How to always show scrollbars on Windows 11

Windows 11 always show scrollbars
Windows 11 always show scrollbars (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, you will notice that the scrollbars for certain apps and features like the Start menu, Settings app, and those apps from the Microsoft Store always hide when they are not active. However, the scrollbars will appear if you hover over the mouse as you intend to scroll.

This behavior is intentional, and it's part of the Fluent Design language known as conscious controls, which defines those elements that adapt to the environment. Although the ability to see the scroll bars can improve the usability experience, it's not for everyone. If you don't find this feature useful or require the bars showing to ease the scrolling process, Windows 11 includes multiples methods to always to show the scrollbars.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the different methods to configure the system to always show the scrollbars.

How to always show scrollbars on Windows 11

To always show the scrollbar on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Visual effects page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on Always show scrollbars toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the scrollbars in the Start menu, Settings app, and other apps will always show.

How to hide inactive scrollbars when inactive on Windows 11

To keep the scrollbars hidden until you scroll content, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Visual effects page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn off Always show scrollbars toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the scrollbars will appear as you try to scroll content on the screen.

How to always show scrollbars using Registry

To enable the option to always show the scrollbar on Windows 11 with the Registry, use these steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky and can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. Before proceeding, it's recommended to make a full backup of your PC.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility
  4. Double-click the DynamicScrollbars key and change its value from 1 to 0 to show the scrollbar.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Restart the computer (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, the scrollbar will always show up on windows.

How to hide inactive scrollbars using Registry

To only show the scrollbar when trying to scroll content, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility
  4. Double-click the DynamicScrollbars key and change its value from 0 to 1 to hide the scrollbar.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Restart the computer (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, the scrollbar will enable its default behavior on Windows 11.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.