How to change the scrollbar width size in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8, Microsoft surprised many users by removing the classic appearance settings which were in Windows for ages. Microsoft decided to delete the user interface for all advanced appearance settings along with the classic and basic themes in Windows 8 and 8.1.

In this tutorial, we will look how to change the scrollbar width size in Windows 8.1 without using any third party tool. This question is very popular in emails I am receiving since the release of this controversial and polarizing OS.

Actually, it's very easy to change the scrollbar width size in Windows 8.1. All we need is just our good old friend, Windows Registry Editor.

  1. Open the Registry editor (see how).
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.

  3. In the right pane, you will see the ScrollHeight and ScrollWidth values. Those values are string values which have -250 as their value data:
    Registry EditorModify those values and set them to something between -100 and -1000, where
    -100 means a thinner scroll bar
    -1000 means a thicker/wider scroll bar.
  4. Sign out from your Desktop and sign in back.

That's it!

In the following example, I made my scrollbars smaller than the default:

Tiny scrollbar
You also might be interested in how to reduce the size of thick window borders in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. In this case, please refer to my Tiny Windows Borders app.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

13 thoughts on “How to change the scrollbar width size in Windows 8.1”

  1. What I’d really like to know is how to change the tiny show desktop button at the bottom right corner, in Windows 7 now only was the button bigger but had color and was highlighted when the mouse cursor hovered over it and also had a tiny flash flash animation when pressed.

    In Windows 8.1 the same show desktop button at the bottom right corner is so tiny and not only that the dam button does not even highlight when a mouse hovers over it making almost dam impossible sometimes to quickly press the button to show the desktop when multitasking with multiple Windows, programs and folders open.

    Good thing Microsoft disable the desktop peek option by default or else I think I might go crazy having to deal with the charms hint showing up the a peek at the desktop finally followed by press of the actual button to show the desktop, am I the only one that finds this extremely annoying in Windows 8.1 given the fact flip 3D is gone and ult + tab switcher in Windows 8.1 just feels really dated.

    1. Get 7+ Taskbar Tweaker from It has a setting in Advanced Options to adjust the width of the Show Desktop button.

  2. Is it possible to make it any thinner than 100px? It’s still pretty clunky to me at that size; I only want it to be a few pixels wide.

  3. Didn’t work…tried 5 times…signing out/in each time…several values between -100 and -1000 (mine were at -255 to start)…scrollbar width didn’t change at all.

    1. Did you change both values? Try copy pasting this into Notepad and save as .REG file:
      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]

      Then logout. Should give you thicker scrollbars.

  4. Hi, I am at my wits end with Windows 8.1 with Bing. I have lost my scrollbar and this fix will not work for me as in my Windows 8.1 ( purchased May 6th 20150 there is no windowsMetric key. it simply is not there. So this ‘fix’ will not work for my PC. Any new ‘fixes” for this problem? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

      1. How do I do that. After signing in and out a few time WindowMetric DID show up, but changing the values did not help at all. I tried several times since yesterday. Any other suggestions? Thanks for any help. Still have no scroll bar. using my mouse wheel or up down keys to scroll, very inconvenient.

        1. Can you make a screenshot of your Registry editor with the WindowMetric subkey?
          I would like too see how it looks.

  5. I downloaded Winareo Tweaker, just today, installed and tried it on a HP portable using Windows 10. Wanted to make the scroll bars larger for using browser (IE) with Google.

    Well, it looked easy, but I changed, applied changes (button), then was told to sign out of Windows and back in again to see the changes.

    I did, but nothing changed. Tried many times, logged back in using same account each time, still no affect. Do you know what I might be missing here?


  6. My Native Display Resolution is 1280 x 1024 and the Scrollbar Makes My Metro Apps in Win 8.1
    Move From Left To Right and Does not Center Properly…
    I made a Custom Resolution above my Native Resolution of 1360 x 1024
    and The Scrollbar is now gone in my Metro Apps

    It shows up when I switch to App View … But I am happier at 1360 x 1024 than I was at 1280 x 1024
    I might try something other than 1024… like 1048 to see if it will take that…

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