Lion desktop scrolling is driving me nuts!
May 29, 2012 7:18 PM   Subscribe

I've run into a Lion bug with switching desktops that is driving me crazy. Googling hasn't turned up anything useful. Has anyone encountered this problem? More details inside.

I finally upgraded to OSX Lion. Yes, I know, it came out a year ago, but I deliberately avoided it so far because I'd heard there were some versioning bugs and I'm curmudgeonly about software upgrades.

I finally gave in to our corporate masters in Cupertino, and I am more or less pleased with Lion's updates, especially the desktop switching. I use writing software open in fullscreen mode all the time so this is really nice for me. There is one annoying bug I keep running into, though, which is preventing me from feeling like I can actually use the desktop switching (or mission control, or whatever it's called) without wanting to tear my hair out. It's a little hard to explain, so I'll do it in steps:

1. Start with three desktops open in Mission Control.
2. Switch to the left-most desktop.
3. Scroll (with the swipe shortcut or any keyboard shortcut) to the desktop to the right.
4. Keep scrolling to the right until...
5. Gah! For some reason it quickly scrolls all the way back to the first desktop!

This behavior only happens about half of the time, but it effecitvely makes it impossible to reliably scroll between desktops. I can only switch between them using Mission Control, which is a pain and ruins the natural feel of swiping between screens.

Has anyone else run into this issue or seen any forum posts that mention it? Google hasn't been any help and I'm at my wit's end. I'm running version 10.7.4 on a Macbook Pro 13 inch, if that's any help.
posted by deathpanels to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I am on my phone right now so I can't look up the exact setting. Could it be, the setting which reorders the desktops based on how frequently they are used? It is on by default and drove me nuts.
posted by phil at 7:23 PM on May 29, 2012

"By default, Spaces are reorganized by last used. You can change this in System Preferences -> Mission Control."
posted by phil at 7:25 PM on May 29, 2012

I've already disabled "Reorganize spaces by last used".
posted by deathpanels at 7:34 PM on May 29, 2012

I use and troubleshoot Lion very extensively on multiple different types of Macs, and I have never encountered this issue. I've just spent the last ten minutes trying to reproduce it on my 15" MacBook Pro, and no dice. I think your best bet would be to send feedback on this to apple at and hope for a bug fix.
posted by raygan at 7:44 PM on May 29, 2012

There is a particular setting or behavior that allows one to remove the option of a window bumping against the edges. I have an inkling that changing that setting could allow your behavior to stop. Meanwhile you can use the Control + 1/2/3 to switch between 1/2/3 desktops provided you enable that in keyboard shortcuts.

Unfortunately, I do not remember where the option to change the bump behavior of windows against the edges is and there was a video on youtube about it that I also can't find.

Since you upgraded, there is some setting that has carried over from your previous configuration.

Few options:
1)Install one of those programs that allow you to dig deeper into mac's settings and try and figure out something from there about window behavior.

2) Do a fresh install after a backup and only import data, not user settings.

3) User shortcut of Control + 1/2/3 for desktop switching under keyboard settings in system preferences.
posted by blueshok at 9:32 PM on May 29, 2012

You say that you run writing software in full-screen mode a lot. Under Lion, when you put an app into full-screen mode, Lion quietly creates an extra desktop to the right of all the other ones and puts the app there temporarily. (This is visible in Mission Control.)

I'm wondering if instead of coming back to space #1, you're actually hitting the extra full-screen space.
posted by mvd at 2:55 AM on May 30, 2012

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