Disable Chrome Backward and Forward Navigation with Touchpad Scroll

How to Disable Backward and Forward Navigation with Touchpad Two Finger Scroll Gesture in Google Chrome

Google Chrome on Windows integrates its own touchpad gestures for two finger scrolling. While scrolling up and down a page with two fingers is welcome, it overrides the operating system's touchpad gestures for left/right two finger scrolling. It has assigned these actions to navigating back/forward.

Google Chrome Touchpad Navigation

Often users have been found on the web complaining that they triggered the back/forward navigation by accident and lost form data they had typed on a web page. Unfortunately, Google Chrome provides no option in its Settings to disable these touchpad gestures to go back/forward.

Also, there may be times when a web page requires horizontal scrolling, such as when viewing a large image which is zoomed in. Due to these gestures, Chrome prevents the user from using the touchpad to scroll horizontally.

In this article we will see how to disable this feature in Google Chrome.

In earlier versions of Chrome when this feature was experimentally introduced, there used to be a flag called "Overscroll history navigation". However, later the Google devs decided to  remove that experimental flag.

In versions of Google Chrome after Chrome 80, this flag was removed. Fortunately, as of Chrome 83 at least, this flag seems to have made a comeback. Follow these steps to disable back/forward navigation with two finger scrolling in Chrome.

To Disable Chrome Backward and Forward Navigation with Touchpad Scroll,

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Copy-paste this URL into the address bar and hit Enter: chrome://flags/#overscroll-history-navigation.
  3. Change the Overscroll history navigation option to Disabled.Chrome Backward And Forward Navigation With Touchpad Scroll Gesture
  4. Relaunch the browser once prompted.

You are done.

Alternatively you can disable this feature using the command line.

Disable Chrome Backward and Forward Navigation with Touchpad Scroll using Command Line

  1. Right-click on the Google Chrome's desktop shortcut.
  2. Select Properties from the menu.
  3. Add --disable-features="TouchpadOverscrollHistoryNavigation" after Chrome.exe. You will get something like this: Path\to\Chrome.exe --disable-features="TouchpadOverscrollHistoryNavigation".
  4. You are done.

If you run the browser using this modified shortcut, or if you enter the Chrome.exe --disable-features="TouchpadOverscrollHistoryNavigation" command into the Run dialog, it will have the same effect as setting the above flag.

Beware that Google often removes the flags and command line options, leaving the user without the ability to turn on or off some of the browser's features. So this tweak can stop working in a future version of Chrome again.

This entry was posted in Google Chrome on by .

About Gaurav Kale

Gaurav is a software enthusiast from India and Classic Shell tester & UX consultant. He started with Windows 95 and is good at software usability testing. He firmly believes that user experience is just as important as software code quality and architecture for software to be successful.

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