Disabling Multi-Touch Swipe in Chrome on OSX to Prevent Back and Forward Actions


This is a nifty little tidbit that could have saved me many a lost page or form fill in Chrome.  If you have the Swipe configured for OSX (as I do), it also works as the back and forward button in your Chrome browser.  This is handy sometimes, but not when you spend 15 minutes filling in a web form and then accidentally swipe left with a second finger on the trackpad and it goes back a page losing all your work. (Spoiler alert: This is a very, very, very anecdotal situation I just experienced)

Just go out to a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults write com.google.Chrome AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool FALSE

You will have to restart your browser in order to complete the change.  That will stop the swipe from invoking the “back” or “forward” action within Google Chrome for the two-finger swipe gesture.

As you can imagine, the reverse of the command by changing FALSE to TRUE will bring the swipe actions back for you.

defaults write com.google.Chrome AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool TRUE


Hope that helps you as much as it did for me!

Comments 8

  1. Perfect – thanks for sharing! Horizontal scrolling and scrollbar response in chrome can be inconsistent and jerky, so a normal left scroll to see a hidden part of the page triggers the “back” scroll a lot. I have been cursing this “feature” for months and finally decided to do something about it. I have not hated a feature so much since “tap to click” on the trackpad and am going to share this with everyone who hates this as much as I do….

  2. Wonderful, been losing pages / forms and wasting time for a while and you solved it with this fix. Thank you!

  3. I play a D&D game online with friends with roll20. Anytime I would try to scroll on the map, it would go back and I would have to reload the whole thing and reconnect to all the players. It was sooo annoying! Thank you for this.

  4. You don’t need to type that into a terminal or restart Chrome. You can just go in System Preferences > Trackpad, under the “More Gestures” tab, disable “Swipe between pages” (or set it to use 3 fingers instead of 2). Chrome will honour this setting.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.