General Question

shockvalue's avatar

Help! my scrollbar has gone insane!

Asked by shockvalue (5770 points ) December 20th, 2008

I’m using a Mac. Every program, no matter what application, or what website that I need to move down an item or scroll down immediately brings me back to the top of the page! I have no idea what could be causing this, but it is immensely frustrating!

If anyone knows what’s going on, I will be eternally grateful! Thank you so much!

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7 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Try rebooting. That’s the first thing everyone should always do besides looking at the keyboard and seeing if anything odd is lit up.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, finally! Someone besides me is seeing this bizarre scrollbar effect. I have had a lot of trouble convincing others that it is real.

Sometimes instead everything will scroll to the bottom. Everything. No matter what application you open.

No, it is not a stuck mouse. It can happen when the mouse is not even in use

I have had it happen on at least eleven different computers, both DOS and Mac, with different keyboards and at different times, over a period of more than 15 years.

What I believe causes it is some particular keystroke combination, but I have not got much closer than that to figuring it out. I think it is in the lower left. I have consulted experts to no avail. I don’t know how to make it happen on purpose. My husband believes it is some kind of process that you can locate and stop. For me, though, rebooting is the only answer.

What is so maddening to me is the fact that this couldn’t happen unless something were made to respond that way. If that is the case, it should be possible to find out what it is and know what the antidote is. But none of the whiz kids seems to know a thing about it. And when it happens, I can’t tell you what I’ve just done.

This is why I want computers to have a function key that responds with an answer to the simple question: “What did I just do?”

My husband says my ability to break things is a talent I ought to be able to sell.

asmonet's avatar

Haha, lurve Jeruba.

Sometimes, your keyboard could just be sending the wrong signals. Mine did, just before it broke, I completely forgot until you posted. It sometimes had issues with the arrow keys at least that’s what I eventually figured out. :)

It caused it to scroll sideways whenever possible.

shockvalue's avatar

haha, thanks! Yeah, I think it was something in the lower left…

I button mashed harder than a 7 year old playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it seemed to go back to normal.

I’m usually pretty sharp with computers, but this one had me stumped!

SoapChef's avatar

Reboot. I have had that happen, (several times) and when I explained it to my husband, he just looks at me like ‘yeah right’.

aaronbeekay's avatar

For future reference, the applet “Key Caps” can be really useful in troubleshooting this kind of problem. To use it, go to the International preference pane, go to the Input Menu tab, and check the “Keyboard Viewer” box. Now, in the flag menu in the menubar, you should be able to open a little window that displays all of the currently pressed keys on your keyboard.

Stuck keys can be a PITA, especially when the problem is electrical and it doesn’t look like the key is stuck. KeyCaps to the rescue.

Jeruba's avatar

It is not a stuck key. I have had it happen on probably fifteen different computers, both DOS and Mac, with different keyboards, at varying intervals over a period of nearly twenty years.

Sometimes months pass without an incident, and sometimes it happens twice in one hour.

Rebooting in the middle of everything I’m doing—especially writing something, with a dozen files open—is a total pain. But that is the only method that has ever solved this.

My son, a tech whiz with the natural instincts of someone who has grown up with computers, witnessed this phenomenon last week for the first time. Here is what he did: he opened a new Word file and randomly pressed a bunch of keys. It worked.

Now I have a cure, but I am no closer to an answer.

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