Better Mouse Scrolling In Firefox With SmoothWheel

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2009
Updated • Feb 14, 2015
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Most Firefox users dislike how mouse scrolling is handled in the web browser.

It feels everything but smooth and there are no obvious preferences in the Firefox options to change the scroll speed or the smoothness of the scrolling.

One of the best tools to fix or improve the mouse scrolling behavior of Firefox is the SmoothWheel extension which has been designed as a tool to customize nearly every aspect of the mouse scrolling in Firefox.

The add-on is actually not only compatible with Firefox but also with the email client Thunderbird and other Mozilla based applications such as Seamonkey, Songbird or Flock.

The extension changes the mouse scrolling speed automatically in the application it is installed in.

The options that the add-on provides offer access to many parameters that you can use to fine tune the scrolling behavior in Firefox.

You may want to start with basic options first and try the advanced preferences afterwards as that makes it easier to adjust the scrolling behavior to your liking.


Basic mode allows you to change the speed and step size of the scrolling with speed ranging from very slow to turbo and steps from 1/10 of a page to 1 page or a value between 10 and 500 pixel. It may take a few tries before you find the ideal scroll speed but it is worth the tinkering in my opinion as it improves Firefox's usability quite a bit when done right.

Holding down the alt or shift key will increase or respectively decrease the scrolling step size to allow for a bigger or smaller scrolling area. It is possible to change those modifiers in the options as well.

Additional options are offered in the basic settings including matching the mouse's scrolling behavior with that of the computer keyboard.

The advanced settings on the other hand list additional customization options such as changing the adaptive duration and steps or setting a fps limit.

SmoothWheel is a great add-on for users who are not satisfied with the mouse scrolling behavior of Firefox or other Mozilla software programs. It is ideal if you experience lags when you are scrolling with the mouse or want the scrolling behavior to be faster or slower.

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  1. MilesAhead said on July 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Hmmmmm, says 3.6pre compatible but in Minefield it locks up the Extensions manager as soon as I hit the Options button. All I can do is kill the Extensions manager window, restart Minefield, and uninstall it.

    I’m running Minefield July 25 nightly build just fyi.

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