How to use a mouse or trackpad with your iPhone or iPad

In iOS 13 and iPadOS, your devices gain the ability to use mice and (in a limited sense) external trackpads. This isn't adding full mouse support that turns your iPad into a true blue MacBook replacement. It's an accessibility feature that will make it easier for some people to interact with their iOS devices as an expansion of the existing AssistiveTouch capabilities in iOS.

Note: iPadOS 13.1 comes out September 24.

Here's how to get set up and using a mouse or trackpad with your iPhone or iPad.

How to enable AssistiveTouch on iPhone and iPad

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch under Physical and Motor.

    Open Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Touch

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  5. Tap the switch next to AssistiveTouch so it's in the green 'on' position.

    Tap AssistiveTouch, tap the switch

How to connect a Bluetooth mouse to your iPhone or iPad

You can use a Bluetooth mouse with your iPhone or iPad, as long as it's not an Apple Magic Mouse.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch under Physical and Motor.

    Open Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Touch

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  5. Tap Devices.
  6. Tap Bluetooth Devices…

    Tap AssistiveTouch, tap Devices, tap Bluetooth Devices

  7. Put your Bluetooth mouse into pairing mode.
  8. Tap the name of your mouse when it appears on the menu in your iPad.
  9. Tap Pair. Your mouse will now connect to your iPad.

    Tap mouse name, tap Pair

Once connected, your mouse should be good to go. You'll see a circular cursor appear on your device's screen. To use the cursor, just move your mouse to drag the cursor over something you want to click, then click on your mouse.

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Connecting a wired mouse or Magic Trackpad 2

If you want to connect a wired mouse or a Magic Trackpad, it's a simple matter of physically connecting a cable to your iPhone or iPad, whether you use Lightning or USB-C. For example, if you want to connect an Apple Magic Trackpad 2 to your 2018 iPad Pro, you'll need a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, as the Magic Trackpad 2 has a Lightning port.

Once you've connected your pointing device with your iPhone or iPad, you don't need to anything else other than turn AssistiveTouch on.

How to manage settings for your pointing devices

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch under Physical and Motor.

    Open Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Touch

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  5. Move the slider under Tracking speed left or right to decrease or increase how fast your cursor moves.
  6. Tap the switch to turn Drag lock on or off.

    Tap AssistiveTouch, move slider, tap switch

  7. Tap Zoom Pan
  8. Tap on Continuous, Centered, or Edges.

    Tap Zoom Pan, tap Continuous, Centered, or Edges

How to customize the buttons on your pointing device

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch under Physical and Motor.

    Open Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Touch

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  5. Tap Devices.
  6. Tap the name of your pointing device.

    Tap AssistiveTouch, tap Devices, tap name

  7. Tap the labels reading Button 1, Button 2, etc. to customize what each button does.
  8. Tap the action you each button on your pointer to control when it's pressed. The options range from simple actions such as single-tapping to opening the dock. You can also assign, if you have any, a particular Siri Shortcut to one of your mouse buttons.

    Tap button labels, tap action

  9. Tap the name of your pointer device in the upper-left corner of the menu pane.
  10. Tap Customize Additional Buttons…

    Tap device name, tap Customize Additional Buttons...

  11. Click a button on your mouse to customize its function on iOS or iPadOS.

How to modify the cursor on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch under Physical and Motor.

    Open Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Touch

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  5. Tap Pointer Style.
  6. Drag the slider back and forth increase or decrease the size of the cursor.

    Tap AssistiveTouch, tap Pointer Style, drag slider

  7. Tap Color.
  8. Tap the color that you want for your cursor. You color choice only changes the outer ring and inner dot of the cursor.
  9. Tap Pointer Style in the upper-left corner of the panel.

    Tap Color, tap a color, tap Pointer Style

  10. Tap Auto-Hide.
  11. Tap the switch next to Auto-Hide to the green 'one' position to allow your cursor to hide automatically.
  12. Tap the + or - buttons to raise or lower the time until the cursor automatically hides.

    Tap Auto-Hide, tap switch, tap + or -

Questions?

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about turning on and using a mouse with your iPhone or iPad.

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