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Google Devs Accidentally Invert Scrolling in Latest Chrome OS Dev Update

Screen-Shot-2014-04-02-at-17.05Among the changes rocking up in the most recent dev channel update to Chrome OS was one tweak you can’t help but have noticed: inverted scrolling.

Landing alongside minor changes like automatic timezone detection and a minimise button in the file manager, the update accidentally enabled the so-called ‘Australian scrolling’ feature by default, regardless of your own settings.

Also known as ‘natural scrolling‘, the behaviour flips the traditional two finger scrolling (i.e., scroll down to move a page up) to work more like a touch device, where dragging up moves a page up.

While Chrome OS includes an option to enable this system-wide in the Settings pane it’s not set as the default. Not wanting anyone to get too upset, a Chromium developer explained the situation over on Reddit, writing:

“Hey folks, this [change] was a mistake. What happened is we were doing some code refactoring (removing the Australian scroll handling from one place and adding to another place). Mid-move, a dev-channel release was done. Oops!

I just approved the fixes so the next build should be fine.”

Until that update get pushed out you may want to manually ‘reset’ the touchpad. This can be down through Settings > Mouse & Touchpad > Scrolling.

  • Kenny Strawn

    Two days ago in Canary, I had the opposite occur: had “Australian Scrolling” enabled, only for it to break on me when Canary was updated to 36. That problem still persists…

  • I wonder how many would notice? Like, how many people use Australian Scrolling? Turning it on was the first thing I did with my Chromebook.

    • I actually use it on my Series 3. It just feels more natural. Scroll down to move down.

      • Zactu

        Very much agree. I wish they’ll enable it for the mouse as well.

    • I probably wouldn’t have noticed this change at all, since I have the natural “Australian” scrolling turned on.

  • James

    I think they also inverted the 3 finger scroll to the left and right when switching tabs – really confusing

  • loux

    Let me get this straight. MacBook-like scrolling is considered *reversed*? And scrolling the wrong way is considered regular? How? Who even made this a convention. I’m literally mind blown that there’s even an option for non “Australian” scrolling. It sounds impossibly hard to use.

    • You must be pretty young? This is how scrolling worked since the invention of the touch pad and GUI interfaces. This “reversed” scrolling was introduced by apple in 2012ish. Trust me, for someone who’s been using a laptop for almost 20 years, “reversed scrolling” is entirely impossible to use.

  • Anonymoused

    Uh, it’s the most natural scrolling — who DIDN’T notice? I had to go into my settings and change it to whatever the reverse was.

  • Luke

    I wonder if this was at all related to the recent intermittent no-scrolling-in-Chrome bug, or the other recent nonworking-scrollbar-in-dropdowns bug described here? So glad Ubuntu has Firefox by default :)