Apple MacOS – How to Enable View Scroll Bars

In recent years, software, operating systems, and web interfaces have embraced a design trend where menus and controls are hidden unless you reveal them. When you move your mouse over just the right area of the screen, some controls, icons, or menu options will appear. You’ve likely seen this on your computer.

With Apple Mac computers, if you have a laptop or iMac with a trackpad connected the vertical and horizontal scroll bars will only appear if you move your fingers on the trackpad. If you’re not quick enough. The scroll bars disappear before you can click on them.

The default setting for showing scroll bars is set as: “Automatically based on mouse or trackpad.”

This is particularly a problem if you’re in a spreadsheet. With a mouse, you can move the scroll wheel on the mouse to reveal the vertical scroll bar. However, to move left and right within the spreadsheet, you’ll need to use a trackpad to reveal the horizontal scroll bar.

To have both the vertical and horizontal scroll bars visible all the time regardless of whether you use a mouse or trackpad, go to System Preferences > General and choose “Always” as shown below.

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