How to Set Up a Computer KVM Switch

A Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM) switch allows you to control multiple computers using a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. Simple KVM switches are designed for use on a couple of computers. More complex KVM switches can be used to control and monitor a larger number of computers. Simple KVM switches are very small desktop units. More complex KVM switches are designed for rack mounting in a server rack.

Computer with flat screen and mouse
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Step

Select the keyboard, mouse and monitor that will serve as your input and output devices for your computers or servers.

Step

Connect the keyboard to the switch by plugging the keyboard into the external keyboard port on the switch.

Step

Connect the mouse to the switch by plugging it into the external mouse port on the switch.

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Connect your monitor to the KVM switch's external monitor port.

Step

Attach cables to the monitor, mouse and video ports on the first computer and connect those cables to the KVM switch. In most cases, the computer will see the switch as a generic monitor, mouse and keyboard and will automatically install any required drivers.

Step

Continue connecting the second and subsequent computers as you connected the first. Refer to the KVM switch manual on the proper procedure for switching between computers. Some KVM switches use keyboard strokes to switch between computers. Other switches use a push button system to switch between computers.