Clicking to Scroll Down Freezes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2014)

Brian recently upgraded to Office 2013. He reads long documents and the best way for him to do that is to position the mouse pointer near the bottom of the vertical scroll bar and just click the left mouse button once to page down. However, in Word 2013 after a few seconds of not moving the mouse pointer, the click-to-page-down capability "freezes," and Brian must move the mouse pointer in order to make it active again. This is bothersome based on how he works, so he wonders if it can be fixed. He doesn't have a scroll wheel on his mouse because he must use a certain mouse due to a disability.

This seems to be a bug (or, in some Microsoft circles, a "design change") that is built into Word 2013. (It does not exist in earlier versions of Word.) The freezing or disabling of the mouse happens after about six seconds of inactivity, and the only way to reactivate the mouse pointer is to move it. There is no apparent switch, setting, or "hack" that will fix it.

(One subscriber submitted a possible solution that involved turning off Excel's "Hardware Graphics Acceleration" setting, on the Advanced tab of the Excel Options dialog box, but testing that proposed solution did not pan out—there was no difference in the behavior of the mouse.)

There are a couple of workarounds that may work for your needs. First, if you do most of your work on the keyboard, you might try pressing Ctrl+Page Up and Ctrl+Page Down. Both will move a page at a time through your document.

Second, if you are determined to use a mouse-based solution, you could create your own macro to move through the document:

Sub MoveScroll()
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.SmallScroll Down:=1
End Sub

The macro can be added to your Quick Access Toolbar and clicked on, repeatedly, to move down one line at a time through the document. You can, if you prefer, modify the value assigned to the Down parameter to a larger number so that movement is quicker.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13228) applies to Microsoft Word 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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