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.

5 thoughts on “The Mouse Wheel isn’t just for Scrolling!”

  1. Stuart Whiteside

    My old tired eyes need larger text sizes sometimes. Scroll with the Ctrl key down does that.

  2. Excellent info. Very useful to me.I never knew most of it except scrolling up & down. Thanks a lot for this

  3. I must admit I truly detest the mouse.
    Clutching (and never being able to let go of) a mouse with the right hand seems about the most absurd thing ever invented as a human-machine interface.
    My pointing device of preference has always been the Kensington ExpertMouse (Model #K64325) trackball. The original ExpertMouse used 3 ball-bearings and a regulation size pool ball (2.25″). Over the years, this hardware has been upgraded with an optically tracked large ball and a surrounding ring which performs a similar function as a mouse’ wheel. Although the hardware is very robust and comes with a 5 year warranty, the software for it has been its weakest link. Even though this trackball is pricey (MSRP=$100), the best part (IMHO) is the fact that it provides a total of four keys that are configurable via its software. I always configure the left-top key as Alt+F4 (close application) and the right-top key as Ctrl-F4 (close page) function. Thus, I rarely ever have to move the cursor to the ‘dreaded’ Red-X button. 🙂
    I have saved many a poor soul from crapnal [sic] tunnel syndrome by making them Expert Mouse disciples.

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