Synergy is one of the most commonly used software to share between computers one set of mouse and keyboard over the network, and it works on PC, Mac, and Linux. The problem is that it seems not fully compatible with Windows 8 just yet. As such, I want to lay out a few settings in Synergy and in Windows 8 that you should consider when configuring this “KVM” software.
First, this guide is not meant to fully configure the free and open source utility, instead this aims to help users making it work correctly in Windows 8 where some issues are found.
In my experience I have noticed a few things that are not working with Synergy and Windows 8 out-of-the-box and I will try to address these problems.
The first thing you’ll notice after having configured Synergy is that scrolling with the mouse’s wheel will stop working. To fix this issue simply open the dashboard in the computer that is acting as server and click Stop, then check the elevate option.
Next, from the file menu, click Edit and select Settings. From the Advanced settings section, change the Process mode to Desktop (legacy) and click OK.
Then click Start in the dashboard and this should resolve the scrolling problem.
If computers won’t connect, chances are the firewall is the root of the problem on either side. Disable the Windows Firewall or any other firewall you may have configured in your systems and make sure to test. If that fixes the problem, add a rule to the firewall to allow Synergy to work over the network and re-enable the security software once again.
Another thing that will happen is that by default Windows 8 has the User Account Control settings configured to alert you when an application is about to be installed. This will cause temporary loss of connectivity and you won’t be able to continue with the installation, because you cannot confirm to allow the program to install. To prevent this problem, simply change the UAC to Never notify in the computer that is acting as client (FYI: This is more an inconvenience more than it is a problem).
If you are having problems installing the Synergy in Windows 8, you should try to install it with Windows 7 compatibility to solve this issue.
Instructions: Right-click the installation file, click Properties and navigate through Compatibility. Under Compatibility mode, check the Run this program in compatibility mode for, and select Windows 7. Click Apply and OK. Now try to install the software one more time.
If you haven’t try Synergy, you can download it here.