The Mouse Wheel isn’t just for Scrolling!

The Windows mouse has many uses with right click and left click, you could write untold pages on all the functions of the buttons in all the apps and programs available to Windows, but the poor ole mouse wheel rarely gets a mention.


So, here are a number of mouse wheel uses you may or may not know about, if your favorite mouse wheel trick isn’t mentioned then we would love to hear about it in the comments.

Anyway, these are the mouse wheel tricks that I am aware of:

  1. If you press to click the mouse wheel on a link in most browsers then a new tab will be opened on that web page without taking the focus.
  2. If you middle click ( the mouse wheel) on any folder in your bookmarks then every link will open in its own tab. I know what you are thinking, “Hang on, I have 500 bookmarks in a folder and don’t want that many tabs open”, but think about it for a second. If you create a folder and put in the bookmarks that you open on a daily basis then it makes sense!
  3. Hover over and middle click on most apps that are pinned on the taskbar and you will open a new instance of it.
  4. If you have a few apps minimized to the taskbar and hover over one of them in Windows 7 or 8 you will see a thumbnail of the app, hover your mouse pointer over the thumbnail and middle click to close the app.
  5. You can scroll through web pages and document easily with your mouse wheel but if you click the wheel you will activate the page scrolling option of just moving your mouse up or down to scroll.
  6. With Windows 8 if you hover over the top left corner of your screen and then move the mouse pointer down you will see thumbnails of the open apps, hover your mouse pointer over one and middle click to close it.
  7. Middle click on any tab in your browser to close it.
  8. Press and hold the Ctrl key then scroll your mouse wheel up to zoom in to a document or web page, and scroll down to zoom out.
  9. If you have been scrolling through different web pages and want to move back through them or forward through them, then press the Shift key and scroll your mouse wheel either up to go forward or down to move backwards through the pages.

That’s nine tricks I know of, so please tell us of your favorite mouse wheel trick so we can add it to the list.

About the Author

Alan Wade

Alan is a semi-retired geek from England, who has lived in Sweden with his wife and family since 2001. His interest in computers began in the mid 1980’s with the introduction of the Commodore Vic 20 where he learned to hack game code so he could force his name to appear as the high scorer. Alan made his way through the horde of console computers in the late 80’s and early 90’s before settling on Windows with the release of Windows 3.1. He has worked in the broadband industry on both the technical and installation side. In his off time he enjoys building computers for family and friends as well as digging into the guts of the OS to customize and tweak the OS.

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