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One awesome feature I like about Ubuntu is the ability to roll your mouse and move up/down the page in a window that is not active. For instance, if I have two monitors and on one I'm reading a document and the other I'm taking down notes, I can scroll through the document without having to click on that window to make it active.

Is there anyway to get the same feature in Windows 7?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

WizMouse will do the trick, and for free.

WizMouse is a mouse enhancement utility that makes your mouse wheel work on the window currently under the mouse pointer, instead of the currently focused window. This means you no longer have to click on a window before being able to scroll it with the mouse wheel. This is a far more comfortable and practical way to make use of the mouse wheel.

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Awesome...!! Thanks a million... – Legend Feb 19 '10 at 5:13

Try KatMouse:

The prime purpose of the KatMouse utility is to enhance the functionality of mice with a scroll wheel, offering "universal" scrolling: moving the mouse wheel will scroll the window directly beneath the mouse cursor (not the one with the keyboard focus, which is default on Windows). This is a major increase in the usefullness [sic] of the mouse wheel.

Another (optional) feature involves the wheel button. Since the wheel button is not consistently used in Windows, KatMouse can use it for a kind of task switching: with a click of the wheel button you can push a window to the buttom [sic] of the stack of windows that is your desktop, making a recovered window the active window.

KatMouse is free software.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Sathya Jan 30 '13 at 12:13
Accidentally installed this one instead of WizMouse and it turned out to do what what it was expected to do. – Daniel F Sep 27 '14 at 19:33
I noticed that many of those apps had issues to handle specific parts of applications, like Skype for Business or Outlook 2016. KatMouse has a specific Classes tab which solved my issues nicely. – gotson Jun 10 at 7:04

For anyone looking for a free alternative to the ones already mentioned, Taekwindow is worth checking out. Besides the brilliant name, it offers some extra functionality that you might deem important:

  • move a window by grabbing it anywhere (not just the title bar) while holding the Alt key, and then dragging with the left mouse button;
  • resize a window by grabbing it anywhere (not just the tiny little border) while holding the Alt key, and then dragging with the right mouse button;
  • move a maximized window between monitors by Alt-dragging;
  • use the scroll wheel on the window under the cursor, instead of the currently focused window;
  • push a window to the background by middle-clicking on its title bar.

You can quickly enable/disable the program by left-clicking on its icon in the systray. Personally, I found it one of the most lightweight apps that offers the requested scroll-under-mousepointer functionality, as well as one of the most stable. It's a minuscule download (28K) and doesn't require installation.

I'm not affiliated.

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Mouse Hunter also provides this feature:

Mouse Hunter is a free utility that optimizes the work with the mouse wheel.

When you roll the mouse wheel, the utility roll the UI element, that is located under the mouse pointer, not the element that has the input focus (which responds to the keyboard input) as it usually happens in Windows (Windows always roll currently active UI element).

In addition, you can specify a key (Shift or Control) or one of the mouse buttons (left or right) to scroll horizontally with the mouse wheel.

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This one looks pretty good, but I have concerns about the potential for malware. – GaTechThomas May 8 '13 at 16:29

Actual Window Manager contains this feature as well, at Mouse -> Scroll inactive windows with the mouse wheel.

Actually, this is a must have window managing solution; I'm not affiliated with them at all, but the app is so usefull, that a mention is really worth it. Take a glimpse at the huge feature list in the first link.

I also used KatMouse for a while, but it stopped working in a special condition, which is when using Power Mixer's change-volume-with-mouse-wheel-on-taskbar feature, which is also really usefull.

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I already had X-Mouse Button Control installed, so I just had to click Settings then Make scroll wheel scroll window under cursor (the hard part was knowing the option was there; so now you know).

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