How to Scroll on Mac Easier by Always Showing Scroll Bars

Jan 3, 2023 - 2 Comments

Always show scroll bars on Mac

Modern versions of MacOS default to hiding scroll bars until the user is actively scrolling. While this helps to add to a minimalist appearance, it can also make navigating apps, webpages, and preferences more challenging since there is no clear indicator that you can scroll, until you attempt to start scrolling. One way to make scrolling easier on a Mac is to make the scrollbars always visible.

How to Scroll on Mac

First, let’s refresh how to scroll on a Mac.

If you have a Mac with a Trackpad, either a MacBook series laptop or with an external Magic Trackpad, you can use two-fingers on the trackpad to scroll, just by putting two fingers on the trackpad and swiping up or down, or left or right.

If you have a Mac with a scroll wheel, you can slide the scroll wheel back and forth to scroll up and down.

If you have a Mac with a Magic Mouse, you can use two-finger scrolling as well, similar to trackpads.

Using two fingers instead of one accesses other useful features on the Mac as well, like the right click.

Of course you may be wondering, how do I know where to scroll? and that’s a perfectly reasonable question. Rather than guessing or trying to scroll everywhere, you can change a system setting to make scroll bars always visible on the Mac.

How to Set Scrollbars to Always Be Visible

In modern versions of MacOS, from Ventura 13.0 onward, you can set scroll bars to always be visible by doing the following:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Settings”
  2. Go to “Appearance”
  3. Look for ‘Show Scroll Bars’ and choose the toggle next to “Always”
  4. Always show scroll bars on Mac

The change is immediately visible and you will instantly see scrollbars on the Mac anywhere that scroll bars or a scrolling area exists. No more guesswork, you can instantly see visually where you can and can not scroll.

You may notice this is different from showing scroll bars in earlier MacOS versions where the setting was located in General system preferences.

Another nifty scrolling trick is to scroll horizontally by holding Shift key.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Neil Card says:

    Missed a step. Must go to General after system preferences.

    • Paul says:

      In MacOS Ventura 13 and newer, the System Settings have been redesigned and shuffled around, and this is now where the setting for scroll bars resides.

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