How to connect a mouse or keyboard on Android (USB OTG)

connect a mouse or keyboard on Android 002
connect a mouse or keyboard on Android 002

Today our Android smartphones and tablets are almost as good as our desktop or laptop computers. Only the iconic peripherals are missing. But don’t worry, you can add them to your smartphone. Here’s how to use a mouse and keyboard on Android.

How to connect a mouse or keyboard on Android (USB OTG)

How to connect a mouse or keyboard on Android (USB OTG)

What are the prerequisites?

First of all, you need to make sure your device is USB-on-the-go (USB OTG), USB mobile, in a sense. To find out, you can consult the manufacturer’s technical data sheet on the Internet, on the possible booklet or box of the device, etc.

How to connect a mouse or keyboard on Android (USB OTG)

Another more reliable solution is to download  Chainfire’s USB Host Diagnostics (which is well known for its contributions to the root world and custom ROMs) in the Play Store. The advantage of this application is that it is easy to use, although it is only available in English.

This function is much more widespread than it appears and exists on Android from version 3.1 (Honeycomb). So, in theory, you can connect any mouse or any keyboard, wired or wireless, to any Android device as long as it’s compatible with USB OTG.

Any mouse or keyboard is usable. Of course, the buttons and other “exotic” functions (volume buttons, 18-button gaming mouse, etc.) may not work, but the basic functions will still be usable.

To get started, you need to get a USB OTG cable. A priori, they are all the same. Keep in mind that USB devices can often be connected and disconnected on a mobile device, so avoid low-end cables that don’t hold up well.

You can connect a keyboard, a mouse and, for example, a USB key simultaneously on your Android. Download Host USB Diagnostics to determine if your smartphone is compatible.

Buy a USB OTG cable. Connect a mouse or keyboard. So far we are.

Keep in mind that USB-on-the-go also allows you to connect mass storage devices like hard disks to your Android device. In this case, some applications are required, such as the USB host controller.

What can you connect to an OTG socket?

Printing a document

With Google Cloud Print, you can print easily without using a cable. Unfortunately, some configuration problems sometimes prevent you from achieving your goals. Don’t worry, you can speed up this process by connecting your smartphone directly to the printer with the OTG cable.

Keyboard and mouse

It looks like witchcraft, but it’s possible. Just use a USB dongle to connect with the keyboard and mouse, so you can use the device as if it were a simple computer. If you have to write a lot, this can save you time and money.

Top-up (and data transfer) from another smartphone

Imagine that your smartphone is running out of battery and you have another smartphone or tablet handy. You can use the energy of one of the other two devices to charge the smartphone. Simply use the OTG cable to connect the smartphone to the charging cable (USB side), then connect the other end of the charger to the smartphone to be charged. You can also use this method to transfer images or use the camera as an external memory.

Audio card

For one reason or another, you may want to use a different sound card than the integrated one. You can find a laptop, connect it to your smartphone with an OTG cable and then connect the audio equipment to the sound card gadget thanks to the jack.


The touch screen is not always extremely accurate and this can be a problem with some games. If you are a player, you will be happy to know that you can connect a controller to your smartphone. Many games on Android allow the use of a gamepad.

You saw it is much simpler than you thought.


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