Making Firefox Scroll With Synaptics TouchPad

Even though, as a web designer, I hate Internet Explorer I’ve been using it regularly on my laptop more or less since I got it. The reason for this sad state of affairs was that Firefox wouldn’t recognise the scroll buttons on the Synaptics TouchPad and so I’d have to scroll using the cursor keys or the scroll bar on the right. This situation finally became untenable this morning though – I had two instances of Microsoft’s Visual Web Developer open and the machine seemed frustratingly slow to respond. A quick duke at Task Manager confirmed that this was because lots of memory was being used.

The Visual Web Developer program uses a lot of memory but I was surprised to find that Internet Explorer was actually using more at about 60MB. Firefox, also running at the time, was only using about 20MB so I decided it was time to fix the scrolling problem. I googled a bit and came across reports of people testifying that they solved the problem by downloading the newest drivers from Synaptics’ web site. This didn’t work for me though. Then I came across this forum post at Mozillazine which talked about changing a setting for the scroll buttons from “scroll selected item” to “scroll item beneath pointer”. Unfortunately this didn’t work for me either.

Here’s what did (after installing those new drivers):

  1. Double-click the touchpad icon in the system tray
  2. Ensure the correct device is selected in the Device Settings tab and click the Settings button
  3. Open the Buttons list and click ‘Scroll Up Button Action’
  4. Choose “Scroll the current window up” from the list.
  5. Click the ‘Scroll Down Button Action’ and choose ‘Scroll the current window down’ from the list.
  6. Apply/OK out.

Voila! Firefox now scrolls. I later discovered that someone else had replied to the above Mozillazine forum post advising just that, but I assure you I discovered it myself quite by accident.

Anyway, during the course of this fiddling I also discovered that you can use the right hand edge of your touch pad for scrolling. Just move your finger up or down the far right edge of your touch pad and the window scrolls. Unlike the scroll buttons, this did work in Firefox regardless of the above setting (though according to this KnowledgeBase entry, it may require the newest drivers), so if you’re having problems with Firefox scrolling with a Synaptics touchpad device, you should now have two solutions. Enjoy!

Author: nerd.

An experienced IT professional, I used to run a number of small websites and spend a lot of time tinkering with my sites or my PC - back when I had free time.

16 thoughts on “Making Firefox Scroll With Synaptics TouchPad”

  1. This was very useful info. TY. Firefox is just too cool to ignore, even when scrolling with the arrow keys. I appreciate your time, it took to post this blog. Completely unrelated, who else loves the “stumble” extension? Available at mozilla website.

  2. Thanks for the info. I have also been pulling my hair out for some time (and now I am almost bald, but that is another story) because FF would not scroll with my laptop’s touchpad. I followed the link you had here for the new driver and installed it. Now it is working, I can use FF and scroll with the touchpad. WOO HOO!

  3. thanks for the info there. I’ve always used firefox (even if i could not scroll)… i just hate IE (well okay maybe not hate.. but I never used it for many reasons.. one being the memory usage of course)

    and now i can scroll on it without always dragging to the scroll bar/using arrow keys πŸ˜€

    thanks!

  4. Thanks for the info. I updated my drivers from 7.something (2005 drivers) to the latest version, and now FF works great. Updating the drivers was pretty painless, much to my surprise.

  5. Thanx 4 the tip. I used to use Internet Exploder for the same reason, now that this problem is fixed, I won’t have to use it anymore!!

  6. Simply updating the Synaptics drivers got me scrolling in Firefox

    Compaq Pavilion ZE4600, XP Pro, SP3

    Thanks!

  7. You should have posted your email in the fix instructions somewhere. I’d gladly chip in a few bucks after the fact I’ve fixed my FF scrolling. It would be cheaper than a few packs of cigarette I already burned! Then multiply that by number of saved souls of other struggling users! Thanks anyway!!!

  8. If the above doesn’t help:
    Try this solution xp pro, and vista
    At command prompt, or run box or shortcut target
    taskkill /im SynTPEnh.exe

    This leaves SynTPEnh in a limbo state (still running), but scroll starts working in firefox. Flat out terminating SynTPEnh.exe stops scrolling from working in anything.
    Tested on:
    WindowsXP SP3- Synaptics v10.2.4 FF3
    Vista SP2- Synaptics V 12.2.4.1 FF 3.5

    XP home doesn’t have taskkill. Download nircmd http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html
    Place executables in windows folder, use the following command:
    nircmd closeprocess SynTPEnh.exe

    mozillazine post:
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1524405

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