Scrollbar appears when the content inside the app overflows than the window’s height and width. You can hold the horizontal or vertical bar and drag it to reach the required position quickly. Alternatively, you can use the touchpad or mouse wheel (center button) for scrolling purposes depending on the applications. Sometimes the scrollbars behave inconsistently especially when you use the mouse wheel or touchpad for scrolling. In this article, we will explore how to customize scrollbar settings in Windows 11 computer to make it convenient for your use.
Default Scrollbar Behavior in Windows 11
By default, Windows will show the scrollbars (both horizontal and vertical) only when they are needed. For example, moving the mouse wheel or pointer over an active or inactive app window will show scrollbars. Also, the scrollbars will show as thin line and the thickness will increase when you move the mouse over on it.
Here are some of the options to customize the scrollbar and scrolling behavior in Windows 11.
1. Make Scrollbars Always Visible with Increased Thickness
Windows will automatically hide the scrollbars even when you are typing in apps like Word or reading an article in Edge. Hidden scrollbars can create multiple accessibility problems. For example, you will not know the exact position where you are in the document. The solution is to make the scrollbar always visible when you are actively using the app window.
- Click the Start button (or press Windows logo key) and then click “Settings” app from pinned apps. Otherwise, press “Win + I” keys to open Settings section in Windows 11.
- When you are in Settings app, go to “Accessibility” section and select “Visual effects” option.
- On the next screen, enable “Always show scrollbars” option.
This will permanently show the scrollbars in most of the supported apps like Notepad, WordPad, etc. Some apps like Notepad will also show thick size scrollbar when you enable the option which will be convenient for use.
2. Disable Scrolling on Inactive App Windows
You can scroll the content on any app windows (active and inactive) by simply scrolling the mouse wheel over without selecting the app. This may help for multitasking like keep a Notepad window always on top of Word document and read the content on both apps by scrolling the mouse wheel.
However, you can disable scrollbars on inactive window and force to select the app for scrolling its content.
- When you are in Settings app, go to “Bluetooth & devices > Mouse” section.
- On the mouse settings page, go to “Scrolling” section and disable “Scroll inactive windows when hovering over them” option.
3. Set Number of Lines to Scroll for Mouse Wheel
The next tip is to customize the scrolling depth for your mouse wheel. By default, Windows will scroll few lines when you move the mouse wheel. However, you can customize this by selecting appropriate “Roll the mouse wheel to scroll” option under the same “Scrolling” section of mouse settings page.
- Multiple lines at a time – this is the default option and you can move the slider to set the number of lines to scroll.
- One screen at a time – this will move the screen by screen when you scroll the mouse wheel (the “Lines to scroll at a time” slider will be disabled when you select this option). Moving a screen is useful when you are reading a story or eBook to have better experience.
4. Set Scrollbar Direction in Touchpad
By default, you can drag two fingers on the touchpad to scroll the content. However, it important to set the directions for vertical scrollbar when you drag two fingers up or down. Some users feel comfortable scrolling content in the same direction along with fingers movement while others feel easier when the content moves in opposite direction.
- Go to Settings app and navigate to “Bluetooth & devices > Touchpad” section.
- Check under “Scroll & zoom” section and make sure “Drag two fingers to scroll” option is checked.
- Click “Scrolling direction” dropdown and select the convenient option for moving the content down or up while scrolling.
Note: Setting up scrolling direction will only affect touchpad finger movement. This will not affect the mouse wheel; it will always move the content up (page down) when you scroll the wheel in backward direction.
5. Disable Scrollbars with Touchpad
If you feel difficulty in using two fingers scrolling with touchpad, you can completely disable the scrollbars to use with touchpad. To do this, uncheck “Drag two fingers to scroll” option under “Scroll & zoom” section of “Touchpad” settings.
We hope the above tips helped you to customize the scrollbar for your convenient use. Though these settings work on all default Windows apps, they may not work with some apps including Microsoft Word. There are no default options for settings custom thickness and color for scrollbars as the appearance widely vary based on individual app. In addition, few apps have their own scrollbar settings like pressing the spacebar will jump to next page in applications like Microsoft Edge browser.
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