A new convenience feature in Windows 10 makes it easier to interact with background windows. Inactive Window Scrolling allows you to scroll through the contents of inactive windows by hovering your cursor over them and using the scroll wheel.
Inactive window scrolling improves the user experience on the Windows desktop and addresses a long-standing usability issue. Previously, scrolling a background window required switching to it, performing the scroll, and then switching back, which added two steps to your workflow.
Inactive window scrolling solves the problem, but it isn’t for everyone. If you have trouble tracking onscreen content or using a mouse precisely, you might find it confusing. It’s as simple as clicking a button to turn it off – or on if it’s disabled and you want to use it.
On the Settings app’s homepage, click the “Devices” category (Win+I keyboard shortcut). To view mouse settings, click or tap the “Mouse” page in the left sidebar.
Toggle the “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them” option to “off” at the bottom of the page to disable the feature. Turn it on if you want to use inactive window scrolling.
If you disable the feature, background windows will no longer respond to mouse wheel scroling, as they did in Windows 8.1 and earlier. If you enabled inactive window scrolling, you can now hover your mouse over a background window and scroll its contents with the mouse wheel.