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It happens to me so many times that I roll the scroll wheel over some scrollable element, but the thing DOES NOT SCROLL. What's worse, something else on another part of the screen may scroll.

I know very well why that happens. Windows is sending the command to the active element in the active window, i.e. the thing that has focus.
But that behavior is absurd. The focus is meant for the keyboard not for the mouse. If I click a mouse button, that click goes to whatever is under the mouse pointer, not to the focused element.
THE KEYBOARD IS THE ONE THAT NEEDS A FOCUSED ELEMENT, NOT THE MOUSE!!!

Anyways, enough protesting.
Is there any way of correcting this so it works in the logical and intuitive way? that is, to scroll the thing that's under the mouse pointer.

EDIT:
I'm looking for a general solution for all versions of Windows (at least from WinXP on) as the problem is present in all of them.

EDIT 2:
I'm aware of the X-mouse feature, but that's not what I need. I dont want other windows/elements to gain focus just because the pointer is over them, that's more an annoyance than not.

EDIT 3:
I'm looking for a solution that works at the gui-control level, i.e. scroll the specific element in the window that the mouse is pointing at (think about MDI windows like Windows Explorer with a left and center panel, etc.)

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marked as duplicate by sudo, Scott, Renan, 8088, Tog Feb 27 '13 at 9:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Please update the question with the version of Windows being used. –  Julian Knight Feb 26 '13 at 21:16
    
    
@Dennis that may be however that question was Windows 7 specific even though the answer was not. –  Julian Knight Feb 26 '13 at 21:30

3 Answers 3

In Windows 7 & 8 at least, type "change how" into the start menu/screen. You should see (under Settings on Windows 8) "Change how your mouse works". Select this and look for the option to "Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse".

Now the window under the mouse will activate automatically after a short delay and scrolling will work as anticipated.

I'm not sure if this is available in earlier versions of Windows. Try looking under accessibility options in the Control Panel.

For the sake of completeness, lets list all the options:

  • Change the Ease of Access settings (as given above, works with at least Win7+, maybe others)
  • Use TXmouse as suggested by @Sean-Cheshire in the comments (last updated in 2005)
  • Change registry settings - see the question "Setting focus auto-raise and focus auto-raise delay in Windows 7"
  • Use WizMouse which has the advantage that it doesn't affect the window order like the other answers do. However, it does have some compatibility issues (see the web site). Supports Windows versions from 2000 to 7, not sure if 8 is supported.

UPDATE: From the "Update 2" in the question, I'd say that WizMouse is your best option as long as you can live with the limitations listed which seem to revolve around touchpad and Logitech issues.

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I use a wonderful little piece of freeware called Katmouse.

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Ah, that's the one I was trying to remember! However, I remember that it didn't work with all windows and it hasn't been updated since 2007. –  Julian Knight Feb 26 '13 at 21:38
    
I have it running just fine on Windows 7 64-bit; I cannot speak for Windows 8. At 335k it is certainly lightweight. There is also a beta version on the site, but I have no information on it. –  Wizard Prang Feb 26 '13 at 21:57
    
Thank you! This has bothered me for years! It's the simple things in life. ;-) –  MaseBase Jul 20 at 22:09

Microsoft has a free Windows "PowerToy" utility for XP called TweakUI which contains something called X-Mouse which, when enabled, causes activation, or focus, to follow the mouse's position. I not aware of them ever releasing a version of it for Windows 7 or 8 however (but haven't checked for one in a long time).

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