How do I get them back? If you don't agree with Apple's judgment that scrolling in OS X should work as it does in iOS — where you can't see the scroll bar until you actually try to move up or down a page or document — you can fix it in four clicks. But if you've gone from a well-aged Mac that hasn't been able to run recent releases of Apple's operating system, the ongoing mashup of iOS and OS X interfaces will be new to you, and so will the workarounds for these changes.
Apple's Mac-migration tools generally do a fine job of moving applications, data files and program settings from one Mac to another, but there are no scroll-bar-visibility settings in 's Snow Leopard to preserve — leaving the default settings of newer releases free to take over.
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In this case, you'll want to click on the Apple-icon menu at the top-left corner that's one click , choose System Preferences two , select the General category three and, next to the "Show scroll bars" heading, click the button next to "Always" four. Almost three and a half years after Apple dropped this change on users in 's Lion release, I still don't understand what problem Apple was trying to solve.
Always Show Scroll Bars in Mac OS X
Laptop and desktop computers don't have the compact screens of smartphones and tablets. And they're often used to view and work on much longer documents, in which a scroll bar's sliding "thumb" control makes it obvious how far along you are. So why force a fundamental part of the onscreen interface to pull this disappearing act? Mac users skipping multiple versions of OS X on their way to a new computer may find two other iOS-influenced changes confusing but less irritating.
One is the way Apple would prefer you get at your apps: Not by opening a Finder window and navigating to your Applications folder, but by clicking Launchpad's rocketship icon in the Dock. This will fill the screen with a grid of app icons, much like an iPad's home screen.
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You can click on any one to launch it, but it can be faster to start typing a program's name, watch Launchpad cull the selection to feature only titles matching that search, and hit Enter once only one matching title remains. Launch System Preferences , either from the Dock or from the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple Logo in the top left of the screen.
If you're new to the Mac, you can also launch System Preferences from the Launchpad by clicking the Launchpad icon in the Dock , and then clicking the System Preferences icon. When the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
How to Get a Mac Scroll Bar
The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scrollbars appear and what happens when you click on a scrollbar. To return the scroll bars to their pre-Lion functionality, and turn their visibility back on, select Always from the Show Scroll Bars options.
The scroll bars will now always be visible, even when you're not scrolling. If you would rather have the scrollbars only show up when you actually start scrolling, select When Scrolling.
If you would rather have the scroll bars appear when the cursor is in the area of a scroll bar, or when you start scrolling, select Automatically based on mouse or trackpad. The last two options provide a choice for what happens when you click on the scroll bars. You can select one of the following:. Once you've made your selection, you can quit System Preferences.
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Remember, you can come back to the System Preferences to modify your choices at any time. Share Pin Email.
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Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Mac tip: Miss the Mac's scroll bars? Here's how to get them back | here's the thing
Updated March 09, Jump to the next page will move the contents of the window a page at a time, either up or down, depending on where you click on the scrollbar. If you click near the bottom, you'll go to the end of the document. If you click near the top, you'll go to the top of the window. And if you click somewhere in-between, you'll be moved to a spot in the document that matches up to where you clicked.