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How to Change Scroll Direction on Mac

For many users transitioning from a Windows PC to a Mac or those who use multiple devices, the default scroll direction on Mac can be disorienting. Mac OS uses a “natural” scroll direction that mimics the way you scroll on touch devices, meaning the content moves in the same direction as your fingers. While this feels intuitive to some, others may find it counterintuitive. This guide will explain how to change scroll direction on Mac, why you might want to adjust the scroll settings, how to change scrolling speed, and how to disable inertia scrolling.

Why You Might Need to Change Direction of Scroll on Mac

Changing the scroll direction on your Mac can significantly affect your productivity and comfort while using the computer. Users who switch between different operating systems may find it confusing to adapt to different scrolling behaviors. For instance, if you primarily use a Windows PC at work where scroll direction is typically set to have the content move opposite to the finger movement (also known as “natural” scrolling on Mac), you might want to have the same experience on your personal Mac. Consistency across devices helps in reducing cognitive load and improves muscle memory associated with specific actions.

Additionally, long-time Mac users who upgraded from older versions of macOS (before Lion, which introduced natural scrolling) might prefer the traditional scrolling direction they were accustomed to. Changing the scroll direction can help revert to the familiar behavior, making navigation feel more intuitive based on personal preferences.

How to Change Scrolling Direction on Mac

Changing the scrolling direction on a Mac can significantly affect how you interact with your device, especially if you’re transitioning from a Windows PC or if you use multiple devices with different scrolling setups. Apple’s macOS offers an intuitive feature known as “natural scrolling,” which mimics the way you scroll on touch devices, like smartphones and tablets. However, not everyone finds this method intuitive, and you might prefer the traditional scrolling direction. Here’s how to change scrolling direction on Mac to better suit your preferences.

Accessing System Preferences

The option to change the scrolling direction on your Mac can be found in the System Preferences. Here’s how to get there:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen, and select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Navigate to Mouse or Trackpad Settings: Depending on whether you are using a mouse or a trackpad, click on the “Mouse” or “Trackpad” preference pane. The scrolling settings are located in each pane but might be slightly different depending on the device.

Changing Scrolling Direction

Once you are in the correct settings pane, changing the scrolling direction is just a few clicks away:

  1. Find the Scrolling Direction Option:
    • For trackpad users, look for a checkbox labeled “Scroll direction: Natural” under the “Scroll & Zoom” tab.
    • For mouse users, you will find a similar option under the “Point & Click” tab, also labeled “Scroll direction: Natural.”
  2. Adjust the Scrolling Direction:
    • If you want to enable natural scrolling, ensure the checkbox is checked. This setting means that when you swipe up on the trackpad or mouse, the content on the screen moves downward, and vice versa, mimicking the touch interaction on a mobile screen.
    • If you prefer the traditional scrolling method (like on non-Apple devices), where swiping up scrolls up, simply uncheck the box.
  3. Test Your New Settings: Close the System Preferences and navigate around your Mac to test the new scrolling direction. Open different applications to make sure the new setting works across your system.

Considerations When Changing Scrolling Direction

  • Consistency Across Devices: If you use multiple devices (like an iPad along with your Mac), you might want to keep the scrolling consistent across all devices to avoid confusion.
  • Muscle Memory: It can take some time to get used to a new scrolling direction, especially if you have been using one method for a long time. Allow yourself some time to adjust.

Changing the scrolling direction on your Mac is a simple but effective way to enhance your interaction with your Mac, making it more intuitive and personalized to your preferences. Whether you choose natural or traditional scrolling, macOS makes it easy to switch between the two, ensuring that every user can have a comfortable and productive experience.

Change Scrolling Speed on Mac

Adjusting the scrolling speed on your Mac can enhance your browsing experience or improve your efficiency while navigating through long documents and web pages. Whether you find the default scrolling too slow for your taste or too fast to control comfortably, macOS allows you to tweak this setting to match your preferences. Here’s how to change the scrolling speed on your Mac to get just the right pace for your needs.

Accessing Mouse or Trackpad Settings

To begin adjusting the scrolling speed, you need to first access the appropriate settings in your System Preferences:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Choose Mouse or Trackpad: Depending on your device, click on “Mouse” or “Trackpad” to open the settings for your input device.
    • For Mouse Users: Select the “Mouse” option.
    • For Trackpad Users: Select the “Trackpad” option.

Adjusting Scrolling Speed

Once you are in the correct settings pane, you can adjust the scrolling speed:

  1. Locate Scrolling Speed Adjustment:
    • For Mouse: Look for a slider labeled “Scrolling speed” or similar under the “Point & Click” tab. This slider allows you to control how fast the content moves when you use the scroll wheel.
    • For Trackpad: Under the “Scroll & Zoom” section, although direct scrolling speed adjustments might not be available, you can adjust related settings that affect how quickly gestures are recognized or how responsive the trackpad is to scrolling.
  2. Adjust the Slider: Move the slider to the left to decrease the scrolling speed (make it slower) or to the right to increase it (make it faster). The adjustment is immediate, so you can test the new speed in real-time as you adjust the slider.

Testing and Tweaking

After adjusting the scrolling speed, it’s a good idea to test the new settings:

  1. Test Scrolling: Open a web browser or a document where you can scroll extensively. Observe if the new speed fits your comfort level and efficiency needs.
  2. Readjust if Necessary: If the new setting isn’t perfect, go back and tweak the slider again until you find the ideal speed. It might take a few tries to get it just right.

Additional Tips

  • Individual Preferences: Consider the specific needs of different users or different contexts. You might want a slower scroll speed for precise work like editing photos or faster for scanning through lengthy articles.
  • Consider Accessibility Options: If you have accessibility needs, you might also want to explore other related settings in the “Accessibility” preferences pane. This section offers additional adjustments that might help tailor your device better to your needs.

Adjusting the scrolling speed on your Mac can significantly impact your user experience, making your interactions with the device more pleasant and productive. By fine-tuning this setting, you ensure that your Mac behaves in a way that complements your browsing habits and workflow, ultimately enhancing your overall efficiency and comfort.

How to Disable Inertia Scrolling on Your Mac

Inertia scrolling, also known as momentum scrolling, is a feature on Macs that allows the scrolling motion to continue smoothly for a moment after you finish a swipe or unclick the scroll wheel. This feature mimics the natural deceleration of moving objects and is intended to provide a more fluid and natural user experience. However, some users may find inertia scrolling disorienting or prefer a more controlled and predictable scrolling behavior, especially when editing documents or navigating detailed content. Disabling inertia scrolling on your Mac can make scrolling stop immediately after you end the input, giving you precise control over scroll behavior. Here’s how to disable inertia scrolling on your Mac.

Accessing Trackpad and Mouse Settings

To disable inertia scrolling, you will need to adjust the settings in the System Preferences, whether you are using a trackpad or a mouse.

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple menu at the top left corner of your screen, and select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Navigate to Trackpad or Mouse Settings:
    • For Trackpad Users: Click on “Trackpad”.
    • For Mouse Users: Click on “Mouse”.

Disabling Inertia Scrolling

The process for disabling inertia scrolling will vary slightly depending on whether you are using a trackpad or a mouse.

For Trackpad Users

  1. Open the Trackpad Settings: Once in the Trackpad settings window, look for a tab labeled “Scroll & Zoom”.
  2. Adjust Scrolling Options: Within this tab, uncheck the option for “Scrolling: with inertia” if it is available. In some versions of macOS, this specific option might not be directly modifiable, which would mean inertia is a fixed feature for trackpad users in the most recent system updates.

For Mouse Users

  1. Open the Mouse Settings: In the Mouse settings window, locate a checkbox for “Scrolling: with inertia” or a similar setting, depending on your system version.
  2. Disable Inertia Scrolling: Uncheck the box to disable inertia scrolling. This change should take effect immediately.

Testing the Changes

After disabling inertia scrolling, it is important to test the new settings:

  1. Test in Various Applications: Open different applications where you can scroll through content, such as web browsers, PDF readers, or word processors.
  2. Evaluate the Scrolling Behavior: Notice if the scrolling stops immediately after you end your swipe or click. Ensure the new setting aligns with your preferences and improves your interaction with content.


If you cannot find an option to disable inertia scrolling, it may be due to the following:

  • System Restrictions: Some macOS versions may not offer the ability to disable inertia scrolling as a built-in option.
  • Third-Party Software Solutions: If system settings do not allow for disabling inertia scrolling, you may consider third-party software solutions that offer more detailed customization options for mouse and trackpad behavior.


Changing the scroll direction on your Mac can greatly enhance your user experience, aligning it with your personal preferences or other devices you use. Whether you prefer natural or traditional scrolling, macOS allows you to easily switch between the two, enabling a more intuitive and customized navigation experience. By understanding how to change scrolling direction, adjust scrolling speed, and disable inertia, you can tailor your Mac to better suit your needs, making every interaction smoother and more efficient.

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