Alternative tool for the Windows people

  • Nosdivad

    For those who just have Windows systems, there is a comparable freeware tool called Input Director. Input Director  provides similar features to Synergy as well as clipboard copy/pastes, file copy/pastes, mirrored input, macros. It can be found at

    • Carsten1012

      Website says it's free for private usage only.

    • dkratter

      You also can't unlock a locked slave workstation, according to its FAQ. That's a show-stopper.

    • Nosdivad

      Input Director v1.0.8 is now available.

      New features include:
          * Input Director can control a locked slave
          * Input Director can control the UAC dialog box on a Vista slave
          * Slaves and the master can display a semi-transparent informational window that indicates which system currently has the cursor
          * Can simulate Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a slave system
          * Can synchronise locking some or all slaves with the Master
          * Can synchronise a slave's screensaver with the Master's
          * Can shutdown all (or a subset of) slaves from the Master
          * Hotkeys can be used to relative jump to the next left or right system
          * Can assign a key(s) that must be depressed for the cursor to transition between systems
          * Cursor can wrap-around from the far right system to the far left and vice-versa
          * Macros can be set to playback (broadcast) to all slaves, all systems or all systems but the one with focus
          * Can opt to hide the cursor on a slave when transitioning away from it
          * Improved support for Vista
          * Numerous bug fixes
          * Improved usability

    • Brad Murray
      Brad Murray

      I tried this InputDirector on a Vista and XP combination and all it seemed to do was make my mouse disappear when I moved to the slave screen.  I'll stick with Synergy and deal with occasional restarts to get my clipboard back.

    • Nosdivad

      Input Director v1.0.9 BETA has been released and can be downloaded at

      Some of the new features are:

      *  A new 'background slave mode' allows the control of a slave system prior to login and across all users logged into the slave system.
      * Windows fast user switching can now be used on a slave under Input Director control
      * The Keyboard LEDs on the master keyboard reflect the status of the caps, numlock, scroll lock of the system being controlled
      * Improved support for multiple masters controlling a single slave
      * Mouse preferences (speed, acceleration) set on the Master Windows system can be applied when controlling a slave
      * IP Addresses entered as slave hostnames are handled purely as ip addresses and not hostnames
      * A handy 'Shutdown all Slaves and Master' option is available on the right-click menu on the Master system
      * Fixed problem in which when running Windows Remote Desktop (RDP), the keyboard input sometimes remained with the master instead of being sent to the slave
      * Fixed problem where the master incorrectly rejects a slave as being unauthorised
      * Fixed problem where transitioning to a slave fails
      * Numerous minor bug fixes and enhancements

      • David

        Is there any alternative to Synergy for Mac OS/X? I currently use my iMac as the server and WinXP as the slave.


    • mundo2

      Nice to see an active project.

    • jason

      So it all started for me with Multiplicity from stardock thought it was cool yet buggy as hell and turned out to be a piece of crap!!!  LOVE WINDOWBLINDS THOUGH!!!   I have been using synergy with no problems for about a month and LOVE IT!!!  Except for the fact that when I play BF2 it minimizes the game when I go to the second pc!  This inputdirector seems decent because I can switch from screen to screen without minimizing the game "BUT" I would like to know why is labeled red from mcafee siteadvisor and what IDWinService.exe is?!?!?!  And to the makers of synergy I still use your program because it's my favorite when not playing anygames  !!!!!!!!!!!! =)

      • Tim


        > Except for the fact that when I play BF2 it minimizes the game when I go to the second pc!

        In the Options on your server PC, make sure that "Don't take foreground window on Windows servers" is checked.

    • Nosdivad

      Input Director v1.1 is now available for download from

      New features include:

      * Slaves can be vertically positioned
      * Improvements to reliability to minimise false 'slave is unavailable,
      do you want to skip?' occurrences
      * 5th mouse button now functional on slaves
      * On request to shutdown by a Master, a slave can now be configured to
      either do nothing, go to standby, hibernate or shutdown
      * Synchronisation of Keyboard LEDs can be switched off
      * A preferred network interface can be selected for Input Director
      * Permitting Screen edge transitions can be turned off and on via
      configurable hotkeys on the system being directed
      * New hotkeys can be setup to switch to the system above and below the
      * When hotkeying back and forth to a system, the cursor can optionally
      not be re-centered
      * The 'Main' tab now displays the hostname and ip address of its
      system. The ip address reflects the 'preferred network interface'
      * The master marking a slave as unavailable as part of its background
      activities can now be optionally switched off
      * Fixed a bug in which the cursor sometimes reappeared in the bottom-
      right corner on the master
      * Fixed a bug in the screensaver synchronisation logic in which if the
      master switched from screensaver to standby the slaves screensavers
      would deactivate
      * Slave preferences have been relocated to the 'Slave Configuration'
      * Various minor bug fixes and improvements

    • Nosdivad


      Input Director v1.2 is now available for download from

      New features include:

      *  Data Encryption between slaves and the master is now available
      using the Advanced Encryption System (AES) cipher with a 128, 192 or
      256-bit key
      * Screenedge transitions won't occur whilst a mouse button is
      * Slave IP addresses can optionally be cached to minimise lag on
      transitions to slaves
      * If a slave is shutdown or restarted the master will automatically
      skip it
      * Slaves will inform their master that they're unavailable if they're
      put on stand by or hibernated and then inform the masters when the
      systems re-awake
      * Masters and slaves attempt to connect and confirm each others
      availabilities on startup
      * The master can now periodically scan skipped/unavailable slaves to
      see if they are available
      * Changed the method used to send data across to slaves to improve the
      responsiveness of the mouse
      * Fix a bug for Vista masters in which a powered down slave causes
      periodic pauses
      * Various minor bug fixes and improvements

    • Nosdivad

      Input Director v1.2.1 is now available for download from

      New features include:

      * New transition option: Double-tap on the edge of a screen to transition
      * New transition option: The cursor must linger at the edge of a screen to transition
      * New transition option: No transitions occur in close proximity to the corners of a screen
      * Can suppress warnings about clipboard pastes, different versions of ID and slave unavailabilities
      * Supports using the master's keyboard layout when controlling a slave
      * Option to limit changes to Input Director's configuration to local adminstrators only
      * Automatic startup of Input Director can be set for all users or just specific users
      * Can default all slaves to skip on startup to avoid transitions to unavailable slaves
      * Can copy files to the clipboard that are located on network shares mounted on the source system
      * Can be set to remember whether screen-edges should be enabled or disabled on startup
      * Installer no longer warns about installing to incompatible O/S on Windows 2008 and Windows 7
      * Installer now correctly adds Input Director firewall rules on Windows 2008 and Windows 7
      * Slaves can be upgraded "hands-free" for those systems without keyboard/mouses attached
      * New Re-scan slave systems option from the "ID" icon's right-click context menu
      * Fixed bug - Vista slaves used to occasionally incorrectly broadcast their availability on shutdown
      * Fixed bug - reversed mouse buttons are now honoured when using the Master's mouse preferences when directing a slave
      * Various minor bug fixes and improvements

  • Nosdivad

    Input Director v1.2.2 is now available for download from

    New features include:
    * Supports flexible monitor layouts for systems with 3+ monitors attached
    * Improved keyboard layout translation support
    * Mirror input mode can be limited to just keyboard or mouse only
    * Fixed security problem with Vista and Windows7 masters that could block the cursor from transitioning to slaves
    * The master can be set to automatically rescan slaves when resuming from standby
    * Can setup a hotkey to fast switch between mirror and master modes
    * Fixed an issue with display resolution changes that could block the cursor from transitioning between systems
    * Fixed an issue in which a locally attached slave mouse could trigger an input transition
    * Fixed an issue that could stop screensavers synchronising across systems
    * Fixed a number of issues that could cause keys to become 'stuck' on a system
    * Fixed issue with held keys not recognised after playing a macro locally on the master
    * Now using IP Addresses instead of hostnames in UNC paths for File copy/pastes
    * Various minor bug fixes and improvements


  • Anonymous

    I don't quite understand why this post is here. This is a competitor to Synergy Plus, is it not? There are a few fancy features, but not nearly enough to make me a leave a program I have used and recommended for years.

  • morbo

    In addition to the previously mentioned product, there is a fork of the synergy product hosted at google:
    It is actively maintained.

  • Mike Van Pelt
    Mike Van Pelt

    From a quick look at their web page, it looks like it may be a good alternative for people whose needs don't include Mac and/or Unix/Linux support.  It has some features (server can un-lock a locked client) that I would really like on Synergy. 

    But it's Windows-only, so it doesn't meet a need that is more important to me.