How to Reverse Scrolling Direction on Mac

Do you find the default scrolling direction on your Mac to be unnatural? If so, you’re not alone. Many people prefer to scroll in the opposite direction, with the trackpad or mouse moving down the screen as they move their finger or scroll wheel up. If you’ve been wondering how to reverse the scrolling direction on your Mac device, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Reverse Scrolling Direction On Mac featured

Interestingly, macOS offers a simple way to reverse the scrolling direction. The best part is that you can use it to reverse the scroll for your external mouse as well. There are also third-party tools that offer independent scroll functionality.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to reverse scrolling direction on your Mac, making your scrolling experience more familiar and comfortable. Let’s begin.

How to Invert Scroll in macOS

Apple offers a native way baked inside macOS to change the scroll direction of the trackpad easily. Here’s how to do that.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo on the Menu bar and select System Settings.

Launch System Settings

Step 2: Inside the System Settings window, scroll down on the left sidebar and click on Trackpad.

Open trackpad settings

Step 3: Now, switch to the ‘Scroll & Zoom’ tab on the right by clicking on it.

switch to scroll and zoom tab

Step 4: Turn off the toggle next to Natural scrolling.

disable natural scrolling

And that’s it. Your trackpad and mouse’s scroll direction has been inverted.

Limitation of Apple’s Reverse Scroll Method

While the method is straightforward, it also means that you have a reverse scroll for the touchpad and your external mouse. However, some users want a different scrolling mechanism for the trackpad and a different one for the external mouse. By default, on a trackpad, the natural scroll works like you’d scroll on a touchscreen. Basically, how you’d scroll through a page.

Limitation of Apples Reverse Scroll Method
Source: Satechi Mouse for MacBook

On the other hand, an external mouse uses a scroll wheel, corresponding to how a user interacts with the scroll bar on a webpage. The issue with Apple’s method of disabling natural scroll is that it applies to both the trackpad and the mouse. Thankfully, we can use a third-party tool called UnnaturalScrollWheels to reverse scroll independently for the trackpad and the external mouse.

How to Reverse Scroll Independently for TrackPad and Mouse

The way UnnaturalScrollWheels works is that it controls the scroll direction for your external mouse. So, you can still use Apple’s official method to control the scroll direction of your trackpad. Ideally, it’s best to enable Natural scrolling to ensure that your trackpad scrolls in the proper direction.

So, here’s how to invert the scroll direction for your mouse independently.

Step 1: Download the latest version of UnnaturalScrollWheels from the app’s GitHub page or using the link below.

The app is open-source, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Step 2: Next, install UnnaturalScrollWheels using the DMG file you just downloaded. To do that, double-click on the DMG file to open it. Then drag the UnnaturalScrollWheels icon to the Applications folder.

Install UnnaturalScrollWheels

Step 3: Now that the app is installed, launch it from the Applications folder. You’ll be greeted with a warning message. Simply click on Open to proceed.

click on open

Step 4: Inside the Preferences window for UnnaturalScrollWheels, enable the checkbox next to ‘Invert vertical scrolling’.

enable the checkbox next to Invert vertical scrolling

And that’s it. You can now use the scroll wheel on your mouse as intended without having to reverse the scroll direction of the trackpad.

FAQs on Reverse Scrolling on Mac

1. How do I sync the scroll direction for my mouse and trackpad?

By default, the scroll direction for your mouse and trackpad will be the same. However, you can change this by using a third-party app like UnnaturalScrollWheels.

2. Do these settings apply to all applications on my Mac?

Yes, once you modify the scrolling direction in the System Settings (or System Preferences), the change will apply to all applications and windows throughout your macOS environment.

3. Will reversing the scrolling direction affect other gestures on my Mac?

No, reversing the scrolling direction won’t affect any other gestures or functionalities of your trackpad or mouse. It only changes the scrolling behavior.

4. How do I turn on horizontal scrolling on Mac?

On the trackpad, you can simply scroll two fingers horizontally to scroll horizontally. Alternatively, on a mouse, you can hold down the Shift key and scroll using the scroll wheel to scroll horizontally instead of vertically.

Scroll Away

And that’s it! You can now scroll on the touchpad in the direction of your choice. What’s more? You can have a different scroll direction for your external mouse and Mac’s trackpad. The choice is yours. Now that you’ve mastered the scroll direction, how about customizing the trackpad’s gestures as well?

Last updated on 03 August, 2023

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