Two-finger scrolling on old Macs (and Windows)

Two finger scrolling has been on my wishlist ever since I tried out a MacBook Pro. I’ve never been one for mouse gestures or other more complicated non-keyboard input device shortcuts; the three finger and four finger gestures hold no attraction for me, but two fingered scrolling – now THAT is something I would like to have.  

There are conflicting reports floating around on the web about whether the two finger sensing is hardware-based or purely software-based, and whether or not it can be enabled on older MacBook Pros.

Then I came across some posts that suggested that all you needed was the Keyboard and Mouse Preference pane from a new MacBook to enable it on slightly older MacBooks.

But to enable it on a G4? Surely not.

I then found a program called Smart Scroll, which – although it does not support two-finger scrolling – does offer some nice extensions to normal mouse and touchpad functionality, such as Grab Scroll which gives you a hand tool to easily move (and “throw”) any window’s contents. But there’s no free version available for testing purposes.

Then I found the ultimate and unexpected dream: a simple third-party pref-pane that enables two-finger scrolling on old MacBook Pros all the way down to nearly the oldest G4. iScroll2 is a modified trackpad driver that adds two-finger scrolling capabilities to supported pre-2005 PowerBooks and iBooks on OS X 10.3 and up.

It is a simple point-and-click install, followed by enabling it on the now updated Keyboard and Mouse preference pane. It enables support for both vertical and horizontal scrolling, reverse scrolling, and circular motion scrolling, as well as advanced configuration of Click, Tap and Two-Finger Click (clicking while two fingers are on the trackpad) functionality.

In hindsight, I don’t know how I managed to spend days searching for this as it is the first hit on a Google search for “Two finger scrolling”. I guess I must have been over-complicating my search terms.

Download your copy of the Two Finger Scrolling Driver for older Macs.

Windows users are also in luck – there is a driver on Google Code to enable two-finger scrolling on Synaptics Touchpads

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