How to Enable Natural Scrolling on Windows 11 for a Mouse: A Step-by-Step Guide

On Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft, you can enable natural scrolling if you use a mouse, although enabling this feature is not as easy as it is on other platforms like macOS and Linux. In this tutorial we will explain how you can enable natural scrolling on Windows 11 if you use a mouse as your pointing device.

What is Natural Scrolling

Natural scrolling is a feature that changes the way you interact with content on your computer by adjusting the direction of your scrolling gestures. Traditionally, when you move your fingers upward on a touchpad or scroll wheel, the on-screen content moves in the same direction, mimicking the physical motion of the input device. However, natural scrolling flips this paradigm, making the scrolling experience more akin to how we interact with touch-based devices like smartphones and tablets. With natural scrolling enabled, you move the scroll wheel upwards to scroll down.

Why Enable Natural Scrolling on Windows 11?

If you switch between macOS and Windows remembering to scroll in the opposite direction every time you change operating systems can be confusing and frustrating. Enabling natural scrolling on Windows 11 will give you a more consistent user experience on both desktop platforms.

A Note for Touchpad Users:
If you use a touchpad as your pointing device, you can enable natural scrolling on Windows 11 easily from the Settings app and you therefore should not follow this tutorial. However, if you use a mouse as your pointing device and are determined to enable natural scrolling on Windows 11, then continue reading.

How to Enable Natural Scrolling on Windows 11 in 9 Steps

Step 1: Open Device Manager

To get started, click on the Start button in the taskbar or press the Windows key on your keyboard. From the Start menu, search for “Device Manager” and then click the icon once it appears.

Search for Device Manager in the Start menu on Windows 11

Step 2: Locate and Expand the “Mice and other pointing devices” Category

In the Device Manager window, find the “Mice and other pointing devices” category. Click on the arrow next to it to expand the list of devices.

Step 3: Find Your Mouse

Look for your mouse in the expanded list of devices. It may be listed as a “HID-compliant mouse” or have a specific model name. Right-click on your mouse device, and from the context menu, select “Properties.” This will open the Properties window for your mouse.

HID-compliant mouse selected in the Windows 11 Device Manager.

Step 4: Navigate to the “Details” Tab and Find the “Device instance path” for your Mouse

In the Mouse Properties window, navigate to the “Details” tab. From the “Property” dropdown menu, select “Device instance path.” See screenshots below for reference:

Windows 11 Device Manager property inspector.

Step 5: Note the “Device instance path” Value

You will see a value in the “Value” box. Write down this value, as you will need it for step 7.

Device instance path property value in the Device Manager inspector on Windows 11.

Step 6: Open Registry Editor

Open the Start menu again and search for “Registry Editor” and then click the icon to open Windows’ Registry Editor. Modifying the Registry Editor will allow us to enable natural scrolling on Windows 11.

Search for the Registry Editor in the Windows 11 Start menu.

Step 7: Navigate to the Mouse Registry Key

Using the Registry Editor’s left-hand navigation, expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder to reveal its subfolders. Then expand the following subfolders: SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Enum -> HID. Once HID is expanded look for the device instance path from step 5 as demonstrated in the screenshot below.

Enable natural scrolling on Windows 11 by finding the mouse in the Registry Editor.
Note: There may be several entries within the HID section with similar names. Carefully look to ensure that you choose the one that matches the “Device instance path” value from step 5. Expand the subfolders to reveal a folder named “Device Parameters” and select it.

Step 8: Modify the FlipFlopWheel DWORD

Having the “Device Parameters” folder selected in the left-hand navigation reveals a list of entries in the right-hand navigation that includes an entry titled “FlipFlopWheel.” Right click on “FlipFlopWheel” and choose “Modify” from the context menu. This will reveal a “Edit DWORD” window. In this window change “Value data” from 0 to 1 and click the “OK” button. Then close the Registry Editor.

Right click on FlipFlopWheel in Registry Editor and choose 'Modify' to enable natural scrolling on Windows 11.

Change FlipFlopWheel from 0 to 1 to enable natural scrolling on Windows 11.

Step 9: Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer to apply the changes!

Conclusion:

To enable natural scrolling on Windows 11 for a mouse requires using the Device Manager and making a modification in the Registry Editor. While this method may seem a bit more technical, following these steps allows you to customize your mouse settings to align with your scrolling preferences. Always exercise caution when making changes to the registry, and ensure you follow the steps accurately.