At first Chrome back/forward gestures stopped working after upgrading to MacOS Big Sur. I went into trackpad settings, unselected and reselected "Swipe between pages". It still didn't work. Then I changed it from 3 fingers to 2 fingers.

You can say it "works" now, but it goes the opposite direction. To go "back" I swipe right. To go forward I swipe left.

"Scroll direction: Natural" is selected. If I unselect that it fixes this problem, but then the vertical scrolling direction is reversed.

Anyone else seeing this?

1 Answer 1


That sounds like the right direction. The previous page is semantically to the left of the current page, so swiping right with natural direction is going left. This is the same as swiping PDF pages in Preview — swipe right to go to the previous page on the left.

This description of natural scrolling in the macOS User Guide:

Scroll direction: Natural
Select this option to move the contents of a window in the same direction as your fingers.

and the animation in System Preferences > Trackpad > Swipe between pages:

enter image description here

make this logic hopefully clear.

  • 2
    this is opposite of how safari and all other apps work. i'm having a very hard time untraining my muscle memory having recently switched. Commented May 19, 2021 at 14:56
  • 3
    Really not a natural instinct at all. It's not even being used to one way vs the other, I'd never used this feature before and find I keep going the wrong direction. They changed it to be like flipping pages on a book, I guess, but that isn't how I think about the internet. I want to rewind, not flip back. I even had it consistent for a few hours and the next morning started doing it "wrong" again.
    – Sloloem
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 14:32
  • For me, it works in the direction I expect, because I don't have scroll direction set to "natural". However, it only works for Chrome if I have "Swipe between pages" set to 2 or 3 fingers. The 3 finger setting does not appear to work.
    – acjay
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 18:35
  • I think apple just needs to pick a direction and stick to it, if they invert swipe directions every now and then is really frustrating. Ideally they should give people the ability to pick, what happens with arabic and japanese languages where they swipe pages opposite from english and other languages?
    – Don Giulio
    Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .