Wireless mice and keyboards are incredibly handy and a great way to reduce the tangle of wires on your desktop but what do you do when that tiny USB receiver, the one about the size of your fingernail, goes missing? That’s what I asked myself the other day when I lost the receiver (also called a ‘dongle’) for my Logitech wireless mouse. The mice aren’t that expensive but I hated the idea of tossing one just because the receiver went missing so I did a little checking.
It turns out that, at least with Logitech products, you can buy a replacement receiver and, even better, Logitech Unifying receivers are designed to manage the connection for six or seven wireless Logitech products at a time so long as the products are also marked with the orange Unifying logo. I even had a unifying receiver already – it came with a wireless keyboard and touchpad that I picked up a little while ago. If you don’t have an extra receiver, however, you can still get one on Amazon.com and, as of this writing, they were marked down to around $10 which is a bit less than a brand new mouse and keeps you from trashing the one you already have.
Once you have a unifying receiver, the next step is to get it to recognize your existing mouse or keyboard. For this, you need to download the free Unifying Software from Logitech’s site. Once the software is installed, just start the program and follow the prompts. The device you’re connecting should have an ON / OFF switch. The software looks for wireless connections and when it sees one restart, it recognizes it as the one you want to connect. The unifying software also enables you to manage the devices you currently have connected to a receiver and remove connections if needed. An animated display even indicates the device you’re currently using.
Reconnecting a mouse with a non-unifying receiver
Here’s the catch – a mouse can only be paired with one receiver at a time so if you pair a mouse with a Logitech unifying receiver, it will no longer work with its original receiver, should you still have it. It is possible to reconnect the two, however, by downloading Logitech’s Connection Utility Software. This utility functions much like the unifying software; it requests that you turn the mouse off and on again so it can detect the signal and then asks you to verify that the mouse is working again. This would also imply that you might be able to use this utility to connect a Logitech mouse to a non-unifying receiver other than the one it originally came with which might be handy for someone working on a helpdesk with some extra mice and receivers lying around. I personally haven’t tried it yet.