In System Preferences > Mouse there's a setting "Scroll direction: natural", which I don't like, so I unset. The problem is that this also unsets the setting for Trackpad, which I do like.

How can you have different settings for mouse and trackpad?

(In case you can't understand the rationale for wanting them different, and think this is a ridiculous question, here is the reasoning. Mice have had scroll wheels for decades, and the direction of the wheel turning has always been in sync with the motion of the scrollbar. This is, in my opinion, the most natural way to do things, even though it is the opposite of what Apple calls "natural". On the other hand, I'm perfectly willing to use Apple's "natural" scrolling for trackpads, because the metaphor here is that you're moving your fingers across a page, just as if you were using an iOS device's touchscreen. The idea that Apple treats these as the same thing, when they are conceptually completely different is very odd to me. I don't want to change a decades-old habit with the mouse, just because Apple changed their idea of how a trackpad should work. I embrace the trackpad change because it makes sense to anyone who uses an iPhone or iPad (and I use both) but I'm not willing to rewire my brain's way of using the mouse.)

  • 1
    Related question: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/17966/… I have two answers there, both updated for Sierra
    – Nate
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 22:21
  • 46
    I wish I could upvote this multiple times
    – stefan.s
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 7:01
  • 41
    I hate the fact that I cannot set them separately. Apple, please, you already show the setting separately in trackpad and mouse, why the heck sync them? What a stupid design.
    – Logan Yang
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 14:59
  • 5
    Apple must sell you a poor design before it can sell you the fix.
    – null
    Commented Oct 2, 2020 at 5:33
  • 2
    I'm a new Mac user (always used Windows and Linux before) and I have the exact same issue. I've been using computers and mice with wheels for 25 years, but I'm glad that Apple finally made me realize I was using them in an unnatural way!
    – cholo14
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 14:09

13 Answers 13


I made a free application to solve this issue in recent versions of macOS (10.15+). It also allows you to disable scroll/mouse acceleration and configure the number of lines to scroll per mouse wheel click.


It's meant to solve the problem in the simplest way possible. It's also open source so if you're a bit paranoid about letting an app "control your computer", feel free to look at the code and build it yourself!


  • 3
    Thank you! I'm lucky to find this question right after your app release. I'm using macOS Mojave. I tried the Karabiner Elements but it doesn't work. Your app is working flawlessly! Thank you!
    – leoce
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 1:44
  • 3
    I've tested this on Mojave and it works beautifully. I hope this answer gets more attention. Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 20:39
  • 3
    This should be the accepted answer, thank you @aptgetrekt for you work! Btw, it works very well on Big Sur as well.
    – Tomas
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 8:56
  • 5
    Very nice to find an open-source solution, thank you very much @aptgetrekt
    – sesm
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 17:44
  • 9
    This is the best solution, open source and easy to setup and install.
    – utphx
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 1:05

I had the same problem when I started to use macOS.

I installed this little utility, which lets you reverse the scrolling behavior only for the mouse:

Scroll Reverser for macOS

  • 6
    Scroll reverser doesn't work reliably after waking up from sleep... Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 10:38
  • 3
    @binaryanomaly I checked and the "scroll direction: natural" on Mouse settings still affects the trackpad. El Capitan 10.11.1 Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 11:00
  • 3
    Unfortunately you're right - it's two places for 1 setting :( weird. Back to Karabiner for now. Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 8:16
  • 8
    @GuidoPreite It appears that I have falsely blamed Scroll Reverser in my previous comment though. The problems did not disappear with the removal of Scroll Reverser. They did however go away after updating the Logitech Control Center. Sorry for spreading wrong information and I hope you would take the trouble to update your answer yet again.
    – Roy Prins
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 20:22
  • 3
    Is it for real that you can solve this horrible 'functionality' with such a simple app? I feel ecstatic that I finally found something that solved this problem. This should have come from Apple in the first place.
    – KumarM
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 19:51

Update 2020/12/03: As other's have pointed out, this is not a feature of Karabiner in newer versions.

It appears that this is integrated in the Karabiner app so it works out of the box without any custom XML (which are described above).

You'll need the following settings:

  • Karabiner Preferences > Change Key > Karabiner core settings > Exclude devices > Don't remap Apple's pointing devices
  • Karabiner Preferences > Change Key > Pointing Device > Reverse scrolling direction > Reverse Vertical Scrolling

Set the Enable Natural Scrolling setting in the Mouse/TrackPad PrefPane to 'enabled'. This allows for the internal trackpad to work as it's supposed to. Any connected non-Apple external mouse will scroll in their own natural way.

  • 2
    Nice! One less utility to launch & have in the background.
    – iconoclast
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 23:41
  • 5
    Karabiner is awesome.
    – e9t
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 8:34
  • 2
    Karabiner worked for me on El Capitan where Scroll Reverser didn't. Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 19:00
  • 18
    So this no longer works in Sierra. Anyone found a working solution in the meantime?
    – swongu
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:51
  • 21
    Karabiner doesn't work with Sierra. They recommend using Karabiner-Elements instead, but that one doesn't seem to offer this option. So Karabiner is no longer a solution.
    – orrd
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 22:43

I found myself in the exact same boat (preferring Natural for TrackPad and normal for Mouse), and in case anyone attempts to do the same, I did file a bug report against Apple for this. They closed it rather briefly with the words "This is intentional" and no other explanation.

I'm guessing that it's a common request, and they're just tired of hearing it.

  • 17
    It's possible that they just don't get it, since I'd be willing to bet practically no one at Apple actually uses mice with physically scrolling wheels. (That would be like using a Mac at Microsoft: anathema to management.) For someone who didn't give it much thought it might seem to make sense, but if you use all three devices (iOS devices, Apple mice or trackpads, and wheel mice) you quickly realize Apple's decision was a horrible one.
    – iconoclast
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 14:50
  • 49
    "This is intentional" is just Apple's way of avoiding that it admitted it did something wrong. For all of Apple's supposed attention to detail, small usability problems like this are quite ubiquitous in OSX. Commented May 13, 2015 at 0:03
  • 5
    they need to get UNTIRED of hearing it -- when so many people have this issue, it's a REAL issue -- with the end of Steve Jobs so ends the quality of Apple...
    – aequalsb
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 15:09
  • 1
    wow, this is very naive. In what way would fixing this bug help selling apple mice...?
    – vidstige
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 20:33
  • 2
    @vidstige I dunno, maybe having more people using Macs would encourage them to buy other Apple things? Or promoting the idea that Apple is consumer-friendly? Or that they at least care about their consumer's wishes? I mean, maybe I'm just naive in thinking that dismissing a major concern from a significant segment of your potential market is a bad idea. Or maybe you didn't think it through, and should try again.
    – anon
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 23:59

Based on Tien's answer, I tried to find some Logitech software that could help me. I have a Anywhere MX 2 mouse and the Logitech Options software really "fix" this problem for me! It can be downloaded here:


Here is how I set it:

Logitech Options with 'Standard' scroll direction

Having scroll direction: standard here and natural scrolling on macOS Sierra settings make it work as it makes sense: natural scrolling on trackpad (two thingers up scrolls down) and standard scrolling on the wheel (roll the wheel "back" scrolls down).

Hope it helps!

  • 1
    I don't see these options on Mac OS X 10.12.1. I have a Unifying Mouse, but I cannot add it to the Logitech Options. I guess that needs to be done before I can modify its options?
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 22:25
  • You just need to install Logitech Options Logitech software. Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 15:48
  • 2
    Apparently, it only works with wireless mice.
    – erickrf
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 15:59
  • 3
    To the top you go.. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 19:40
  • 2
    Wow, sometimes it really pays to scroll down and read the less voted answers. This works perfectly
    – wim
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 9:18

You can also use Karabiner:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <device_only>DeviceVendor::SOMEVENDOR, DeviceProduct::SOMEPRODUCT</device_only>
    <autogen>__FlipScrollWheel__ Option::FLIPSCROLLWHEEL_VERTICAL</autogen>

You can see the vendor and product IDs from /Applications/Karabiner.app/Contents/Applications/EventViewer.app.

  • 4
    To elaborate on this process, run the Karabiner app, which opens the customization UI. Then go to the "Misc & Uninstall" tab at the top. There are buttons on this page to "Open private.xml" and "Open EventViewer" which you can use to get the product ID and edit the XML as shown above. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 13:56
  • Some more details - Replace both occurrences of "SOMEVENDOR" with an arbitrary single word representing your manufacturer (e.g. Microsoft). Replace both occurrences of "PRODUCTNAME" with an arbitrary single word representing your mouse (e.g. MicrosoftSculpt). Replace 0x1234 with the string from "Vendor ID" column in event viewer. Replace 0x0001 with the string from "Product ID" column in event view. Save the xml and hit "Change Key > Reload XML". Make sure to enable the OSX "Scroll direction: natural" in the mouse configuration.
    – Elad
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 11:25
  • For step-by-step instructions: apple.stackexchange.com/a/230241/85983
    – Jonathan H
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 20:23

This little app solved my trouble. Works like a charm. https://pilotmoon.com/scrollreverser/

  • Hi welcome to AskDifferent, I find if a question is worth answering it is worth upvoting. Also some instructions rather than just a link may get you more upvotes and make your answer more "future" proof. Please take the time to read the Answer and Question section of the help page.
    – Deesbek
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 1:51
  • 2
    Confirmed! Works great on Sierra. Karabiner or Scroll Reverse do not currently work on Sierra, so this is the only solution of the ones currently listed that works.
    – orrd
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 22:48
  • Works on Sierra! What a lifesaver! Commented May 5, 2017 at 2:04
  • 1
    In this case @Deesbek there really doesn't seem to be any point to elaborate. It really does work like a charm. If you go to the site and download the app it reverses the scrolls (separately for mouse and trackpad, the whole point of the question). Also, F Apple for claiming this is an intentional decision. That's just lazy.
    – barclay
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:27
  • 1
    Doesn't work in 10.15, reverses both scrolls. Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 11:08

If you have BetterTouchTool (which is worth getting for its own sake), this can be handled with a single checkbox. It's the checkbox for "Inverse scrolling for normal mice only (use system settings for Magic Mouse & Trackpads)".

Works like a charm.

enter image description here

In the new UI, the checkbox has moved to a place a bit more hidden:

  1. Click the cog wheel ⚙️ in the upper right corner
  2. Choose "Normal mouse" on the left (near the bottom of the Advanced Settings)

enter image description here

  • 3
    BetterTouchTool is the best value in macOS utilities! I recommend buying a lifetime license! (And no, I do not have any affiliation with the author.)
    – iconoclast
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 19:51
  • 2
    Oh my, of course! I've lost count of how many times it has happened that I am looking for a solution to a problem online only to come across someone showing how it can be solved with BetterTouchTool which I already have installed! Awesome tool <3
    – Bloke
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 15:23
  • 1
    As others have already stated, BTT is well worth it. Didn't even know this scrolling option existed in BTT before I searched Google for a solution. BTT to the rescue yet again!
    – Art Geigel
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 10:58

As Tien posted, Logitech now has an app with the option to separate trackpad and mouse scroll directions, but this only works with a unifying receiver or Bluetooth. I have a wonderful Logitech VX Nano that I don’t intend to give up on, which pre-dates unifying receiver.

And Karabiner or Scroll Reverse do not currently work on Sierra.

Instead you can use the free app Reverse Scrolling, which works on Sierra.

https://pilotmoon.com/scrollreverser/ Scroll Reverser


Both Karabiner and Scroll Reverse do not work on Sierra so far (October 2016). I use a logitech M185 and the app from Logitech instead (http://support.logitech.com/en_us/product/wireless-mouse-m185) and it works. Now I can separate the scroll direction between the trackpad and the mouse.

  • does this feature not exist in Karabiner-Elements?
    – iconoclast
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 18:26
  • what software from logitech? Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 2:00
  • answering myself on a "answer" below ;) Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 2:14
  • 1
    @iconoclast: No, in Karabiner Elements you can only remap keys. But the Logitec app works pretty well.
    – llasarov
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 20:48
  • 1
    I've just tried Scroll Reverser on my MacBook Pro running Mac OS Sierra, and it works perfectly.
    – Liran H
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 23:07

Clarifying the answer above about Karabiner Settings. To edit the two suggested settings, do the following:

Change Key tab > Exclude Devices > Select "Don't remap Apple's pointing keyboards

Change Key tab > Pointing Device > Reverse Scrolling Direction Select "Reverse Vertical Scrolling"

From here, use Apple > System Preferences > Mouse (or touchpad) and select "natural scrolling"

  • 2
    Rather than say "the answer above" it is better to specify whose answer you are referring to. Whether an answer is "above" or not depends on how users sort the answers, and even that changes over time. Also, new answers are added, so directional references become more and more confusing, even if they seemed relatively clear at first.
    – iconoclast
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 20:43
  • NB: in the current version of Karabiner (10.18.0 in any event), the first setting has been renamed to "Don't remap Apple's pointing devices".
    – dland
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 7:54
  • THIS answer is accurate and correct for me on El Capitan 2017-03-05 -- whereas ALL OTHER answers i read prior to this did not provide the critical two-setting explanation -- therefore i consider "the answer above" and "all the other answers" wrong... and "THIS answer" right
    – aequalsb
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 15:17

It's an old question, but I've been using mos for some years now. It lets you adjust white/blacklists for apps, where you don't want to reverse the scrolling behaviour.

And the best part: It makes scrolling on the mouse as smooth as scrolling on your trackpad: Screenshot


Another really nice looking solution is Mac Mouse Fix.

In addition to fixing the scrolling direction it allows you to overload buttons with different actions for

  • click
  • double-click
  • hold
  • drag

as well as several other settings.

enter image description here

  • I can vouch that this works in Mac Mouse Fix [3.0.0 Beta 6 (21668)]: check "Reverse Direction" on the "Scrolling" tab, and in macOS System Settings, check "Natural Scrolling" in either the mouse or trackpad configuration. Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 3:57

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