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Fix: Automatic Scrolling Problem in the Safari browser

Are you experiencing a scrolling issue in the Safari browser? Learn how to troubleshoot to ensure smooth scrolling while using your keyboard buttons.

Due to a software bug, the Safari browser might have an issue with automatically scrolling when using the keyboard’s down or up arrow keys. The browser will scroll to the end or beginning of the web page on a single keypress.

To fix the problem with auto-scrolling, you can update the system software, turn off problematic extensions, roll back to the previous update, or use the mouse or trackpad to scroll instead.

Multiple users have reported that the problem has appeared after a recent software update.

In this guide, we have shared a few troubleshooting methods for fixing the Safari browser’s auto-scrolling issue.

Method 1: Restart the Browser app and Mac system

Before you start any advanced troubleshooting, consider trying basic browser troubleshooting.

You can restart the Safari browser and your computer system. It helps fix the most temporary issues that might be causing the auto-scrolling.

Check for any background Safari browser activity in Activity Monitor and stop them for better results.

Kill Safari process from Activity Monitor in macOS

You can also Force Quit the Safari browser to kill any background processes.

Method 2: Update your Safari app to Latest Version

If the scrolling bug has appeared after a recent update. Hence, it might be possible that Apple developers may release another update soon to fix the issue. We need to keep checking the updates and download them when available.

That said, Safari updates are integrated into macOS as a system app. Hence, we must check for Mac software updates for the latest patch fix.

  1. Click the Apple apple logo menu and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
    Apple Menubar with System Settings highlighted
  2. Switch to the General tab in the left pane and select the Software Update option.
    Software Update menu under General tab on macOS
  3. Click on the More Info… link.
    More Info option with Software Updates Available on macOS
  4. Select the Safari updates, if any are available, and hit the Install Now button.

Most updates have feature and security updates that can conflict with existing functionality. Hence, an update may resolve the underlying widespread issue.

You can follow our guide on updating the Safari browser for Monterey and earlier versions.

Method 3: Disable Extensions in the Safari app

Browser extensions allow us to add features that are not readily available. However, these extensions might conflict with the system setup, which can cause the scrolling issue.

As a troubleshooting step, we can turn off the Safari browser extensions and check for the scroll problem.

  1. Open the Safari app on your Mac computer.
  2. Click on Safari from the menubar and select the Settings menu.
    Apple Safari Settings menuIt will open the Safari settings window. 
  3. Switch to the Extensions tab in the Settings window.
  4. In the left pane, click the checkbox to Turn On or Off the corresponding extension.
    Enable or Disable Extension in Safari on macOS

If that resolves the issue with auto-scrolling, then the extensions might be the culprit. Enable extensions one after the other, checking which is the root cause of the problem.

If you have identified the problematic extensions, Uninstall or replace them with something similar from the App Store.

Method 4: Rollback Mac Update using the Time Machine

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Alert!: Restoring to the previous version will overwrite any new files and changes made on the Mac; please use this option cautiously.

If you have the backup enabled using the Time Machine, you can roll back to the previous version before the recent software update that caused the problem.

Booting into your Time Machine backup disk allows you to restore any previous backup when your Mac has been working without scrolling issues.

Time Machine Backup versions on MacOS

You can follow this guide from the XDA-Developer to downgrade the macOS.

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Note: Turn off the automatic Software Update option from your Mac’s System Settings immediately after restoring the previous version. Else, the new update will be re-installed.

Bonus: Use a Trackpad or Mouse

Users mentioned the auto-scrolling problem is mostly when they use the keyboard’s down and up arrow keys. However, using the trackpad, mouse, or any external device that controls the cursor works without issues.

Graphic designer working on a Macbook laptop using a trackpad, color charts and markers

If any troubleshooting mentioned does not resolve the issue, you can consider using the trackpad or external mouse until the macOS developer fixes it.

Bottom Line

Any software update might break the browser’s basic functionality. If the scroll problem that has evolved after an update is happening for most users, successive updates can fix it.

Please report the issues to Apple Support so they can be prioritized. Meanwhile, use the trackpad or mouse to scroll in the Safari browser instead of the keyboard button.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified Analytics & IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with an Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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