Natural Scrolling in Windows 8

Published 29 Nov 2012

Apple Mouse

In OS X Lion, Apple introduced natural scrolling. It means that when you scroll, the scrollable content will move around like it was a sheet of paper you pressed and dragged around with your finger.

If you read the lines above, but have not tried natural scrolling yourself, you may think that this is how you have scrolled all along. However, the traditional way of scrolling is inverted.

Although natural scrolling feels strange at first, you quickly get used to it… especially if you are used to scroll on your smartphone or tablet. After a while, I found it really strange to go back to the old way of scrolling.

Since I run Windows on a separate partition, I can boot up a Windows computer on my Mac and run it in parallell with OS X. Since natural scrolling does not exist on Windows, I thus have to switch between natural and old-school scrolling when I switch between OS X and Windows.

However, there is a farily easy way to setup natural scrolling in Windows as well. Just follow these steps:

  • If you are using a Magic Mouse, first make sure that you have installed Apple’s Magic Mouse Utilities (free) to enable horizontal scrolling.

  • Download and install AutoHotkey (free)

  • When prompted, press yes to create a sample script.

  • In the file that opens up in Notepad, add the following lines below the #z and ^!n:: rows:

#MaxHotkeysPerInterval 100000000000

WheelUp::
Send {WheelDown}
Return

WheelDown::
Send {WheelUp}
Return

WheelLeft::
Send {WheelRight}
Return

WheelRight::
Send {WheelLeft}
Return

The reason why I set MaxHotkeysPerInterval to a silly high number, is to avoid the alert that is displayed if the number of received hotkeys exceeds this number.

After adding these lines, save the file and right-click the AutoHotkey icon in the task bar. Click “Reload this script”.

Natural scrolling should now be enabled.