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Anyone with a MacBook or MacBook Pro can scroll by using two fingers on the trackpad. I haven't seen this implemented on a PC laptop under any version of Windows.

Is it possible, and if not, how come?

If it is, someone write the driver!

P.S. Yes, I know about scrolling with the edge of the trackpad.

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This is only in newer MacBooks. My old MBP (a G4) doesn't support any of those. Newer macbooks (unibodies) already support four fingers. It's a hardware issue, not just software. –  Uri Feb 15 '09 at 2:58
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 25 '09 at 3:10

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5 Answers

Most trackpads only report a single position.

2 Finger scrolling needs to report 2 positions, and thus, requires the trackpad to be designed in a physically different manner.

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Given time and research, I'm pretty sure one could guess quite accurately if a user is multitouching a resistive trackpad - but if it got it wrong it would be REALLY annoying. –  Phoshi Jan 2 '10 at 0:48
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I believe the MBP trackpad support multi-touch, while most laptop trackpads do not. This means that it's not just a matter of updating the driver, but the hardware itself has to support it!

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For what it's worth, I can use two finger scrolling when I remote into my PC from my MacBook.

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I have a couple obscure laptops (Nobilis) a whitebox brand of some sort, which do have a two-finger scroll option in the driver. It is a Synaptics driver, so I would think they are made by Synaptics or at least specified by them. Unfortunately, these are all sales laptops so I don't have any in house that I can give you the version info from, but I'll edit when I do.

I haven't seen that option on any other laptop, but it does work on these few. So it's obviously possible. That said, using 2 finger scroll on a touchpad that's only 1.75" high and inset almost 1/8" into the housing of the laptop is a very different experience from the 3x4" flush trackpad on the MacBook Pro.

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Instead of two fingers, most PC laptops allow you scroll with one finger using the right edge of the touchpad.

I know that's in your question, but I wanted to make sure someone saw it in an answer, as well. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

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protected by Diago Dec 17 '10 at 16:43

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