How to Set Different Scroll Preference for Mouse and Trackpad in Mac

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Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed
Founder and Cheif Editor of Techtippr, Get in touch with me on Twitter or Enjoy my Stories on Instagram. I think they are interesting. :-)

Working on the Mac OS has been a refreshing experience for me after using only Windows for years, Chromebooks helped a lot to rely less on the native apps.

I recently bought a Macbook Air that I used as my travel work machine, it’s very lightweight to carry around and gives me enough battery power that I can forget about carrying the charger when I am taking my Macbook to the cafe for longer writing sessions.

We all know how productive we become when we use a Mouse instead of the touchpad, I mean, writing is okay, but when you have to work in different windows and have to do a lit of editing or formatting then a mouse really helps.

But using a Mouse on Mac seems a bit odd, why? I mean it is because of the way apple wants us to use it. the Mouse works just the opposite of what we are used to on Windows or on any other OS.

Scroll Preference

Apple calls it ‘Natural scroll’ which works just like a touchscreen, where, when you slide your fingers upwards, the screen also goes up, swipe down and the screen goes down, but when you connect a Mouse to your Mac, this behaviour is just odd.

And when you uncheck the ‘natural scroll’ the mouse start working the way we want but then the touchpad is working odd. And there is no way to set different preferences for mouse and touchpad.

Scroll Preferences

Even though Apple has given separate check boxes for enabling ‘natural scroll’ in both Touchpad and Mouse preferences, but they both are linked to each others, which means if you uncheck it for the Mouse, it also gets unchecked for the Touchpad as well.

I use different machines for different purpose, and even when I forced myself for using the ‘natural scroll’ for the mouse, it creates problems when I was using my Windows Desktop for work.

I searched for a solution and found that there are many others who face the same issue as mine. I was surprised to find forum posts dated 2011, which means Apple still hasn’t fixed this, maybe they do not think of it as a problem which should be addressed, and if they haven’t addressed it in 5 years, I don’t hope they will come up with it in near future.

Here is a comment on one of the forum posts that I like so much that I am quoting it in this article –

I don’t want to change a decades-old habit with the mouse, just because Apple changed their idea of how a trackpad should work. I embrace the trackpad change because it makes sense to anyone who uses an iPhone or iPad (and I use both) but I’m not willing to rewire my brain’s way of using the mouse.)

The ‘natural scroll’ feels natural on the touchpad, but the Mouse scroll has to be reverse it is how it has worked. Users should be given a choice, especially in a world of multiple platforms

Thankfully, there is an app to fix this issue.


Scroll Reverser is the app that will let you set an independent scrolling preference for the Mouse.

Download and Install Scroll Reverser and check the ‘Reserve Scrolling’, ‘Reverse Vertical’, and ‘Reverse Mouse’ options and you are good to go. Also make sure you set it to run as the system starts to let it run in the background.

Let’s hope that Apple will release this and will put an option to select your preference for the mouse independently if not reverse scroll it by default.

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