How to Fix Mouse Zooming Instead of Scrolling on Windows?

Several Windows users have been reaching us with questions after being extremely annoyed by the fact that they are suddenly unable to scroll on their PC. Every time they try to use the scrolling function, their operating system zooms in instead. This is reported to happen inside a lot of applications, including native apps like File Explorer. The issue is not exclusive to a certain Windows version since it’s confirmed to occur on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Mouse Zooming instead of Scrolling on Windows computers

What’s causing Mouse Zooms when Scrolling on Windows?

We investigated this particular issue by looking into various user reports and by analyzing several different repair strategies that are commonly being used by affected users. As it turns out, several different scenarios might cause this problem. Here’s a list with culprits that might trigger this mouse behavior:

  • Physically Stuck Ctrl key – In the vast majority of cases we ended up analyzing, this particular issue occurred due to a Ctrl key that was physically stuck and was causing this behavior in every single application. If this scenario is applicable, you should use the On-Screen Keyboard to investigate if the Ctrl key is indeed stuck. If it is, the only fixes are to either unstuck the key or to replace your keyboard with a new one.
  • Pinch Zoom is enabled – If you’re encountering the issue on a laptop and you’re using a Synaptics driver, chances are you’re encountering this behavior due to a touchpad feature called Pinch to Zoom. In this case, you will be able to resolve the issue by accessing your Synaptics driver settings and disabling the feature altogether.
  • Zoom on Roll with Intellimouse is enabled in Excel – If your issue is specific to excel, there’s a very high chance that the problem is being caused by an Advanced feature called “Zoom on Roll with Intellimouse”. If this option is enabled, scrolling will automatically be converted into zoom (but only in Excel). In this case, you can fix the issue by disabling the feature from Options > Advanced.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve the same behavior, this article will provide you with several different troubleshooting guides that you can use to identify the problem. Down below, you’ll find several different methods that others in a similar situation have successfully used to stop their Mouse peripheral from zooming when they tried to use the scroll button.

Each of the potential fixes included below is confirmed to be effective by at least one user. To be as efficient as possible, we advise you to use follow the methods in the same order that we arranged them in. Eventually, you should encounter a potential fix that will resolve the issue regardless of the culprit that’s causing it.

Let’s begin!

Method 1: Testing for stuck CTRL key

As it turns out, one of the most common causes that will trigger this kind of behavior is a stuck CTRL-key. If you didn’t know, if you press any of the CTRL keys and scroll upwards or downwards, the mouse’s scroll will produce zooming. This will happen in any application including native Windows programs like File explorer or WordPad.

You can start by looking to see if the CTRL key is physically pressed. If you can’t see a difference considering the rest of the keys, consider using the OSK (On-Screen Keyboard) to find out for sure if the Ctrl key is pressed or not.

Several users have confirmed that launching the On-Screen Keyboard has allowed them to confirm that the Ctrl key was pressed and causing this behavior.

Here’s a quick guide on testing for a stuck Ctrl key using the On-Screen Keyboard:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the text box, type ‘osk’ and press Enter to open up the On-Screen Keyboard utility.
    Opening the On-Screen Keyboard utility
  2. As soon as you see the On-screen keyboard utility appearing, you should be able to tell if you’re dealing with a stuck key. If you notice that the two Ctrl keys are pressed (colored with blue), it’s clear that you’re dealing with a stuck key.
    Dealing with a stuck Ctrl key
  3. In case you confirm that the Ctrl key is stuck, try to get it unstuck by pressing on it a few times. If it doesn’t work, the only way to stop the annoying zooming behavior of your mouse is to replace your keyboard.

However, if the investigation above revealed that the Ctrl key has nothing to do with the zooming behavior, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Disabling Pinch Zoom

If you’re using Synaptics driver for your mouse driver, chances are you’re encountering this zooming problem as a result of a functionality feature called Pinch to Zoom. If this feature is disabled and you’re encountering the issue on a laptop, you might experience this behavior while trying to scroll from a mouse.

Several affected users have confirmed that the annoying zooming stopped occurring after they accessed the Properties for Synaptics screen and disabled Pinch to Zoom.

Here’s a quick guide on disabling the Synaptics Pinch to Zoom feature:

Note: You should be able to follow the steps below regardless of the Synaptics driver version that you’re using.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Once you’re inside the Run window, type “control” inside the text box and press Enter to open up the classic Control Panel interface.
    Running Control Panel
  2. Once you’re inside the classic Control Panel interface, use the search function in the top-right corner to search for ‘mouse’. Then, from the list of results, click on Change mouse settings.
    Accessing the Change mouse settings menu
  3. Once you’re inside the Mouse Properties menu, select the very last tab (most likely named Device Settings). Then, click on the Options button to open up the specific Synaptics settings.
  4. After you manage to get inside the Properties for Synaptics screen, select the Pinch Zoom section from the left pane, then move to the right pane and untick the box associated with Enable Pinch Zoom.
    Disabling Pinch Zoom from the Synaptics tool menu
  5. Restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.

If the same issue is still occurring or this method didn’t apply to your particular scenario, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Disabling Zoom on Roll with Intellimouse

As it turns out, this particular issue can also occur due to an Office setting that is present on older Office installations as well as the latest. There is one setting called “Zoom on Roll with Intellimouse” that will produce this behavior but only on Microsoft Excel.

So if you’re always zooming while using the scroll button on your mouse and the issue only happens inside Excel, it’s almost clear that this is the source of the problem. We managed to find some reports with users finding themselves in the same scenario and they all managed to resolve the issue by following the steps below.

Here’s what you need to do to disable the Zoom on Rool with Intellimouse feature on Microsoft Excel:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and access the File menu using the ribbon bar at the top.
  2. When you’re inside the File menu, look for the Options menu in the bottom-left section of the screen.
  3. Once you arrive inside the Excel Options screen, select the Advanced Menu from the left-hand side vertical menu.
    Note: If you’re using an older Excel version, you’ll need to select the Editing tab instead.
  4. With the Advanced / Editing tab selected, move over to the right-hand pane and uncheck the box associated with Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse.
  5. Click Ok to save the changes, then restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next computer startup.
Disabling Zoom on Roll on Microsoft Excel

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.