Replacing Your Wireless Mouse / Keyboard Receiver with Unifying

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? Thats what I asked myself the other day when I lost the receiver (also called a dongle) for my Logitech wireless mouse. The mice arent that expensive but I hated the idea of tossing one just because the receiver went missing so I did a little checking.

Logitechs Unifying technology enables you to replace those easily-lost wireless receivers and maybe even free up a USB port. Look for the orange Unifying logo shown here.

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 dont have an extra receiver, however, you can still get one on 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.

The Unifying software also enables you to manage existing connections.

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 Logitechs site. Once the software is installed, just start the program and follow the prompts. The device youre 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 youre currently using.

Reconnecting a mouse with a non-unifying receiver

Heres 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 Logitechs 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 havent tried it yet.