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 ;-).

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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 …

    • 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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