Linux and Windows have a number of differences. One of the little things that I found useful on Linux (this may be specific to certain desktop environments, such as LXDE in my case), was that if I used the mousewheel to scroll while the cursor was over a window, it would scroll up and down on that window, even if that window did not have UI focus at the time.

On Windows, however, if you use the scroll wheel while the cursor is over a window, it will only function if that window has UI focus, meaning I need to click on the window or alt-tab to it first.

Is there any way to make Windows match this Linux/LXDE behavior with scroll wheels? (preferably without also changing window focus in the process)

While this is not something all that important, it is something I've gotten used to, and would like to have it on Windows if I can.

  • Actually that is the norm in Windows 10. – Appleoddity Oct 21 '17 at 17:11
  • Please try katmouse. It does the job on Windows 7 but I don't know if it works on Windows 8.1. Let me know if it works and I will write up an answer. – DavidPostill Oct 21 '17 at 17:19
  • Works perfectly! – Zauber Paracelsus Oct 21 '17 at 17:35
  • @ZauberParacelsus Great! Answer added ;) – DavidPostill Oct 21 '17 at 20:09

How can I scroll a window when the mouse cursor is over a window that doesn't have focus?

You can use katmouse for this:

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 usefulness of the mouse wheel.

Katmouse works as described on Windows 7 and is confirmed by the OP as also working on Windows 8.1

It is free software, but the author provides a way to make a donation if you want.


I am not affiliated with katmouse in any way, I am just an end user of the software.

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