Share Magic Trackpad with iMac and MacBook Pro

I posted this over in the MPU forums, but thought I would post here, too in case someone has a novel automation idea.

I’m trying to declutter my home desk space and eliminate dual keyboard and trackpad use. I’ve solved keyboard by moving to a Logitech that allows the quick toggle across devices. I don’t love the lag time when I switch computers on the keyboard, but it’s ok for my use. I’m not back and forth too much during the day.

Are there any creative solutions for quickly toggling a Magic Trackpad between an iMac and MacBook Pro. Perhaps an AppleScript + Keyboard maestro option? Open for any suggestions.

I’ve seen mention of Synergy in a related thread but I’m not familiar with the software nor certain it will solve this simple use case.

Thanks for any tips you might have — jay

I used to use Synergy maybe 6-7 years ago and for quite some time before. But I used it across multiple Windows machines at work, and a Mac and Windows together at home.

I never had any issues with it. I just no longer need it.

You do know you can VNC between your Macs right? I have a headless mac mini next to my desk and when I have my Macbook Pro at my desk I just full screen VNC for a seamless experience.

Thanks for the response. Yes, familiar with that capability but it doesn’t really solve my simple “need”.

One Mac is my work device (MacBook), one is personal (iMac). Both are on desk next to each other and always on and available. I’ll dip in to the personal device periodically during the day (mail, music, etc). Far faster (I think) to simply turn in my chair 2 degrees to use the other computer!!

I don’t know a press of a keyboard combo to switch to a space with the VNC app connected and running in it vs turning a few degrees on the chair, focusing on a different screen, and running some keyboard combo to run scripts to switch bluetooth connections around. I’d challenge you to see which was really the fastest :wink:

I guess Synergy would give you a zero script solution which would be faster still … depending on just how much you really swivel that chair - I’d just turn my head a fraction for two degrees :laughing:

:rofl: Good challenge… I will play with the VNC approach…

Who knew this would turn in to an office ergonomics thread?!?! Cheers!

Ok, I’m back to admit that the VNC model works surprisingly well.

I need to figure out how to wake Alfred on the “remote“ computer as well as pass BetterTouchTool clicks…

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I only use BTT on my laptop, but I ended up giving Alfred a slightly different trigger combination on my Mac minito avoid confusion. I don’t use it daily so I inevitably end up using the wrong combo the first time in a session :persevere:

Closing the loop on this thread in case someone references it later.

The only technically viable solution I found was through use of Toothfairy. Once configured, Toothfairy can be used with keyboard shortcuts to disconnect the trackpad on one Mac and then re-connect on the other Mac.

Technically it works fine. However, from a workflow standpoint it’s still klunky. For now, I’ll continue to have both trackpads on my desk. Much faster switching time!

The VNC approach is most appealing from a switching speed standpoint, however the Alfred and BTT limitations are deal breakers for me. I’ll keep tinkering, but for now I’ll deal with losing a few square inches of desk space. :slightly_smiling_face:
— jay

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I have never used VNC would be interested in some more info. I have a new Mac mini with its own monitor and an older 2011 MacBook Pro. What I’d really like to be able do is to use the display on the MBP as a second screen where I can drag windows from the Mini’s monitor when needed for reference. Is this possible with VNC? I have looked at Luna Display ( for this but would be interested in a more native solution if one exists.

Thanks – and sorry for taking this a bit off topic!

Sounds like you want target display mode, not VNC, if I understand your use case correctly.