How to enable smooth scrolling in Google Chrome for your Surface and Surface Book

Surface Logo
Surface Logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

This week many new people are jumping on board with the Surface trend as Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book hit the streets.

One common complaint, however, involves using the Google Chrome browser and janky scrolling. Lots of reviewers are quick to blame Microsoft and the trackpad and ignoring the fact that scrolling in the Edge browser is much better. The reason for the difference? Let's just say Google has a history of bad scrolling in Windows due to choices they made for mouse integration.

Luckily, there is a quick fix that you can enable to get it working better. The fix works by enabling an experimental feature in the browser, although it has been experimental for literally years now.

Enable smooth scrolling in Google Chrome

1. Flags

In the address bar copy and paste (or type) chrome://flags/ and hit Enter

2. Search

Use [Ctrl + F] and type in 'smooth' until you find Smooth Scrolling

3. Enable

Hit the Enable button under 'Enable the experimental smooth scrolling implementation.'

4. Re-launch

Simply relaunch the Google Chrome browser and scrolling will be much better.

If you want even more fine control over scrolling you can pick up the free Chrome extension called SmoothScroll here in the Store. Under the options for this extension you'll see many more choices including some presets like IE, iPhone, Opera or custom.

Finally, although you may say why not just use Edge instead, ironically there is an issue there. Right now, there is a driver bug for the Intel HD graphics processor that causes the driver to crash – and crash often. Although the driver reloads, it can be rather infuriating until Microsoft gets a new driver out.

More resources

Not sold on either device yet? Check out our Surface Pro 4 review and our Surface Book impressions or jump into our forums.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • To me the best combo is still Edge + Firefox :P
  • Edgefox?
  • FireEdge!
  • This^
    Include IE 11 also. But FF is the browser if I'm going off Edge/IE!
  • That^
  • Yea, but Edge could also benefit from this smooth scrolling feature. It may be better than Chrome, but if it could be made as good as IE it'd be much more acceptable. Holding up Chrome as the measure is not a good target really. If, however, even Chrome can manage smooth scrolling why can't Edge do it? It currently jumps about and stutters like a mad thing on so many sites. If it isn't a simple site, Edge gets nouty pretty easily.
  • Edge os still very slow for me. It opens really fast. But still doesn't perform well on many sites. Microsoft has to improve edge soon or else it would be again a failure
  • Right... Some sites open very slow.
  • I'm using Edge+UC browser combo.
  • In my case I still use IE together with Firefox for heavy browsing. Edge is still quite unstable and tends to freeze on some sites. Not to mention missing several basic web browser features that are taken for granted.
  • I tried a few of these and meh. Chrome stills bugs me and I hate that you have teh background processes, etc.  Using IE for now... And thanks for publishing a searchable post for links and tricks in case I try it again.
  • Is the Edge/Intel issue what's causing it to crash erratically on the current preview build as well? Because that's infuriating.
  • It not only affects Chrome, also Firefox and other apps. Though the scrolling in Edge is better than in Chrome it is still laggy. The bug is known for over two weeks I wonder why Microsoft was unable to deliver a day-1-fix.
  • Well, IE doesn't fall over so MS could make it work. They just choose not to.
  • Is there anything about Google that isn't irritating?  
  • General bugs in the new Surface Book get my vote.
  • Well, I don't have a surface book (you lucky bastard! =) so I can't comment.  But speaking as a former total google fanboi, I find very little about them I like anymore.
  • Know of a way to enable pinch zoom via trackpad in chrome? It's one of many features f'n google has intentionally gimped in chrome. In moden apps and some desktop that support it, like IE 11 and Office 2013, it works fine and smooth. In desktop applications that weren't designed for it, like firefox and Notepad++, it's laggy but it works. In chrome, it's totally blocked, no response whatsoever.
  • Goody this came out, because I was just about to complain about the scrolling and trackpad on my SurfaceBook..
  • Chrome ?! WTF?!
  • Yea lol let that stay on google products.
  • Why? Competition creates better products. Currently Edge doesn't have extensions, and Chrome has pushed others (like Firefox) to adopt them. It's also pushing Microsoft to add them to Edge. So when you remove competition, companies stagnate. Look at how Microsoft acted for years and is finally recovering from! Why wouldn't you want better products?
  • Thank you!
  • Anyone else having discoloration and flickering issue with sp4?
  • WC posted an article about that, it's supposed to be Visual Studio causing it.
  • Quick fix in my IT world, uninstall Chrome. My opinion of course, but when clients computers won't see things on the network and then search engines behave badly after a Chrome install...smoothest thing is an uninstall and then clean up the registry afterword ... Then its good to go.
  • Until Edge gets extensions and swipe support that's a hard sell for consumers.
  • Why do you always push Chrome as being *the* alternative?
    Firefox outperforms it across the has bookmark sync & extensions...
    Just ditch Google.
  • I ain't "pushing" anything, it is just what I use and what many others use (Chrome is #2 behind IE for desktop browser market share).
  • I'm all for personal preference and if Chrome works for you, great. There's another name for it though... Trojan Horse.  Chrome is probably the most ubiquitous trojan horse in the history of modern computing.
  • Except for the pesky problem that FireFox ends up being even more of a resource hog than Chrome which is hard to do. I came here because I'm trying to solve a scrolling problem with Microsoft Edge browser. All of the Windows 10 apps behave poorly on my HP Envy laptop vis-a-vis scrolling while Chrome (and other desktop apps) have buttery smooth scrolling with the Synaptics ClikPad driver! What I wish is that someone would pay attention to what Apple's done with the MacBook Pro trackpad gestures. I dislike the haptic thing but otherwise Apple did a _great_ job with the gestures and integrating them with Safari. The only thing that Edge browser has going for it is that it supposedly is battery friendly. Otherwise, it's a terrible browser. I'm typing this in Notepad++ because Edge is losing every second keystroke (huh?!?). And, frequently Edge simply can't handle web pages properly or fails to load them altogether. In the end Microsoft has missed the boat _yet again_. I don't want to use Chrome (and especially not FireFox) because it's a battery hog, but, I usually end up there anyway because Edge has jumped off a cliff. IE has a well deserved reputation as a mediocre product after Microsoft ignored it for so many years in the mid 2000's--while technically it's now substantially better than the lows of version 6/7 it's still lightyears behind Chrome, Safari and FireFox. Now, Microsoft is setting Edge up for failure as well. It's still as mediocre now as the day it was released. How can a company that won the browser wars in the late 1990's have never figured out how to build on that success?
  • Trust me, I'll be as excited as the next guy when Edge gets extensions. I realize the benifit of them but the money spent by my clients after having to hack the registry to reclaim networking capabilities is crazy. Btw Daniel, I do appreciate the how-to's, tips and tricks from all of WC.
  • I think Firefox is superior to chrome anyways. Just use FF instead, it's super stable and not a resource hog!
  • I use IE11 and Firefox. Edge is still unfinished.
  • Me too! Unfortunately Edge is still premature browser. IE is still a good browser, just have a bad reputation. Edge for me is only useful for annotation which is still can be done on other means. Even Edge will have extensions, it still lacks some features that are basic and standard to web browsers. First there is no way to reopen closed tab and tabs are not synced between devices. Syncing is also half-baked as it doesn't sync passwords and other stuff. You can even manage Favorites and History in Edge. Drag and drop is still partially implemented as dragging things to the desktop or to the tabs to create new tab doesn't work.
  • This too, Firefox should already be the default choice when it comes to browsers. It has always been, at least for me. I never jumped into the Chrome craze, never bought into that.
  • Another solution: Don't use Google Chrome.
  • The winning solution for everybody.
  • Still not as smooth. Chrome is just a bloated pig.
  • Or don't use Chrome instead. You know, the browser of the company who openly opposes and hinders integration with Windows.
  • I don't support google on desktop or mobile anymore. Thanks but no thanks. Those who do, have fun.
  • Google sometimes develops nice software, but their arrogance against WP let me boycott every bit coming from them.
    I use chrome only when I need a date range search, but I ve heard Bing will add it soon, so I can finally uninstall it.
    Super happy with IE+Edge combo :)
  • Google, like other app developers, will develop for Windows 10 once the market share is there. Between the Windows 8 and Windows Phone app stores there wasn't compelling enough of a reason to develop for Windows. Not with universal apps and more cross platform market share for Windows holistically I am sure that will change. Google where go where there are eyeballs and will be cross platform. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So jumpy scrolling is standard for Chrome?
  • All the years I used it before switching to IE, it wasn't. It was fine.
  • Intel Drivers + Windows 10 = crashes often. That why the whole Surface family has been having problems.
  • Hmmm... I'm not happy about promoting Chrome use here. I mean if doesn't work properly, screw it. Let Google fix it. Don't promote how to get around the issue. It's googles issue. If they don't want to fix it, then fine. More Edge users.
  • Just because hardcore fans don't use it doesn't mean others won't find it handy. All these posts get archived and can be rediscovered when someone is searching for help a year and a half after this page has been released. The internet is like a library. Use Occam's Razor next time, buddy.
  • Who still uses Chrome hog these days with all the bugs? I never used it and I survived. Get a life!
  • "Who still uses Chrome hog these days with all the bugs? I never used it and I survived" This comment makes no sense; you never used it.. So how could you possibly rage of about chrome ?
  • Opera ftw. 
  • "Let's just say Chrome had always had a bit of a scrolling issue due to the way they chose to do mouse integration...". Is that cryptic code for "Yes, Google is even tracking your mouse movement and hovers to analyze how to sell to you."? ;)
  • I have this problem with chrome on my dell XPS laptop. Multi finger scrolling work perfectly on IE. Hence I have been using IE stone the last 3 years.
  • "[...]ignoring the fact that scrolling in the Edge browser is much better" I'll take all the scroll lags of the world as long as I get adblock.. 
  • For once, I'd love to be using a couple tabs in Edge on my i7 SP3, and not have to listen to the fan whizzing.......why is it that the same amount of tabs open on my Intel Atom Powered Dell Venue 8 Pro don't even heat up the device.......Chrome whips the fan on too, why are web browsers so resource intensive. The old modern IE never did that, and quite frankly, it was more touch friendly. I wish they brought it back.