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How to scroll on Mac

6 min read

Whether we work with documents, web pages, or favorite apps on Mac, we can’t do without scrolling. To move the information up or down the limited visibility area of our screen, we typically use trackpad, keyboard keys, or scroll bars.

Each of the three methods has its loyal users when it comes to how to scroll on MacBook Air. Check out all of them to decide which one is more convenient, best fits the type of tasks you perform, and suits your style of working the most.

Let’s learn how to page up on MacBook to see if this simple routine action can be streamlined for  your daily workflow.

How to scroll down on a Mac using the Trackpad

Using Trackpad makes scrolling on Mac intuitive. You can scroll with a simple gesture — sliding two fingers across the Trackpad to move the page up, down, or sideways. 

Note that macOS has two options for the direction of the scroll: natural or not. Natural refers to scrolling that tracks the finger movements resembling physical reality — you push the page up to read something further down on it. Or you can uncheck the “Scroll direction” box for a more literal connection — you move your fingers down and the page on your screen moves down, following your gesture.

To configure your Trackpad scroll preference:

  1. Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu
  2. Choose Trackpad ➙ Scroll & Zoom
  3. Uncheck the box next to “Scroll direction: Natural” or keep it checked

how to scroll down on mac

Swish offers 28 intuitive gestures that you can activate or disable according to your personal preferences at any time. Not only will you know how to scroll down on a Mac, you’ll also learn to swipe, pinch, hold, and tap to effortlessly control windows on your screen.

Simply click on any gesture’s icon to add an intuitive Trackpad move to your workflow and enjoy a real surge in efficiency:

  • Pinch in on the window title bar to quit, swipe down to minimize, double-tap to hide, or choose other intuitive moves to save time
  • Work across multiple apps and data sources as Swish automatically organizes your windows into neat pixel-perfect 2x2, 2x3, or 3x3 grids
  • Move windows across workspaces in multi-monitor setups 
  • Use a mouse if that’s how things work best for you

swish mac

If your working style on Mac revolves around the Trackpad functionality, finding out that MacBook Pro Trackpad not scrolling might definitely be frustrating. Try these few simple steps to get it up and running again before you decide to turn to professional assistance:

  • Make sure you update to the latest version of macOS
  • Try resetting your Trackpad back to the factory settings in the Trackpad section of System Preferences (first make sure that “Tap to click” is unselected in “Point & Click,” and then that “Scroll direction: Natural” is selected in “Scroll & Zoom”)
  • Run a basic diagnostics check from startup

To customize the default Mac capabilities beyond just the Trackpad, choose BetterTouchTool. This app lets you create custom keyboard shortcuts, mouse gestures, Touch Bar widgets, remote triggers, and more.

BetterTouchTool comes with no pre-configured options, so you’re free to come up with shortcuts to provide yourself with optimal functionality across a whole range of devices:

  • Create your own key sequences, movements, and gestures to trigger actions with your Trackpad, mouse, keyboard, Touch Bar, as well as iPhone and even Apple Remote 
  • Appoint specific apps for every shortcut you record
  • Create new functional buttons and edit the existing setup of the Touch Bar 
  • Copy multiple items with integrated clipboard manager 
  • Edit images with a powerful screenshot tool 

better touch tool mac

How to scroll on Mac using keyboard keys 

If you want to be able to navigate web pages without lifting fingers off the keyboard, learn how to page down on Mac using arrow keys and Space.

To quickly move pages up and down in smaller or larger increments use these keyboard shortcuts for Mac:

  • To scroll up, down, left, or right ➙ arrow keys
  • To scroll down ➙ Space 
  • To page up on MacBook ➙ Shift + Space
  • To scroll to the top of a page ➙ Command + the up arrow
  • To scroll to the bottom of a page ➙ Command + the down arrow
  • To scroll in larger increments ➙ Option + a corresponding arrow key

To power up your productivity, try working on your typing speed in addition to using keyboard shortcuts. Check out KeyKey Typing Tutor to double your speed and eliminate typos.

KeyKey Typing Tutor works on building letter combinations into your muscle memory by letting you practice on real words and actual phrases. Expect efficiency in mastering touch typing, as KeyKey Typing Tutor:

  • Adjusts difficulty level for your practice: tasks get easier if your performance lacks precision, and new levels appear only after you’ve mastered previous ones 
  • Offers virtual on-screen keyboard hints to help you avoid looking down at your keyboard
  • Visualizes your speed and accuracy progress over time, showing you which letters you find most challenging
  • Designs advanced levels to include capital letters, numbers, and punctuation
  • Allows for learning with alternative layouts, like COLEMAK or DVORAK, in addition to QWERTY keyboard 
  • Teaches to type in English, French, Italian, Greek, and other languages

KeyKey typing

How to scroll on Mac via scrollbars

You can configure your system settings to always show scroll bars if that’s your preferred method of navigation. Here’s how to get scrollbar on Mac in a few simple steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu
  2. Choose General
  3. Find “Show scroll bars” section ➙ Always

This configuration is an answer to how to keep scrollbar on Mac. Otherwise, scrollbars will be visible only when the cursor is in the scrollbar area or when you start scrolling.

scroll on mac using scrollbars

Now that you know how to keep scrollbar on Mac, you can use the scrollbar area to move up and down the pages. Simply click above the scroll box to page up on MacBook or below the scroll box to move the page you’re working on down.

To configure this setting:

  1. Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu
  2. Click on General
  3. Find “Click in the scroll bar to” section ➙ Jump to the next page

How to scroll on MacBook Air the way that suits you best

How often do we perform simple actions like scrolling without even noticing? Meanwhile, these are what our working routines are made of. Potential for optimizing our overall performance depends on the seconds we waste clicking, dragging, or wondering how to page down on Mac. So, first, do yourself a favor and check which scrolling style is the most convenient for you — using trackpad, keyboard shortcuts, or window scrollbars. 

Second, next time you think about “how do I scroll down on my Mac?” consider the power up options offered by Swish and BetterTouchTool. Choose gestures, moves, and shortcuts that streamline actions you perform regularly in apps you use most often. Additionally, choose to become friends with KeyKey Typing Tutor to make sure your typing speed isn’t what compromises your productivity.

See if Swish, BetterTouchTool, and KeyKey Typing Tutor are right for you with a free seven-day trial on Setapp, a platform of high-performance, best-in-class iOS and macOS apps. Benefit from streamlined daily performance with the help of more than 230 options to choose from for optimal productivity.

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