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Fixing Firefox Scrolling Problems with Dell Synaptics Touchpad

As most regular readers know, I’ve recently been able to enjoy a super-slick new Dell laptop—there’s just one small problem: my touchpad simply won’t scroll in Firefox!

Since this is a serious workflow problem, and I can’t use an external mouse all the time, I set about trying to find a fix. Turns out the Circular Scrolling feature was breaking in Firefox, and simply wasn’t scrolling at all—and here’s how to disable it.

Note: I’m using Windows 7, but one would assume the same problem might exist in Windows Vista as well since the drivers are the same.

Fixing Firefox Scrolling Issue

Open up Control Panel and look for the Mouse properties window, or just type mouse into the start menu search box. Once you are there, you should see a Dell Touchpad settings window, where you can click to open the settings.

image 

Next, click on the Scrolling Settings link…

image

And remove the checkbox from the Circular Scrolling option. This is what was breaking the scrolling for me.

image

Hit the Apply button, and with any luck you should immediately be able to scroll in Firefox again.

Second Alternative Fix

If the above fix doesn’t solve your problem, you can remove the Dell touchpad drivers and install the generic Synaptics ones, which work better for a lot of people—but they are missing some of the extra Dell features. As long as your touchpad does what you are expecting, it could be worth it.

http://www.synaptics.com/support/drivers

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 05/18/09

Comments (10)

  1. GoodBytes

    I don’t have this problem with my latitude E6400. But, I got a tweak that you can post related Alps touchpad, and I think you’ll love it:

    For sure, you have noted that Windows Vista/Win7 cursor doesn’t animate the second you scroll a page, as the cursor is being replaced with a scrolling cursor, and does a bad job at returning the default Windows cursor. The solution is to prevent the program from showing that scroll cursor. NOTE that touchpad will still be able to scroll.

    Fix:
    Set ‘CursorChangeType’ value to 0, in 3 locations:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Alps\Apoint
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Alps\Apoint
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Alps\Apoint_Default\

    Happy mouse animation :)

  2. GoodBytes

    (forgot to mention, you need to restart your computer on the above tweak once done to see it in affect)

    Another tweak I discovered and ready to share:

    In the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Alps\Apoint and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Alps\Apoint\

    Look for ‘UseCustomGUI’. Change it’s value form 1 to 0.
    Now, without system restart, open the Windows Mouse Panel from the Control Panel.

    Enjoy the new mouse features, which some of them doesn’t work on my side (but maybe for you).

  3. ta

    Try this solution xp pro, and vista
    At command prompt, or run box
    taskkill /im SynTPEnh.exe

    This leaves SynTPEnh in a limbo state (still running), but scroll starts working in firefox. Flat out terminating SynTPEnh.exe stops scrolling from working in anything.
    Tested on:
    WindowsXP SP3- Synaptics v10.2.4 FF3
    Vista SP2- Synaptics V 12.2.4.1 FF 3.5

    XP home doesn’t have taskkill. Download nircmd http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html
    Place executables in windows folder, use the following command:
    nircmd closeprocess SynTPEnh.exe

    mozillazine post:
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1524405

  4. Vas

    Awesome!!!

    The lack of scrolling was killing me. I was forced to left & right click in unison or to use the sidebar – both of which are obviously far too lame.

    Thanks!

  5. Yank

    New Dell 1764 laptop, driving me nuts. The scroll function of the touchpad doesn’t work, can’t get help from Dell, or find anything on windows search. Also, there is no touchpad icon on the toolbar/notification area. No info on control panel mouse area. BTW, I had it “optimized” by the Geek Squad” at Best Buy. Please help, or I’m going for a return/refund of the computer.
    Yank

  6. cz

    Cheers, that did it!

  7. anant

    yo you dont need to do this just go out of full screen.
    then highlight any text.
    then press space button done now scrolling works!!

  8. susan

    THANK YOU very much, This fixed my problem. I don’t know how that circular box got checked
    but I’ve been suffering for weeks. Thanks again !

  9. abby

    same problem with yank.,but doesn’t work too.,huh help me.,

  10. Noel Ignatius

    hi guys ,,,,,, i’m havin dell insprion..my dell touch pad is not workin when i start my system can anyone help me pls..it will be freezed …..normally i press tab and log into my user account then it would work well… how to fix the problem

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