Always Show Scroll Bars in Mac OS X (Solution)

Show Scroll Bars in Mac OS X

The scrollbars in new versions of OS X are hidden until activated by use, that is, by scrolling, making them invisible by default. This is the new default behavior that works very well if you primarily use a trackpad with your Mac. I use an external mouse with my Mac quite often though, and I find the hidden scrollbars to be annoying when I do. That’s my reason for bringing them back, but other people just like to see when content is available that needs to be scrolled to access, this tip will make both of us happy by constantly displaying the scroll bars.


How to Set Scroll Bars to Display All the Time in Mac OS X
This will return scroll bar behavior to that which existed in Mac OS 10.6 and prior, that is, being always visible:

  • > Launch System Preferences from the  Apple menu
  • > Click on General
  • > Look for ‘Show scroll bars’ and select the option next to “Always

Scrollbars are instantly visible with this change. You may want to take this tip one step further and adjust the behavior of clicking within the scroll bar too, but I find the default setting here of jumping to the next page just fine.

Hiding the scrollbars does make the user interface a bit more minimalist and more in line with iOS, but on the desktop it really just makes more sense to see them constantly.

These settings work in OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X Mavericks 10.9, and beyond. Moving forward, it’s safe to expect this to be the new standard scrollbar behavior as iOS and OS X continue to share more features, but so long as we continue to have the easy option to toggle the feature back to have our scrollbars always visible, it’s not too bad.



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