Back to the future, natural scrolling for Windows

Back to the future

 “Either you hate it, or love it” This seems to be the case when discussing reverted scrolling or “natural scrolling”. And I agree, it does seem a little strange to break 25 years of convention. But maybe natural scrolling isn’t all that strange…..What if it only feels like you are taking a step back, but are you really taking a step back into the future.

What is natural scrolling ?

Conventional scrolling


In the conventional way of scrolling the content moves in the same direction as the scolling motion. This means when you scrol down: the content goes down, when you scroll up: the content goes up. I’m not explaining anything new here..

Natural scrolling


With natural scrolling the mindset is different, the goal is to push or pull the content. When you scroll up you push the content away (content moves downwards), when you scroll down you’re pulling the content back up.


Here’s why I love natural scrolling

Although the majority of Mac users seem to hate the natural scrolling function, I absolutly love it. And despite being part of a minority I do see people using natural scrolling almost every day, the’re natural scrolling away on their phones and tablets. In my mind it makes more sense to adapt to using only one technique instead of using different techniques for different types of devices.

I find natural scrolling to be more intuitive and more immediate. And usually when I ask tablet users why they love their tablets so much, I get the same answer! it’s more intuitive more immediate.

On most tablets you can not change the type of scrolling, also try the following: place a letter or prose or anything in front of you on the table, as you are reading the text notice how you move the paper. My closing argument: try something new, rebel against convention, try using one type of scrolling on all your devices, try and go back to the future.

Here’s how to enable natural scrolling in Windows:

Go to your search box or a command box. Type Regedit.exe hit F3 and search for a parameter called: FlipFlopWheel (I’m not making this up) and set the parameter to 1 instead of zero.

Or use powershell to change the parameter with the following code:

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID\*\*\Device` Parameters FlipFlopWheel -EA 0 | ForEach-Object { Set-ItemProperty $_.PSPath FlipFlopWheel 1 }

Afterwards reboot your machine.

Be aware, this is a HKEY LOCAL MACHINE setting, meaning: you’re changing it for the intire machine, and for all the users who are using this machine. So think twice before implementing these features on SBC or terminal server environments.
If you want to change back to old school scrolling, change the 1 at the end of the powershell script into a 0 and execute the script again.

For the Linux fanboys, “we haven’t forgotten about you”

Download Natural Scrolling for Ubuntu ‘Natural Scrolling’ can be installed in Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 from its own PPA: –

Add ‘ppa:zedtux/naturalscrolling‘ to your Software Sources, update, then install the ‘naturalscrolling’ package from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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