Turning on Inactive Window Scroll

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated February 19, 2018)


Typically, when I am working on my computer I have multiple windows open. In the past, I have found that if I need to scroll through one window while keeping a specific window active, I could not scroll through another window without making it active. If I hovered over another window and started to scroll down the active window would start to scroll.

This can be frustrating as you need to scroll back to the active window and figure out how to see what's needed in the other window without making it active. Fortunately, Windows 10 allows you to scroll inactive windows with a simple setting change. To turn this feature on, just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button. Windows displays the Start screen.
  2. Click on the Settings icon (it looks like a small gear). You should now see the Settings dialog box.
  3. Click on Devices. This will present you with the Devices section of the Settings dialog box.
  4. Click on Mouse. This will open the settings for the mouse.
  5. Click on the toggle under Scroll Inactive Windows when I Hoover Over Them. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. Turn on Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them.

  7. Close the Settings dialog box, the setting will take effect immediately.

Now with this setting turned on when you have more than one window open, and you hover over an inactive window you can scroll through that window without scrolling in the active window. This setting has saved me time and honestly a bit of frustration.

 This tip (5287) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2018-02-19 15:40:14


There is a great freeware software called WizMouse that will do this too. It also works to scroll in MS Office programs (which the above Win10 feature doesn't seem to support).

I find it to be a great time saver, and the price is right too (although I donate to freeware programs I like and keep using).

2018-02-19 10:54:55


Is there a comparable facility available in Windows 7? I certainly cannot find the relevant option in my Mouse settings.

PS I cannot find this problem in Windows 7 anyhow. As long as both/all windows are viewable, I can activate any of them and scroll without affecting the rest.

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