How Quickly Did You Adjust To Lion’s New Scrolling?



Slate’s Michael Agger wrote a nice post this week, musing on the way Apple changed the way we scroll with the introduction of Lion just over two months ago.

It got me wondering: how long did it take people to adapt to the new rules of scrolling?

Personally speaking, I found it disorientating for only a couple of days. Then for a few more, I still had to engage my brain a little, but it didn’t feel so weird. After that, I stopped noticing. It took about a week, perhaps a few days more. Now it feels completely natural.

Until, that is, I try using the Mac that lives in our kitchen. This is an older MacBook, ill-suited to running Lion. It still runs Snow Leopard like a champ, though, and acts as all-purpose family browsing machine and music hub. On this machine, scrolling still works the old way – which is how the rest of the family like it to be, since they’re not using Lion at all.

Needless to say, installing Scroll Reverser has solved that particular problem. It means each of us can pick the scrolling style that suits us best.

Back to Agger’s article. He writes:

Apple had decreed that “natural scrolling” was the new standard, overturning 25 years of convention. This was more discomfiting than rearranging furniture. This was pulling out the chair as you were taking a seat.

And he’s right to say that: Apple did turn scrolling upside down, they did pull the chair out from under us. But in the end, it turned out to be a small problem. Adjusting was as simple as righting the chair and getting back to work.

How about you? Did you adjust without difficulty, or have you switched back to the old style scrolling (which you can do in System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Scroll and Zoom)?

  • Alex Trott

    Never, I love natural scrolling it makes sense if you use a trackpad, 

  • Joe Kueser

    It was weird for 2 or 3 days, then I got used to it. Now if I go to a machine that doesn’t have it, it takes me a beat or two to figure out how to scroll.

  • DanBennett

    It taken me about an hour to get used to it, Then about a week tops to actually remember it.
    I can now easily switch between Windows PC and Macbook with no issue or forgetting which way to scroll on each.

    It makes sense with a touch pad… Lets be honest.

    If you changed it so that it was the old way, change it back! Trust me..

  • ivucica

    I didn’t wait for the release. There is a small utility called “Reverse Scroller” for Snow Leopard.

  • ivucica

    I didn’t wait for the release. There is a small utility called “Reverse Scroller” for Snow Leopard.

  • oneman

    Like you, it took me about a week to adjust, and it feels completely natural now. Every time I go to a non-Lion computer, the older behaviour seems weird and clunky. 

  • unnatural scrolling!

    switched back almost immediately!

  • Steve Mays

    Almost immediately. I’d been using the Magic Trackpad for a while and had no trouble. Feels “right”

  • Matthew Linder

    took me like 10 seconds to adjust

  • George

    It took me about a day to adjust to the new scrolling. I like it so much better. What made it easy to grasp it was the fact that I’ve been scrolling the same way on my iPhone. Same thing just on Macs now.

  • Gian Centeno

    I didn’t. I trained myself with that scroll reverser app when I was still using Snow Leopard.

  • mithiblog

    Took me about 2 days. Now it’s just weird to scroll the other way.

  • Sam Parmenter

    A lot like lions default scroll settings when you first use them. Its just a case of substituting one method for anther. I had an ipad and never even thought about which direction I should drag to scroll. I simply switched to the classic style in lion as soon as I installed it.

  • ppanah

    at first I disabled it, but then I thought, hey apple never does anything that sucks…so..I’ll give it a chance, however, that was after using Lion for 7-8 months :) But now I LOVE IT, AS IT MAKES SENSE, however..its even nicer if u have a track-pad

  • Ed_Kel

    Didn’t take me anytime at all. I agree with Apple, it’s natural.

  • carlosnvelez

    What new scrolling? Didn’t notice. Perfectly natural. 

  • Stevew83

    I didn’t switch to the natural scroll.  Using a trackpad on my laptop, I just felt the other way was better.   The only time I like for up to be down and down to be up is if I’m playing Star Fox for Super Nintendo.

  • Chris

    lion isn’t even out for 7-8 months…I guess you mean weeks ;)

  • Aaron97

    I love it, didn’t take anytime at all

  • Dustin

    I was using it for about a month and I still couldn’t adjust to it, so I gave up and went back to the old way of scrolling.  It took me another two weeks to get to the point where I could scroll without having to do a test hit on the device to see which direction UP was.  

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Although I think apple addressed a problem that didn’t exist, I got used to the scrolling for the most part in about a week.

    I tend to think when you’re on a laptop or desktop, things make a little more sense the way it was before. one has to note that the didn’t reverse the side scrolling for the experience to really be consistent.

  • volodoscope

    It does makes more sense if you think that Apple is just giving us a head-start on using touch-screen OS in the future. It might be really weird for someone completely new to Apple products though, which Apple tries to win. But, as soon as the MAC OS X becomes touch it will be even easier.

  • Josh McDade

    I adjusted in a matter of minutes.  It felt pretty natural to me, and still does even after using normal scrolling at work all day.

  • Alexwalex77

    A couple of days

  • MarcoC

    I adjusted easily. In fact, I use the new scrolling on my Lion powered iMac w/ trackpad but still use traditional scrolling on my ’07 MCP. I switch between the 2 daily and have no problem adjusting between directions. For what it’s worth, I prefer the new scrolling because I think it is more natural after spending so much time on my iPhone and iPad.

  • joehudsonsmall

    Literally a couple of seconds.

  • Will Larche

    Not only have I adjusted, I can feel a little smugly superior when Windows people try to use my machine :)

  • twitter-16071221

    On a related note, it only took me only about three minutes, once I put my mind to finally locating the rest of the (well hidden) Trackpad options in Universal Access –> Mouse & Trackpad –> Trackpad Options, so that I could finally get my (window) drag (back) on. Seriously Apple, I love you, but you do make me wonder sometimes…

  • ppanah

    No I actually mean months :) 

  • NFC possibilities in Denmark

    I hate using non-Lion scrolling now. And YES I am surprised – a lot btw!

  • jjlharrison

    Was using it in 10.6 ever since I heard it was going to be in Lion. Took to it straight away. It is really annoying when I have to use a PC though.

  • Juan Carlos

    Like at the 3rd scroll.. 

  • Cindon83

    There’s new scrolling?

  • kriswm

    it actually makes a lot of sense. especially since they are trying to get rid of the scroll bars. it’s about scrolling the content and not the bars on the side. now i think it’s weird when i go back to he old way.

  • Blake Beavers

    I love natural scrolling and have been using it since 2 months before lion. It just makes so much more sence to me that the old way.

  • minimalist1969

    It makes no sense conceptually.  Gestures are not the same as touch.   With gestures there is a layer of abstraction between the track pad motions and what happens on screen whereas with touch you are actually touching and manipulating the screen directly.

    Scrollbars have not totally gone away (they are just auto-hiding) and for those of us who use multiple macs on different OS’s learning remembering which way to scroll can be really get in the way of getting things done.  Until I’m on all Lion machines across the board I won;t even consider switching to the new scrolling.

  • RSI

    Pretty fast. About a week. Though…. it feels like that since then …I developed RSI. Could it be related?

  • Brajeshwar

    Initially, I was going back and forth, cursing in between scrolls but got used to it – probably within a week or so. My wife, who uses an iPad almost for everything, didn’t even notice it at all. I asked her when she used my Lion couple of times if she notice anything about the scrolling, nada!

  • Brajeshwar

    Well, he must be beta-testing it. ;-)

  • koreys

    Ha, I got used to it in about two days… I love it, seems like it should have been this way forever. Also the 3 finger swipe from left to right is awesome. At first I was was skeptical about all they gesture additions to to Lion but now I cant live without them. Whenever I touch a workmate’s windows machine I am reminded how much I love the new gestures.

  • GregsTechBlog

    I had been using Scroll Reverser in Snow Leopard as soon as I heard it would be reversed in Lion. Got used to it in very little time. It just makes more sense, especially when Lion removed the scroll bars. 

  • davester13

    Sticking with the old-school scrolling setup.

    And auto-hiding scrollbars are a UI disaster, as I frequently miss content that has no hint that it is available because the scroll bars are hidden [both on iOS and OSX].  At least I can disable this on OSX…

  • Don Pope

    took me about a day to get used to it. Now I love it.

  • azisman

    There’s a classic psych experiment where subjects were given glasses that turned everything upside down – apparently it took a few hours of dizziness and adjustment, after which the subjects acted as if everything was normal – and had the same pattern of readjustment when the glasses were taken off. 

  • Aaron Renner

    My progression was about the same as the article. However, I use a Win7 machine at work, still. And that just sucks. I find myself trying to use Lion’s method of scrolling on it all the time. I need to get a scroll reverser for it, but that’s one of those low priority things.

  • blueleaves

    Moved back to old-style scrolling on my Mighty Mouse within days when I started to get RSI. I’m sure that the scrolling makes sense on a trackpad, but not a mouse.

  • Jesust1993

    i did some “preparation” before Lion came out. i got that scroll reverser app, about 2 months before Lion’s release so i would be ready. it took me about 2 days. i was ready for Lion.

  • bensjourney2011

    A couple of days maybe. It really is more logical.

  • claudio

    no problem what so ever… that’s why it’s “natural”.

  • claudio

    no problem what so ever… that’s why it’s “natural”.

  • CocoaClimber

    It took me about 20 mins to get used to natural scrolling. Now every time I have to go back to SL I hate its anti-natural scrolling.

  • Alanamaslama

    For the first month, I avoided it. Once I began imagining as if the monitor was a touchscreen and the trackpad was an extension of it, the natural scrolling became almost intuitive. I’d say it tool me two or three days of casual use before I was completely used to it. Now, whenever I use a non-natural scrolling set up, I have to re-adjust, then, I wish it was natural scrolling. Also, as others have mentioned, it makes more sense with a trackpad for me then it does with a mouse (especially when it comes to vertical scrolling for some reason).

  • Michael Snape

    INSTANTLY. I loved it on the iPhone and iPad. Its so NATURAL. I try doing it on PCs and keep forgetting :P

  • Aro

    …Never will. Not the same UI interaction than with an touch tablet for instance. Never will…

  • ElVox

    I installed Scroll Reverser on SL *before* Lion came out, and got used to it in a few hours…ended up being a smooth transition to Lion afterwards :)

  • Enough

    We have a ‘literally’ here. Has anyone done it in literally one second? If so, you’re the CoM winner of the thread.

  • God

    Did it literally not take anytime at all, like the above posters literal couple of seconds? If so, literally anytime at all beats literally a couple seconds. As nobody can do better than literally anytime at all, you’d be the CoM thread winner.

  • Albert

    Had no intention of using “Natural Scrolling” so had been aware of how to change it well before the 20th of July release date.

  • Brooke Becker Habecker

    I use the new scrolling. I like it. I have to think when I use my home Mini, which is running Snow Leopard.

  • bioenginerd

    I already own an iPad, so I picked up the new scrolling immediately and love it. After a day, I almost forgot that it had switched. People just need to give it a few days and they won’t even think about the switch anymore!

  • PWL_Steve

    Just picked up a MBA13 (a recent Mac convert) and instantly switched the scrolling back to Non-Natural. Then after a few days, turned it back on. I realized that I liked it much better.

  • Khrbt Zyd

    An article I read from CoM convinced me to download Scroll Inverter so I could get used to Natural Scrolling before Lion’s release. I adapted right away but I know Natural Scrolling trumped long-time mac users for a while until they adjusted.

  • Boris

    1 or 2 days. i love the new, “natural” way. 

  • Pddrew

    I tried natural scrolling for a while but found it hard to adjust, so switched back to non natural in system preferences

  • Peter

    Maximum two days.  It’s now weird for me to scroll in the former, “traditional” way.

  • cliqsquad

    Its weird on the MBA I got the hang off it in like a day. On the iMac still can’t and revert back and forth trying to. 

  • TylerHoj

    Took me about a week to get to the point of “second nature.” Although anytime I use another laptop, I struggle scrolling, and screw up more than a few times. 

  • Mister Hedge

    I adjusted to it fairly quickly, actually. It only took me a couple hours of web browsing. Now, I absolutely love it because it makes so much sense. It may sound strange, but I feel like the natural scrolling makes it seem like I’m interacting with the page more and am dragging it about.

    Whenever I use my boyfriend’s Window’s laptop, I can’t stand having to scroll the old way, ha!

  • ian

    i am closing in on my first social security check and was very grumpy about new fangled changes on my new macbook pro …  i used to always use a mouse with all my laptops… now about a week after getting my macbook i like it so much i will be buying a trackpad for my imac … it seems natural and efficient and the up-scrolling makes way more sense

  • I_am_Andy

    The old way was ‘moving the screen up and down’ whilst the Dokument remains.
    The natural scrolling means ‘moving the document up and down’.
    Remembering that it was so easy to adept.
    Strange that we needed Apple and so many years to understand this.

  • Mister Hedge

    Yeah, I feel like having an iDevice you use regularly makes adjusting much easier since it’s similar to the scrolling on those touch screens.

  • Lucien Dol

    I thought it would take me a long time, but after only a few weeks I found myself trying to scroll the wrong way when using the Windows computers at work. Go figure… :-)
    Apparently it quickly becomes intuitive.

  • Ghjf

    I liked it so much, I got an application for my Windows PC to do it, even though I don’t own a Mac. It’s so much better.

  • So sick of it

    I tried it and did not like it AT ALL.  They call it natural scrolling but it is not. To push something down to raise another thing up is easier and more natural.  The so called natural scrolling is a FAIL in my book.

  • sault

    0 seconds. Never tried to,

  • Aaron

    Please tell me the Windows application name. If I’m gonna change the way I scroll, I want to change it everywhere — and that includes the nasty Windows machine I work with.

  • Ferg

    Only took about one day.  I actually like it — and I honestly didn’t think I would.

  • nthnm

    I changed it back to the way it was before almost immediately.

  • David Landzaat

    Switched back to old style scrolling as soon as I knew how. ( an hour or something)

  • lukemags

    I had Scroll Reverser on my computer for a week and got used to it in two to three days and now on the school computers that don’t have lion i downloaded Scroll Reverser just so I didn’t have to get confused all the time.

  • Noah Selling

    Within an hour of installing.

  • Joshua C Clare

    I had convinced myself before Lion even came out that I was going to do my damnedest to make the switch.  It was all going quite well too, right up until I tried to use VLC player for something and discovered that it also reversed the volume control.  So it went…immediately.

  • DAvid

    Took about a week before I stopped confusing ‘up’ with ‘down’. Since then, its been smooth sailing.

  • Ken Carriker

    It really only took a few minutes to adjust and a day or two for it to become completely natural without having to think about it. I just imagined I was scrolling on my iPhone and got used to it very quickly. It really does feel more natural to me, whether I’m using my Magic Mouse or my MBP’s track pad. My only problem is that I have to use a PC at work a couple times a week and now I scroll the wrong way on it.

  • SuperBrandd

    it was almost instantaneous, feels like the way it should have alway been

  • Damien DeVille

    minutes – this is not a big deal people

  • The_BORG

    It was the very first thing I did after installation!

  • Cloudrunner43

    Sorry, Apple, but this idea was silly, and sort of falls along the lines of making changes just to be making changes.  Please. . .do NOT even THINK of putting the bottom row of keys on the top row.

  • Talfian

    Love ’em .. When I realize that on traditional scrolling, we actually move the scroll bar to navigate ..  But, this one as if we move the paper that we read .. Nice one Apple ..

  • Cloudrunner43

    There are several programs and autohotkey scripts out that allow for this.  Try

  • Sean Peters

    Very first thing I did after installing Lion was to switch back to “normal” scrolling. Why on earth would I want to try to overcome years of experience with the existing scrolling method? This was nothing short of nutty on Apple’s part. I can understand the switch with iOS, as you’re actually touching the screen, but making the switch for a trackpad is just baffling.

  • Honey Badger

    I adjusted in no time. What’s the big deal?

  • Phil Kalata

    Took me about three days, now I find I try to scroll like this while at work on a PC. All in all, I like it better. I once explained it to a friend that it’s a philosophical difference. Apple wants you to interact with things so they flipped scrolling to mimic interacting with things. Traditional scrolling is more like moving a viewfinder over a document.

  • Ryan_james74

    i love the new way of scrolling, the old way pisses me off now

  • Ronel

    In my 60s. been using a mouse for 23 years, has taken me a very short while to get used to it and I like it. Now I scroll the same as on the iPad.  and I still have no trouble with the windows computer.

  • Mish

    I heard about this new scrolling quite a while before the release date. i was using scroll reverser for a while, and it took a few days to adjust. When Lion came out, scrolling was not a problem for me. The other gestures were not as drastically different, and i got hold of them in no time. 

  • [MDC]Peter

    This new scrolling system is a real pain in the arse when you’ve got multiple macs, and not all of them run Lion. There is no way to make them all work the same but setting the Lion scrolling back to the way it used to be, so thats what I did.

    Wouldn’t mind changing, but then I’d lose efficiency when working with my older machines.

  • Michael Verrenkamp

    About 1 day maybe a little more, I’m never going back to the old way except when on my Pc and even then it has an actual scroll wheel so it’s not confusing when I use the magic mouse on mac.

  • SandisGrantins

    Easy peasy. :)

  • SandisGrantins

    Easy peasy. :)

  • mmatteo

    was there a different way to scroll?
     but getting loads of stability problems, chrome and safari are completely unstable and even lion hangs every now and then. Anyone else noticed? 

  • Allan Robertson

    About a day or two, after that it just comes naturally.

  • Michael De

    I didn’t. I disabled it immediately because it’s a complete joke. My trackpad is placed level with the ground, not the screen, so Apple’s alleged “natural” scrolling is no more natural than MSG is a natural ingredient.

  • Brian Parker

    I don’t particulalrly care either way but It caused me problems with my day job supporting Windows machines so I switched it back to “trad” mode.

  • Morbey

    2 days :)