How to Always Show Scroll Bars on a Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of having to hover over the edge of a window on your Mac to make the scroll bar appear? Fear not, there’s a way to ensure that those scroll bars are always visible, and it’s easier than you might think. In just a few simple steps, you can tweak your Mac’s settings so that scroll bars are always there when you need them.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Always Show Scroll Bars on a Mac

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about why you might want to do this. For some people, always-visible scroll bars make navigating through long documents and web pages easier. Plus, it can be a real time-saver not having to wait for them to pop up.

Step 1: Open System Preferences

First things first, you’ll need to open up System Preferences on your Mac. This is like the control center for your computer, where you can change all kinds of settings to make your Mac work just the way you want it.

Once you’re in System Preferences, look for the “General” icon. It’s usually one of the first ones at the top, and it has a little light switch on it.

Step 2: Click on General

After you’ve found the General icon, go ahead and click on it. This will open up a new window with a bunch of different options that you can customize.

Step 3: Find the ‘Show Scroll Bars’ option

Now, look for the section that says “Show Scroll Bars”. There should be three options to choose from: “Automatically based on mouse or trackpad,” “When scrolling,” and “Always.”

Step 4: Select “Always”

Go ahead and click on the “Always” option. This will make sure that your scroll bars are always visible, no matter what you’re doing on your Mac.

Once you’ve selected “Always,” you’re all set! Your Mac will now show scroll bars all the time, making it easier for you to navigate through your computer.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that scroll bars will be present on the side of every window you open. This can be especially helpful if you’re working on a document or browsing a website that has a lot of content to scroll through.

Tips for Always Showing Scroll Bars on a Mac

  • If you use a mouse with your Mac, you might find that having always-visible scroll bars is really helpful.
  • If you ever want to go back to the default setting, just follow the steps again and select “Automatically based on mouse or trackpad.”
  • Keep in mind that this setting will apply to all applications on your Mac, not just your web browser.
  • If you’re using a trackpad, you can still scroll by using two fingers to swipe up and down.
  • Play around with the other options in the General settings to customize your Mac even further.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this setting affect how my trackpad or mouse works?

No, changing this setting will only affect the visibility of the scroll bars. Your trackpad and mouse will work just as they did before.

Can I make the scroll bars wider?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the width of the scroll bars in the System Preferences. However, some third-party applications might allow you to customize this.

Will this setting apply to all users on my Mac?

Yes, this setting will apply to all user accounts on your Mac. If you have multiple people using the computer, they’ll all see the always-visible scroll bars.

Can I still scroll using my keyboard?

Absolutely! This setting won’t affect any of your keyboard shortcuts. You can still use the arrow keys, Page Up/Down, and Spacebar to navigate through pages.

What if I don’t see the “General” option in System Preferences?

If you can’t find the General option, make sure you’re running the latest version of macOS. If you’re still having trouble, try searching for “General” in the search bar at the top of System Preferences.


  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on General
  3. Find the ‘Show Scroll Bars’ option
  4. Select “Always”


So there you have it—no more disappearing act for your scroll bars on a Mac. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that scroll bars are always on display, ready to assist you in your digital endeavors. It’s a small tweak, but one that can significantly enhance your workflow and navigation experience.

Remember, the key to a more efficient and enjoyable Mac experience often lies in the little adjustments you can make to fit your personal preferences. So don’t be afraid to dive into your System Preferences and tailor your Mac to your needs.

For further reading, consider looking into other Mac customization options like changing your desktop background, setting up hot corners, or even exploring accessibility features that can make your computer more user-friendly. And as always, stay curious and keep exploring all the possibilities that your Mac has to offer. After all, it’s your trusty sidekick in this digital age.

Categories Mac

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