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Connect to keyboards, mice & other devices

You can connect a keyboard, mouse, joystick, or other input device to your phone or tablet via USB or Bluetooth. (USB isn't supported for connecting these devices to a Nexus 4.)

Important: External devices, like a USB keyboard or Bluetooth mouse, can drain your device's battery faster. If you're using more than one USB device at a time, you can save battery life by using a powered USB hub.

Note: Some of this information may not apply to all devices because Android isn't exactly the same on every device. These instructions are for devices with Android 6.0 and up. See what version of Android you have.

Pair a Bluetooth device

To connect a Bluetooth device to your phone or tablet, first pair the devices.

  1. Make sure your Bluetooth input device is in pairing mode.
    • Tap Settings and then Wireless & Networks and then Bluetooth.
    • Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  2. Near the top of your screen, tap the name of your device, so that the text below says: "Visible to all nearby Bluetooth devices."
  3. Pick the device you'd like to connect.

Use a connected keyboard

In addition to entering text with your paired keyboard, you can:

  • Use the arrow keys to select items on screen.
  • Press Return when an item is selected instead of tapping the item.
  • Press Escape instead of tapping Back.
  • Press Tab or Shift+Tab to move from field to field in a form or other screen with multiple text fields.

Use a connected mouse

When you moved a connected mouse, an arrow-shaped cursor appears on your screen:

  • Use the mouse to move the cursor.
  • A click, press, or drag with the mouse button is the same as a tap, touch & hold, or drag with your finger.
  • Only one mouse button is supported.
  • If your mouse has a trackball or scroll wheel, you can scroll both vertically and horizontally.

Use other connected input devices

You can connect joysticks, gamepads, and other input devices to your phone or tablet.

If the input devices work without special drivers or adapters on your computer, they will likely work with your phone or tablet. But games and other apps must be designed to support any special features of an input device, like dedicated buttons or other controls.

Related links

Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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