How to Disable the ‘smooth scrolling’ in Firefox 13 & 14?


You know, I just upgraded to Firefox 13 (did a ‘clean installation’ actually, uninstalled the ‘old’ Firefox and installed the new one). Sure it has ‘borrowed’ few ideas from Google Chrome/Chromium etc, but Mozilla has done few enhancements of their own thus there’s a noticeable improvement in speed and it all look good.

However, it seems that by default, a feature called ‘smooth scrolling’ is enabled in Firefox 13. It’s nothing new and has been there for a long time, but Firefox didn’t come it enabled by default. I never really liked it that much actually, because whenever I scroll with it enabled, it just scrolls the page few pixels more. It’s like hard breaking vs applying breaks slowly.

Yes, the ‘motion’ is fluid, but because I’ve been using the usual ‘hard scrolling’ for so long, like many others, I intuitively know how much scrolling is necessary for viewing a certain section of a page. But, what happens as soon as the ‘smooth scrolling’ is enabled is that, suddenly my ‘measurements’ are all wrong and unless I to start ‘tuning’ into the new scrolling sensitivity, well what can I say, it’s giving me a hard time :).

So, if you’re having the same issue, and wondering how to disable it, then this is how you do it.

Update (07/18/2012): Firefox 14 and 15 also has this enabled by default and the below steps should also work in those versions as well.

1. First open Firefox 13 and:

*. If you’re using Windows Vista/7 then click on the orange ‘Firefox’ button (as shown below) and from the menu choose ‘Options’.

*. If you’re using older versions of Windows then from the top menu go to: ‘Tools’ -> ‘Options’.

*. If you’re using Ubuntu, then from the upper menu bar go to: ‘Edit’ -> ‘Preferences’.

2. Once the ‘Options’ window is open, click on the ‘Advanced’ icon to the right edge and then click on the ‘General’ tab.

Then, under the ‘General’ tab, there’s a sub heading called ‘Browsing’ and under that there’s an option called ‘Use smooth scrolling’ and remove the ‘check mark’ of that option to disable this feature. Then click on the ‘OK’ button to finish.

That’s it. Now you should have that insensitive old school scrolling back ;-).

51 thoughts on “How to Disable the ‘smooth scrolling’ in Firefox 13 & 14?

  1. GranThree

    Thank you. That smooth scrolling made me so angry that I almost uninstalled Firefox and tried Opera. Damn smooth scrolling sucks!

    1. Gayan Post author

      Absolutely. You know, as 'yup dq' above said, perhaps an Apple insider in Mozilla did it (kidding!:D). You are welcome btw.

  2. Nick

    Thanks man! My firefox just auto updated to 13, and i was like? WTF is this crappy smooth scrolling? :P and thanks to this i can browse the internet nice once again :-)

  3. Slawek

    Thanks,

    I use Firefox all-day-long and recently I noticed this annoying feature, Smooth Scrolling By default? WTF? FF developers are shooting themselves in the foot? It just gives an impression of a laggy browser. Less tech-savvy people would turn to Chrome and say – this browser is much faster! :)

      1. fatriff

        Just to mention that you can download the mobile version of firefox to try on your desktop which has the drag to scroll feature and that is 100X better than the desktops smooth scroll.. I don't know why they don't just put the mobile one into the desktop browser.

  4. Luke

    I'm getting a little annoyed with Firefox messing around with stuff in every update.

    They changed something so plain image urls display central with a black background for some reason, so I had to install a plugin to take it back to the old layout. Bonkers.

    Twice I've lost a nice theme because it became 'incompatible', now I'm using a chrome-based theme, I like it so may actually move to chrome.

    Thanks for the info though, this was a problem I managed to fix!

  5. Ed Grimley

    A thousand thanks to you Gayan – I was getting hugely annoyed with this! Had been poking around all kinds of other Windows settings to turn it off, updated my graphics driver, etc. Firefox feels 100% faster with this fail of a feature killed.

  6. Gerry

    Thanks for that. Upgraded to 13 and every time I scroll it would cause the text to flicker/dim. Perhaps they are missing a vsync call somewhere, I don't know but it seems like a bug to me. Thanks for the post. :)

  7. Mark

    Thanks a Trillion mate!!! Like others before me have said in different words "Mozilla STOP making crap turned on by the default settings! The first few seconds after I updated, I knew there was something AGAIN, that went horribly wrong there at mozilla.

  8. Hest

    Please FF devs STOP MAKING THIS CRAP TURNED ON BY DEFAULT!! (Sorry for caps but angry)
    Makes it feel like a x86 win 3.11 experince.
    Next time i switch to another browser!

  9. Charlotte

    THANK YOU! I really dislike smooth scrolling too, and I agree with Hest that they shouldn’t turn all this stuff on by default. I appreciate the options, but I don’t like them changing my settings when I have them the way I want them.

  10. Madmax

    Hello!

    When I scroll down/up slowly through text in Firefox ( when smooth scrolling is enabled), lines of text flicker or looks blurry.
    Does text in your monitor flicker too when you scroll slowly through it in Firefox with smooth scrolling enabled??

    I disabled this setting and text looks Ok. Thanks.

    1. Gayan Post author

      Hi ‘Madmax’,

      Yes, that is the case here too. Once it is disabled, it just disappears, although, when you use the scroll-bars and when scrolling down slowly, the same happens. I guess it has something to do with the text rendering mechanism. Anyway …

    1. Gayan Post author

      Hello there,

      Open the ‘Options’ window & click on the ‘Advanced’ tab. Then under the sub-option ‘General’, remove the tick under ‘Use smooth scrolling’. That’s it!.

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