How to use a mouse with your iPad or iPhone

A vocal number of heavy-duty iPad users have begged for mouse support on the iPad for years, and that support is finally coming with iPadOS 13 this fall. A little surprisingly, iOS 13 also brings mouse support to the iPhone.

It’s not so surprising, though, that Apple chose to bury it deep within the iPhone and iPad’s Accessibility settings. And when you do hook up a mouse through a Bluetooth or wired connection, you’ll still have to deal with an ugly circular cursor that’s meant to mimic a human fingerprint and a few interface complications. We’re glad the feature’s here, but it doesn’t quite work the way we’d hoped. (It is, after all, designed as an Accessibility feature.)

But with that out of the way, let’s jump in!

How to set up a Bluetooth mouse on iPhone or iPad

Bluetooth is your best option if you want to set up mouse support on the iPhone or iPad. It’s fast, relatively easy, and it’s also stable. So far it’s worked with every Bluetooth mouse I’ve tried, with the notable exception of Apple’s own Magic Mouse 2. (The Magic Mouse 2 works through a wired connection, but considering the infamously awkward method of charging it—yeah, that’s not going to work.) Fortunately, the first-generation Magic Mouse works fine.

Here’s what you need for that (or any other Bluetooth mouse). Before we begin, though, make sure you have Bluetooth turned on and that you’ve unpaired the mouse you plan to use from any other device.)

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Accessibility and press it.
  3. Press Touch under the Physical and Motor section.
  4. You should see a toggle for AssistiveTouch at the top. It will likely read Off. Press it.
  5. You’ll then go to another menu. Turn on AssistiveTouch through the toggle at the top.
  6. Now, in the same menu, scroll down to Pointing Devices. Press it.
  7. Press Bluetooth Devices.
  8. Grab your Bluetooth mouse and set it to pairing mode. For convenience, we’ll use the first-generation Magic Mouse as an example….

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