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

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

  2. thanks yeah, smooth scrolling is awful, feels like the whole internet experience is turning into a ipad demo ugh

  3. Thanks man! My firefox just auto updated to 13, and i was like? WTF is this crappy smooth scrolling? ๐Ÿ˜› and thanks to this i can browse the internet nice once again ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 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.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.