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In dev builds of Chrome, they've implemented, refined, and released two-finger swipes left/right in order to browse back/forward in the browser history. Unfortunately, you can accidentally trigger it while you're in the middle of a long down/up scroll, which needless to say occurs often.

I generally like the gesture, and things like Preview, Safari, and other application have implemented it much better, where you cannot blindly navigate back/forward so long as you have begun to scroll up/down.

How do I selectively disable two-finger back/forward navigation in Chrome?

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This sounds like a poor implementation on Chrome's part. Have you considered filing a bug? –  jtbandes Aug 9 '11 at 22:43
Actually, I just tried to reproduce this and it doesn't seem to be happening for me in the latest dev build. Are you sure you're up to date? –  jtbandes Aug 9 '11 at 22:45
I'm on the latest dev build and I can confirm this error. I would file a bug with the Chrome team. code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/list –  Nathan Aug 9 '11 at 23:50
If you don't have to be on the dev version, it's less sensitive in the beta channel –  cafhacker Aug 10 '11 at 13:38
That's not a suitable answer by virtue of the fact that (in theory), any other channel will eventually have the current state of the dev channel. –  Jason Salaz Aug 10 '11 at 16:37

8 Answers 8

up vote 144 down vote accepted

I know its over a year later, but I had the same question, and then figured out the answer myself.

Open terminal and type

defaults write com.google.Chrome AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool FALSE

Then you can have it enabled system wide, and just disabled for chrome. By the way, this works for any app, just replace com.google.Chrome with the bundle identifier of the target app.

If your interested in how it works, the AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls is the global setting, that can be overwritten for any specified app.

Hope this helps someone in the future.

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Oh yes. Oh my god yes. This is EXCELLENT. It helped me, NOW. THANK YOU! –  Jason Salaz Jan 28 '13 at 3:00
I want to create a hundred accounts just to keep upvoting this answer as many times as humanly possible. –  Scottie Jul 16 '13 at 13:11
This no longer works. Chrome 30 on Mavericks. The other system preferences solution does work: apple.stackexchange.com/a/28998/8041. –  timoxley Nov 4 '13 at 3:36
Works for me on Mavericks without the .plist –  Billy Moon Nov 12 '13 at 11:06
Tried this in Yosemite and it doesn't seem to work (even after restarting Chrome). This is super annoying - especially when I am entering information (say, writing an answer on SE), and scroll to check something - it's rather easy to end up going back, and losing your edit. Does this answer need an update for Yosemite? –  Floris Dec 29 '14 at 15:52

I went into the System Prefs and changed the Page change gesture from two fingers to three (OSX Lion). The three finger swipe seems to be more responsive at any rate and I'm usually only using two fingers for everything else.

System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures > Swipe between pages

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...this works, though you're also changing the setting for every other app (including Preview). I like this solution and it's what I'm doing, but I'm hoping the Chrome people will read this thread and see that they need to offer a fix within the browser. –  Eric Mar 27 '12 at 17:04
Also works for Mountain Lion. –  Nakilon Aug 4 '13 at 16:56
IMHO this is a better solution than changing the Chrome defaults with the command line command. –  Steve Bennett Nov 26 '14 at 2:13
Works in Mavericks when the command line option did not. –  atwixtor Dec 12 '14 at 15:12


It looks like Google Chrome uses Apples default gestures, so by disabling Apples gestures you disable Chromes. However, you probably still love some gestures like I do. For that get BetterTouchTools (BTW, its Free).

Disable Google Chromes Gestures

You can disable chromes gestures by going to System Preference > Mouse OR Trackpad > More Gestures > and uncheck Swipe between pages.

Keep the Gestures You Want

I still love gestures so I downloaded BetterTouchTools which allows me to make the gestures I want. I disabled all apples gestures then created my own. You can get very custom with gestures this way. Or if you prefer, leave some of apples gestures on and use BetterTouchTools for the more custom ones.

Oh, BetterTouchTools is free :)

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great, this works. –  gilzero Feb 17 '12 at 3:32
How do you enable the Swipe between pages gesture for other applications?? The gesture is missing in the BetterTouchTools. –  Petr Peller Sep 26 '12 at 13:48
@PetrPeller Each application should have its own keyboard shortcut for swiping between pages. In BetterTouchTools you can setup custom gestures for each application. Setup an new application, use whatever gesture you want for a swipe, then enter that applications keyboard shortcut for the gestures action. Make sense? –  zechdc Sep 26 '12 at 15:50
@zechdc But that way I would have to set up every single application separately and I would miss the animation as the gesture would be translated into keyboard shortcut. It's a pity that the BetterTouchTools can't just disable the 2-finger swipe gesture for Google Chrome and leave default behaviour for different apps. –  Petr Peller Sep 26 '12 at 18:04
@PetrPeller I agree. Sorry I can't be of more help. –  zechdc Sep 26 '12 at 20:50

Chrome Canary users should use:

defaults write com.google.Chrome.canary.plist AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool FALSE
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During my testing the com.google.Chrome.canary.plist should be com.google.Chrome.canary. –  darkbaby123 Sep 5 '14 at 3:08

I'm going to close this question not with a direct answer, but an effective one.

In some recent version, they've implemented a floating icon that tracks your gesture across the page. It also fades the opacity from about 30% transparent to about 90% transparent when on the far-right side of the page. It doesn't take a full swipe in order to navigate backwards, you only need to two finger swipe across approximately half of the page in order for the navigation to occur.

This is a wonderful indicator to hint at when exactly navigation will actually occur.

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I appreciate what you're saying but I'm not sure I see your effective solution :-) When I'm quickly moving around web pages and I use two fingers to scroll left in the current text field, if I'm not in the current field, the whole page goes (and I go to the previous web page-- same as clicking the back button). I see the indicator you're talking about, but I move fast-- the page changes, often just as I'm realizing what's happening and snatching my finger off the trackpad in an effort to prevent the page from changing. :-( I'd like to disable this feature entirely! –  Eric Mar 27 '12 at 17:03
There are other answers to this question that addresses that. –  Jason Salaz Mar 27 '12 at 21:19

The only way I'm currently of is two disable two-finger page swiping system-wide, from the Trackpad section of System Preferences. I wait patiently for Chrome to either fix its implementation, or at least provide an app preference for disabling the feature.

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There are two different properties, one is for the Trackpad: AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls, the other is for the Mouse/Magic Mouse: AppleEnableMouseSwipeNavigateWithScrolls.

So you need to execute one or both of these commands:

$ defaults write com.google.Chrome AppleEnableMouseSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool false
$ defaults write com.google.Chrome AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool false
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I also tried the terminal command on Yosemite, it didn't work for me.

And then I tried uncheck "Swipe between pages" in mouse settings, and it worked.

enter image description here

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