth Devices. A list of available Bluetooth devices will appear. Next to the title of the list will be a spinning wheel, indicating that it is looking for new Bluetooth devices.
- Set your Bluetooth mouse to Discovery mode. Usually, you press and hold a button on the bottom of the mouse until an indicator light starts to blink, but every Bluetooth device is a little different. If you don’t know how to set your Bluetooth mouse to Discovery mode, consult the operating manual for the mouse.
- Once the Bluetooth mouse is in Discovery mode, it should appear on the list of Devices. Once you see your mouse, tap on the device name to start pairing. If it doesn’t immediately appear, try backing out of the Devices menu and then entering it again, to restart the iPad’s search for nearby Bluetooth devices. If you can’t get your device to appear here, then check the note below.
- When the mouse is connected, it will say so on the menu, and you will see a mouse cursor respond to the mouse movements. The cursor is a little odd-looking, but it works!
- You can set the mouse tracking speed, the cursor size, and the effects of the different mouse buttons in the Pointer Devices section.
Note: some Bluetooth mice don’t appear for pairing in the list of available AssistiveTouch devices. Most notably, Apple’s own Magic Mouse series seems to not fit the profile for AssistiveTouch devices, so it doesn’t appear in that list. If your mouse doesn’t appear, then try the following:
- In the Accessibility menu, tap Switch Control.
- You don’t need to toggle on Switch Control. You just need to tap Switches.
- Tap Bluetooth Devices.
- Use this list to pair your Bluetooth mouse. It seems to use a slightly different profile for finding Bluetooth devices, and sometimes a mouse that did not appear in the AssistiveTouch list will appear here.
- Once your mouse is paired, go back to the Accessibility menu.
- Enter the AssistiveTouch menu.
- Toggle on AssistiveTouch.
- Tap Devices. Your mouse should already be listed.