How to scroll on Macbook Air or Pro

Navigating a MacBook Air is a fundamental aspect of using the device to its fullest. To do this, knowing how to scroll up and down your screen quickly is important.

Scrolling on Macbook Air/Pro

Scrolling on a MacBook Air involves using gestures on the trackpad or employing the scroll function of a mouse.

Both the Macbook Air and Pro use a touch trackpad, which is intended to give a more interactive way to navigate through web pages and documents than with Windows.

And for many people, it works – scrolling on a Macbook is straightforward enough.

To use the trackpad effectively, familiarize yourself with its surface and responsiveness. Go to System Settings > Trackpad to adjust the settings to your liking.

speed-feedback-settings

This includes adjusting scrolling speed when you drag your finger across the surface, and the feedback you get when clicking.

Experiment with the tracking speed and sensitivity until you find a setting that feels natural to you.

Scrolling with the Trackpad

To scroll on a MacBook Air or Pro using the trackpad, use a two-finger gesture.

Simply place two fingers on the trackpad and slide them vertically to scroll up and down or horizontally to scroll sideways.

This gesture is mirrors the natural motion you would use when scrolling with a traditional mouse wheel, as you simply drag your fingers in the direction you wish to scroll.

macOS uses a natural scroll direction that mimics the gesture used on touchscreens (when you drag your fingers up, you’ll scroll down the screen, and vice versa. If this feels counterintuitive, you can change it from its default settings

Open System Settings. Then, click on Trackpad.

natural-scroll

Toggle the Natural Scrolling option off to reverse the scrolling direction.

Scrolling with a Magic Mouse

If you’re using a mouse with your MacBook Air/Pro, the process is slightly different.

For Apple’s Magic Mouse, the entire surface is touch-sensitive, and you can scroll by swiping one finger along the top of the mouse.

It’s pretty much the same as the touchpad, except you’re using the smaller surface of the Magic mouse to do the scrolling.

macOS allows you to customize your scrolling behavior, and it’s worth doing this within your System Settings > Mouse to adjust things to your liking.

It may also be worth adjusting your scroll speed on Mac. The scroll speed can determine how quickly you move through pages. Some users prefer a slower scroll for precision, while others want a faster scroll to navigate quickly.

You can do this by going into System Settings, and then > Trackpad or Mouse. You’ll see a slider under each that you can use to increase or decrease the scroll rate.

Using Scroll Gestures

Beyond the basic two-finger scroll, the MacBook Air trackpad supports additional gestures that can enhance your scrolling experience.

A good example would be smart zoom, which allows you to double-tap with two fingers to zoom in and out. This is ideal if you want to zoom in on a webpage.

trackpad-zoom

Another great example is the ability to swipe between pages using a two-finger swipe left or right to navigate through. You can use this to scroll pages in Safari or swipe between full-screen apps.

trackpad-swipe

Go through the Trackpad settings in full if you want to see if there are any changes you can make.

Scroll Bars (always see)

By default, macOS hides scroll bars unless you’re actively scrolling. If you prefer to always see the scroll bars, first go back into System Settings.

always-see-scroll-bars

Then, go to Appearance. Choose “Always” next to “Show scroll bars” to enable this feature on your Macbook.

Conclusion

Scrolling on a MacBook Air, whether using the trackpad or a mouse, is designed to be easy and fluid.

By understanding and customizing your scrolling settings, you can navigate your MacBook Air with ease and precision.

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Abby

Full-time writer & Apple fangirl. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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