If you’re a new Mac user, you might find the default scrolling direction on your mouse to be counterintuitive, especially if you’re used to the scrolling behavior on Windows computers. By default, Macs use a “natural” scrolling direction, which means that the content on the screen moves in the same direction as your finger on the mouse or trackpad. However, you can easily change this setting to the traditional scrolling direction. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of changing the reverse mouse scroll setting on your Mac.

Why is the Default Scrolling Direction Different on Macs?

Apple introduced the “natural” scrolling direction with the release of OS X Lion in 2011. The idea behind this change was to make the scrolling behavior on Macs more intuitive and consistent with the way we interact with touchscreens on smartphones and tablets. When you swipe up on a touchscreen, the content moves up, and when you swipe down, the content moves down. Apple applied this same concept to the scrolling behavior on Macs.

How to Change the Reverse Mouse Scroll Setting

To change the reverse mouse scroll setting on your Mac, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences” (or “System Settings” if you’re using macOS Ventura).
  2. In the System Preferences window, click on the “Mouse” icon.
  3. In the Mouse preferences pane, you’ll see an option labeled “Scroll direction: natural.” Uncheck this option to disable the reverse scrolling behavior.
  4. Close the System Preferences window, and your changes will be saved automatically.

It’s important to note that changing the scrolling direction for your mouse will also change the scrolling direction for your trackpad, and vice versa. This is because the scrolling setting applies to both input devices.

Adjusting Scrolling Speed and Other Settings

In addition to changing the scrolling direction, you can also adjust the scrolling speed of your mouse or trackpad. To do this, simply use the “Tracking speed” slider in the Mouse or Trackpad preferences pane to set your desired scrolling speed. Another scrolling-related setting that you might want to adjust is the “Inertia” option. When enabled, this setting causes the content on the screen to continue scrolling briefly after you stop moving your finger on the mouse or trackpad, simulating the momentum of a physical object. Some users find this behavior helpful, while others may prefer to disable it for a more precise scrolling experience.

Alternative Methods to Change Scrolling Settings

While using the System Preferences or System Settings is the most straightforward way to change your scrolling settings, there are alternative methods available:

  1. Terminal commands: You can use Terminal commands to change various scrolling settings, including the scrolling direction and speed.
  2. Automator: You can create an Automator workflow to toggle the scrolling direction with a single click.
  3. Third-party apps: There are third-party applications available that allow you to change the scrolling direction for your mouse and trackpad independently, which is not possible through the built-in system settings.


Changing the reverse mouse scroll setting on your Mac is a simple process that can greatly improve your user experience, especially if you’re coming from a Windows background. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily adapt your Mac’s scrolling behavior to your preferences. Additionally, you can experiment with adjusting the scrolling speed and other related settings to find the perfect configuration for your needs.