For some Android users, the touch controls are fine as is and give all the control they need. For others, touch controls aren’t as precise as they should be or aren’t good for specific tasks. I know that I’d rather have a mouse if I was designing a house (and a dime if I continue to rhyme).
To make this a reality, you can either make use of an OTG cable with supported devices or take advantage of Bluetooth functionality. I’ll explain how to use both, and even where you can get this magic little cable. Be careful: even if your Android devices supports OTG, your USB device may not.
1. Using Android OTG to connect a mouse
Starting with OTG (On The Go) USB, you can use one small cable to connect any supported USB device to your Android phone. For this to work, both devices involved need to be compatible with OTG.
If you’re unsure your phone or tablet supports OTG, follow the first step below. If your phone does not support, OTG, make sure you have proper the drivers in place.
Firstly, let’s check to see if your phone is compatible with OTG services. The fastest way that I know of is to:
- Navigate to your Settings
- Go to Storage or Memory
When you’re in Storage, scroll down to, or look for any mentions of On-the-go USB storage.
This will confirm your device has OTG functionality.
Additionally, you can download the app, USB Host Diagnostics, to confirm if you have OTG functionality.
After running a test in the app, your Kernel and Verdict sections will come back with a Yes or Full when your Android device has OTG functionality.
The next step is to buy, or locate an OTG USB cable. These are usually fairly cheap, and absolutely necessary to use OTG.
Next, you’ll need to confirm that your mouse works with OTG. The easiest way to figure this out is to plug your mouse into the cable’s USB port.
If you can’t plug your mouse in for testing (if you were going to buy a new mouse for this purpose alone), you can find out of if you check this list.
If you’ve already plugged your mouse into the OTG cable, you’re good to go. You’ll see your cursor on screen and everything will work how it’s supposed to, surprisingly. Enjoy your newfound control method!
2. Connecting a mouse over bluetooth
OTG is a great way to use mice, keyboard, and even gamepads, but what if you can’t get the cable required, or have no OTG support? Where there’s a will, there’s Bluetooth functionality.
If your mouse supports Bluetooth, this is much easier than using OTG, and much more cost effective. Additionally, this makes shopping for a new mouse much easier when thinking of Android.
If your Bluetooth isn’t currently enabled, enable it through your Settings, or from your pulldown menu.
Turn on your Bluetooth mouse, and make sure your Android device accepts it. You can confirm this in your Bluetooth menu.
Once your mouse has connected, you’re done, and able to do whatever you want with your connected peripheral.
Can I connect more than just my mouse?
Once you’ve confirmed you can use a mouse with your Android phone or tablet, there’s nothing stopping you from using other USB or Bluetooth devices. These devices can be, but aren’t limited to: gamepads, keyboards, laptops, printers, USB drives, and much more.
An OTG cable is an investment that will never go sour, so I can always recommend purchasing one if your Android device supports it. Even if your Android device doesn’t support OTG natively, drivers are still available for most other devices.
There are two ways to connect your mouse to an Android device, and both of them are easy enough to only take a minute out of your day with the correct setup. Once you’ve connected your mouse, you can do everything you could do with a touchscreen and more.
If you have any trouble setting up your mouse, you can leave us a comment and get help as soon as possible!