how to set up mouse scroll in macOS

In winter 2019, I switched from Magic Touchpad to Logitech G502 mouse, and then to Logitech G604. In my case, the mouse turned out to be much more effective than the touchpad and I have never regretted changing the manipulator.

But it’s not enough to buy a mouse and connect it to your Mac. In order for it to completely replace the touchpad, it must be selected and correctly configured.

👨‍💻 How to choose a mouse for Mac

For ten years I used exclusively trackpads, but six months ago I switched to a mouse. In this post I will tell you why a mouse is better than a trackpad and what to look for when choosing one.

Logitech G604: How to customize your mouse to perform better than the touchpad

This article is for those who like to multitask: works with a lot of windows and a couple of monitors. And also for those who find it difficult to get the cursor into the small buttons of the interface of programs such as Xcode, Sketch or Photoshop.

To configure the Logitech G604, I use the Logitech G HUB and two utilities: BetterTouchTool and Smart scroll… I’ll tell you about the latter now.

👉 Try Smart Scroll, free

What’s wrong with scrolling in macOS

When you connect any third-party mouse, the scroll starts to work in tatters, at an unusual speed. This is because the standard scroll parameters are tailored for proprietary manipulators and cannot be changed using macOS.

There are a lot of utilities for fixing scrolling, but my choice fell on Smart Scroll. The fact is that it not only makes the vertical scroll softer, but also adds a horizontal one.

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Without horizontal scrolling, it was inconvenient for me to move tables in Numbers and storyboards in Xcode. Therefore, in the first weeks, I also had to use an external touchpad with the mouse. But after setting up Smart Scroll, I finally hid the touchpad in a drawer.


When you open Smart Scroll for the first time, your eyes run up from the abundance of options. But here everything is extremely simple. To make the scrolling of an ordinary mouse come to its senses, it is enough to do a few manipulations in two tabs: Scroll Wheel + and Grab Scroll

Here you need to enable the option itself and select a comfortable scrolling sensitivity. Also play with momentum to make the scrolling stop smoother. Personally, I kept the momentum to a minimum.

how to set up mouse scroll in macOS
Turn on the Scroll Wheel +

After these manipulations, the scrolling of the mouse stopped being ragged and began to behave much more pleasantly:

Comparison of the smoothness of the system scrolling with Smart Scroll: after turning on the utility, the scrolling becomes smooth, with slight inertia

Without a touchpad, horizontal scrolling is a problem. On a mouse with one wheel, you will not be able to scroll horizontally through the content of applications. I had problems in Numbers and Xcode.

Function Grab Scroll adds horizontal scrolling through the movements of the mouse itself while holding down a special key. It works in the same way as horizontal scrolling on iPad or iPhone: you poke your finger at the screen and move the content where necessary. Only here instead of “typing” you need to hold down a key.

how to set up mouse scroll in macOS
Turn on Grab Scroll

I didn’t come up with complex systems and just activate the horizontal scroll by holding the right mouse button. It works like this:

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For horizontal scrolling, I just hold down the right write button and move the content in the desired direction

Additional goodies

I set all these options to improve scrolling globally. But, if desired, the settings can be adjusted for each application. I only have one modification – the increased sensitivity of the Grab Scroll for Xcode.

You can customize scrolling settings for each application. In my case scrolling is sped up in Xcode

I’ve also tried things like auto-scrolling when hovering over the edge of the screen, and scrolling with buttons. But I have not found use for these buns in my work, therefore I do not use them.

Where to buy and how much does it cost

Such utilities are not sold in the App Store, so you will have to buy through the official website for $ 14. You can try the program for 30 days before purchasing. If you have a third-party mouse, I highly recommend it.

👉 Try Smart Scroll, free

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