What is Edge Scrolling?

While working on your laptop, there is an option to scroll up and down b using the extreme right edge of your touchpad. This is exactly how you would use the middle wheel of your mouse. This edge scroll function helps you in scrolling through lengthy web pages, documents, and about everywhere where there is an option for scrolling.

While this two edge scrolling works fine for some, a few of you might find it a real nuisance as it might mess up with your current view if you accidentally touch or swipe up and down the right hand side of the touchpad. Keeping the personal preferences of all users in mind, Ubuntu has kept this option customizable. You can enable/disable this feature both through the graphical user interface and through the Ubuntu command line.

In this article, we will explain how to enable/disable touchpad edge scrolling for your Ubuntu system. We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Enable/Disable Edge Scrolling through the UI

If you prefer using the GUI for performing simple administrative tasks, you can make use of the graphical Settings utility.

You can access the Settings either through the system Dash or by accessing it as follows:

Click on the downward arrow located at the top-right corner of your Ubuntu desktop and then click the settings icon from the following view:


The Settings utility opens in the Wi-Fi tab by default. You need to click on the Devices tab, and then the Mouse & Touchpad in order to make the required configurations.

This is how the Mouse & Touchpad view looks like:

Mouse and Touchpad settings

Alternatively, you can directly launch this view by entering relevant mouse and touchpad keywords in the Ubuntu Dash search, as follows:

Mouse and Touchpad

In the Mouse & Touchpad settings view, try to locate the Edge Scrolling button under the Touchpad section. By default, this button is switched on in Ubuntu 18.04 which means that the Edge Scrolling is enabled on your touchpad. Simply turn the button off in order to disable edge scrolling or turn it on in order to enable it. As soon as you do it, your new settings with take effect immediately.Advertisement

You can now close the Settings utility.

Enable/Disable Edge Scrolling through the Command Line

For a more Terminal savvy person, we have an alternative to the UI approach of enabling/disabling edge scrolling on your Touchpad.

Open your Terminal application either through the system Dash or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

For Ubuntu 18.04, you might first need to remove the libinput Touchpad driver, if your system is currently running it. Run the following command as sudo in order to remove the mentioned driver:

$ sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-input-libinput libinput-tools

Remove libinput package

Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and configure software on Ubuntu.

Then install the synaptics driver for Touchpad, that will let you make numerous configurations through it. Run the following command to install the new driver:

$ sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-input-evdev xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Install Synaptics driver

The system might prompt you with a Y/n confirmation option in order to continue installation. Please enter Y to continue, after which the new driver will be installed on your system.

You might then need to restart your system for the new driver to be configured.

In order to view what all you can do with the synclient tool after you have installed the new driver, enter the following command:

$ synclient

Run synclient command

You will also be able to spot the VertEdgeScroll variable in the list. This is the one we will be configuring in order to enable/disable touchpad edge scrolling.

The value 1 indicates that edge scrolling is currently enabled on your system. If you want to disable edge scrolling, you can do so by running the following synclient command:

$ synclient VertEdgeScroll=0

Disable edge scrolling

Or, run the following command in order to enable it:

$ synclient VertEdgeScroll=0

As soon as you do it, your new settings with take effect immediately.

You can now close the Terminal by using the exit command:

$ exit

So whatever your preference is about edge scrolling, you can enable or disable it easily by following either of the two ways we have described in this article.

How to Enable/Disable Edge Scrolling in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS