Even though you have chosen a nice KVM switch, you may still go through some hiccups before everything works. Here is a checklist to help you troubleshoot the setup.
Above all, reconnecting and rebooting your setup could always be your first try.
Using a Bluetooth device
Some KVM switches do have compatibility issues with wireless dongles. People may recommend you not use wireless devices with a KVM switch. They have a reason, while we do have a way out.
The 2.4G wireless signal could be interfered by the 5G signal of USB 3.0 devices. If you have the wireless dongle of a mouse plugged into the same hub next to a 3.0 device, for example, an SSD, the mouse could be unstable and when it gets a bit away from the switch, it may disconnect.
As a manufacturer, we do find a way out — to put two USB ports on one side and the hub on the other. The two isolated ports are designated for the keyboard and mouse as they are mostly those who use a 2.4G wireless connection.
If the KVM switch you are using does not have this standalone hub, you may try using an added USB hub to extend one. The key is to distance your wireless dongles and your USB 3.0 devices as possible.
USB 1.1 is often used in a KVM switch in order to enable the feature of Hotkey switching. However, USB 1.1 may not have the same level of compatibility as USB 2.0 or 3.0. Therefore, some gaming keyboards could have issues when connected to a USB 1.1.
There do have some rare cases where the keyboard can’t go well with USB 1.1 port. If it happens to you, just connect your keyboard to the USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port. You will be fine and you shall find another way to switch.
Using an extended USB hub
A USB hub could easily solve the problem of not having enough ports to use. Whatever reason you have, an extended USB hub sometimes may not work as you expect, especially when you use devices that require high power.
If you have encountered an error saying “Unplug the accessory using too much power to re-enable USB devices”, that’s fairly the same problem — not enough power is offered for your USB devices. We recommend you use a self-powered USB hub.
Using an adapter in a wrong way
There are three parts in the setup using a KVM switch — your display, your computing devices, and the KVM switch. Due to the different connector types, you may use adapters to connect. Here are some notes:
1. HDMI splitter
An HDMI one-to-many adapter or an HDMI splitter only copies the signal for mirroring. If you are connecting to a dual monitor KVM switch and your PC has only one HDMI port, this adapter enables you to have an extra HDMI port for connection, however, you will only get a mirrored screen, instead of an extended screen.
Solution: Try another port for the second screen, or use DisplayPort (MST-enabled) which does support splitting the source and routing them independently to each display.
2. Using an adapter
Most adapters are not bi-directional. You shall keep in mind how your signal flows: from your computer to the KVM switch and finally to the display. Put your adapter in the right place if you are using one.
For example, you could easily find a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter but it’s difficult to find an HDMI-to-DisplayPort adapter. If using adapters is a must for your setup, make sure you use them in the right direction.
3. Do not use VGA
VGA standard supports only 1080p and if your devices are better than this, VGA will drag down the quality. There is another thing worth mentioning. If you are using a VGA-to-HDMI adapter to connect your PC to an HDMI KVM switch, VGA will not transfer audio information. Hence, if there is a 3.5 mm audio out port on the switch, there will not be a sound coming out from it.
Wake up a sleeping device
When you switch to a computer that has been idle for a long time or with a lid closed, you may not be able to wake it up with the keyboard or mouse. Why is that? There is an easy way out — just change your settings and never put your computer to sleep.
Some devices do not offer such an option and even yes, this poses a challenge to your battery. If you want your device to rest when they need to rest and still be able to wake it up with a click or a tab, here is a solution.
Every KVM switch has its own “CPU”. The capacity highly depends on what chip it uses. If you have everything connected and only see a flickering screen, there might be a lack of transmission capacity (the KVM switch) or the connector goes wrong (your device).
Try to connect your source to the display directly, if it works the port shall be good. You can also try different ports for the connection and reboot your machines. If it finally proves to be a lack of capacity, use shorter cables (for example 3 feet) to bring down the transmission workload.
This can be really annoying. Switching to the laptop you are working on half an hour ago, you surprisingly find all the icons are in a messy order and it looks like someone has broken into your desktop and messed everything up.
The reason why this happens is that the KVM switch will cut off the current connection (video and USB information) when you switch to a new device. When you switch back, the computer has to reconnect with the KVM switch, and the layout could change then. This is also why some KVM switches can’t wake up a sleeping laptop — it loses the connection to it.
The only way out is to purchase a KVM switch which is built with an advanced chip solution so that it can keep connected to all your devices in the setup even though you are only working on one of them.
Here are two KVM switches that meet this requirement.
8K KVM Switch 2 In 1 Out
Immersive experience like never before. Control 2x PCs with one set of monitor, keyboard, and mouse. HDMI 2.1 & HDCP 2.3 compliant. Supports up to 8K@60hz.
4K@60hz Dual Monitor KVM Switch
4KSW21-DM dual monitor HDMI KVM switch is specially designed for users who have more than one PC and one monitor. It is plug-and-play, perfect for home office, gaming, and learning. The KVM switch allows you to control two PCs with only one set of keyboard, mouse, and two monitors at the same time.
KVM switch is a great invention to help users boost efficiency and save space if they are using more than one computing device in one place. Picking the right one could definitely enhance your user experience. This article would help you better understand what you need and make a smart decision. Welcome to talk to our support team (email@example.com) if you still have doubts or any problems picking the right KVM switch.
Original copy: https://www.avaccess.com/blogs/guides/kvm-switch-troubleshooting/
About AV Access
AV Access is an experienced manufacturer that produces quality HDMI extenders, KVM extenders, wireless presentation systems, etc. and we also offer AV over IP solutions for scalable uses. These products — HDBaseT extender, and 4K HDMI extender — are among our best-sellers.
Are you a newbie? AV Access blog helps beginners to get on board easily (visit and learn about KVM extenders, USB extenders, and more).