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Disable That Irritating AutoScroll Feature in Firefox

So you try to middle click on a link on a page and miss the link… then the round “Auto Scroll” icon shows up and suddenly the page is moving around and scrolling all by itself. It drives me crazy, so when it was mentioned in the latest Coding Horror article I figured I would write it up in case anybody else wants to disable it.

Note: You can’t disable the same thing in Internet Explorer as far as I can tell. If anybody knows of a way, let me know.

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Open up the Options dialog through Tools \ Options, click on the Advanced tab/button, and then uncheck the “Use autoscrolling” box.

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The change should be immediate, no need to restart.

Note: This should work on Firefox 2 or 3.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/28/08

Comments (51)

  1. rbailin

    If you’re using MS Intellipoint, you can redefine the function of the middle key (in my case, clicking the scroll wheel) to something other than Auto-scroll (in my case, Double-Click).

  2. timothy

    That’s so simple, but yet somehow I never knew it was there…

    I usually use Internet Explorer and it drives me crazy, but I might switch to Firefox now that I know I can disable it.

  3. Calaelen

    thanks!

    This shows again: men don’t read manuals.
    Haven’t found this option till your blogpost *happy*

  4. Kum Sharma

    Hi You can disable the same thing in Internet Explorer as well. Go to Control Panel, then Mouse, then to Activities tab. Make sure Turn On ClickLock is unchecked. Try This…….Cheers

  5. Carl@Brightrev

    Good tip! In addition to this, if you type about:config in Firefox’s address bar and double-click the middlemouse.paste entry, the middle mouse button will paste in Firefox, like it does in the UNIX world.

  6. Smashpmk712

    @ Kum Sharma, This did not work for me ….. I haven’t got that option, I am running vista 32BIT with a basic wired mouse.

  7. The Geek

    ClickLock doesn’t work that way, it’s for selecting text or dragging things without having to hold down the mouse button.

    If you have a wheel mouse, IE automatically enables autoscroll.

  8. jonhill987

    How did I not spot that! this has been irritating me for ages!

  9. mick

    Very good. Though, any idea why whenever I middle-click on anywhere on a page Firefox attempts to open whatever text happens to be on the clipboard at that moment, and more often than not produces a ‘This URL is invalid and cannot be loaded’ message?

  10. Hg

    Do you know a similar thing for Opera?

  11. C Nyren

    I never realized how much I was annoyed until you told me how to fix it. I was in ‘autoscroll by accident’ denial.

    Now I’m cured. Thanks.

  12. The Shape of Things to Come

    Thanks for the tip mate. It is really annoying and should be disabled by default.

  13. Stuart F

    :O I love auto scroll! How could you guys want to take it away. It’s so incredably useful!

  14. Bob Affett

    I use autoscroll all the time.. in fact mine’s been inadvertently disabled thanks to a plug-in, which I have now uninstalled for messing with my autoscroll settings.. been trying to figure out what was up with it but forgot there was a setting for it in options.. dohh

    Thanks.

    o/

  15. Nerdlinger

    Cheers mate ! ,

    that was driving me fecking crazy , was about to buy a new mouse ! , so simple yet never thought to look .

  16. Jackson

    THANK YOU!!!! What a relief — that was SO IRRITATING. I vaguely remembered stumbling across this years ago, but I couldn’t remember what to do. How do people work without being able to middleclick their wheel/ball?!?! If I couldn’t open links in a new tab, with one hand, and without right-clicking — I’d go bonkers.

    Thanks again!!!!

  17. sahlgoode

    Can this be achieved in the Opera web browser?

  18. ad13972@yahoo.com

    Why does my computer scroll up and down by itself it drives me crazy like now when im typing it scrolls by itself why and what can i do to fix it ? Thanks
    Mike ….

  19. Joe

    Logitech MouseWare drivers can change the function of middle button of mice even if yours are not made by Logitech.
    Just google Logitech MouseWare for the drivers.

  20. Veron

    Thank you so much for the guide!..

    I’ve been frustrated with this problem for few weeks…

    Thanks a lot!

  21. tori

    Do the exact same for micosoft, only autoscroll is alled smoothscroll

  22. Andrea

    Thank you so much! This feature was driving me mad – I thought my computer trackpad was broken, and found your site through a google search.

  23. qwertyu63

    Thank you. I used these steps to turn the useful feature on (it was off on mine).

  24. youaremygod

    Thank you so much for this. This has been bugging the s#@% out of me forever.

  25. JTC

    THANK YOU!! I have been irritated by this for weeks. Now it’s gone. Hooray!!

  26. David McRitchie

    Not much point to setting wheel button to double-click as double and triple-click are easily done with the left mouse button.

    The real value of this button is when it is set to Enter through the system control panel for mouse, and it is universal for all applications. May have to override Firefox specifically, but the reason that Firefox has been an exception was to make forward and back buttons work in the past.

    Gets rid of the annoying and useless automatic scrolling, and means you can use the keyboard a little less on dialogs that that have a default for such as [Ok] [Cancel], in which case you hit Enter. Also good for location-bar (address-bar) and search box, and other form entry by simply hitting Enter no need for a toolbar button or need to use the Enter key if you hand is already on the mouse after cut and paste, or drop-down selection.

    Just a matter of designers saying we have a button with no function, let’s demonstrate auto-scrolling and make it the default so people learn about it. But as a feature it’s not too practical.

  27. David McRitchie

    Had expected the website I entered to show up a link to my name, here is a relevant webpage,
    which also includes both Keyboard Shortcuts and Mouse Shortcuts across 5 browsers (Windows):
    . Firefox and other Browser Keyboard Shortcuts (Comparison Table)
    . http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/firefox/keyboard.htm

  28. Arjun M

    Completely the opposite for me. I love the autoscrolling feature. Can’t live without it for a few websites. Most notably Twitter with Endless Tweets (Greasemonkey script) enabled.

    -Arjun

  29. Mike

    Ok…I’m just trying to get this generic HP USB Optical 2 button Mouse with scroll wheel (& button) working to where the “scroll wheel” button can be set to double-click anything within Windows Vista (Browser, Windows Explorer, Files, etc.). Microsoft Inellipoint doesn’t work (uninstalled it). I guess I’ll try the Logitech Mouseware…By the way, HP’s web site is zero help…they don’t even offer the driver. It’s a wired optical USB mouse (2 button with scroll wheel).

  30. aaa

    thanx a lot! I finally found where to turn it ON!

  31. Frank

    Some plugins may also interfere with this setting. I was really annoyed by the autoscrolling and tried to deactivate it as you described but the checkbox for autoscrolling was empty and I couldn’t even tick it. Then I had a look in the “about:config” URL for advanced settings and saw that the AllinOne Gestures plugin also defined some autoscrolling defaults. I opened Tools->Addons, then All-In-One Gestures->preferences and, sure enough, there was another “autoscrolling check box, which was ticked. Unticking that finally solved my problem.

  32. Mike

    Thanks for this. I hate this feature too. It drives me round the bend. Looking forward to turning it off! :-)

  33. Ralph Dratman

    Thanks for the “autoscrolling” help. When I saw the word “autoscrolling,” it meant something different to me, having to do with the text insertion point, unrelated to the mouse.

  34. nphaze

    How To Stop Auto Scroll

    1. Open Mouse Properties
    2. Select Buttons Tab
    3. Under Scrolling Size Select 1 line (you can change to 3, 6, or screen later & see if you like that better but it doesn’t affect the auto scrolling)
    4. Check the “Use MS Office Compatible Scroll Only” box
    5. Check the “Scroll in Active Window Only” box
    6. Select Apply
    7. Select OK

    That should do it!

  35. Wercik

    I don’t get it. Are you a moron of some kind? Is it so hard to aim properly when hitting mmb? When you aim directly on the link, autoscroll doesn’t turn itself on.

  36. a

    awesome! dumbest feature EVER. i’m so glad i can finally disable that sh*t

  37. Mike

    It cracks me up that the responses are either “worst feature ever!” or “I love autoscrolling!” Didn’t know this was such a polarizing feature.

    For the record, I rather enjoy autoscolling.

  38. James

    I found this page looking for information on autoscrolling, because I didn’t know what it was.

    I also didn’t know what middle-clicking was (I have two buttons on my wireless mouse and I never use to scroll wheel to click on links). When I click the scroll wheel, an icon appears! COOL!

    Anyway… I now know what autoscrolling is! Thank you, I plan on using it A LOT from now on! Very useful and practical feature!

  39. test

    test

  40. Breck

    This is pretty hilarious. Auto scrolling is an annoyance to some, and a necessity to others. I was intending to disable it, but now I’m curious.

    To those who like it, would you mind explaining why it appeals to you? The answer may simple, but it may be informing to others. Did it take much practice? Did it take time for you to become “comfortable” with it? Does using it (or not) depend on the type of webpage, format, style, or content? Did you adjust any settings (speed, etc)?

    Thanks.

  41. John

    I have the same problem with Chrome… doesn’t look like there is a fix to that.

  42. Philip

    OK, I worked it out chums.

    Took me a while,

    Go to CHANGE MOUSE SETTINGS, and then on the tab, DEVICE SETTINGS, click on SETTINGS,

    then go to SCROLLING, and then click on ONE-FINGER SCROLLING and untick ENABLE VERTICAL SCROLLING.

    That did it. No other settings will change it apart from this.

    Happy scrolling!

  43. frances

    THANK YOU – I HATE AUTO SCROLL

  44. Ron

    I actually love autoscroll and use it all the time. When editing code, I find myself trying to invoke it in Notepad++ or Visual Studio and for a split second I hit that wall of frustration where my brain is screaming “Why isn’t the page zipping around?!” And then I remember I’m not using a Web browser.

    AUTOSCROLL FOREVER!!!!!

  45. Kathy Goodman

    Autoscroll suddenly turned itself on and was driving me nuts. Thanks for this easy fix!

  46. kate

    Hi,
    You can change autoscroll on PC by going to Control Panel > Hardware > Mouse. In Mouse Properties, under “Buttons” you can change what the middle wheel button does.

  47. J Bassett

    Thank you so much! This stupid setting is a nightmare if you have seizure problems and has been making me feel so so ill. Very ill person unfriendly! But who wants the whole screen to start whizzing by uncontrollably anyway??? Sorry, just had a big screen whiz thanks to autoscroll and feel really ill now and irritable! Thanks again for posting this easy fix, really appreciate it.

  48. Michael

    I personaly love it, smoothly move through large documents/pages as quickly as you want. Better than scrolling the mouse wheel or having to move to the scroll bar to skip through large sections – it probably does take some getting used to though.

  49. LMY

    Thank you so much! i’ve been looking for this for years!

    DIE Autoscroll! DIE!

  50. Snazzy

    I love autoscroll. However in Firefox, it shakes when I get to the top or bottom of the screen. Is there a fix to stop the annoying shake, please?

  51. Karen Bushy

    I can’t seem to get rid of it using the the touch pad on my H/P laptop. It just drives me CRAZY! It lengthens the time I’m working because it just zips around like some crazy kid on speed! Any clue on what to do with a laptop? Or, should I just plug in a mouse to rid this machine of this “malady”?

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