Remote Desktop Client for MacOS -- scrolling in apps with a scroll per line is not smooth and hard

Remote Desktop Client for MacOS -- scrolling in apps with a scroll per line is not smooth and hard



 Oct 11 2021
15 Comments (15 New)

How to reproduce:

  1. Connect to your Windows (10\11) from MacOS RDP Client 
  2. Open Visual Studio 2019 with some source file
  3. Try scroll source code file up and down with macbook trackpad

Actual Result: 

  1. Small and medium finger speed on trackpad does not start scrolling at all
  2. Hard push finger speed scroll a lot of lines of source file up\down, so it hard to scroll to specific code line

Expected Result:

  • Please make the trackpad scrolling experience via macos RDP client just the same as without RDP (native) for line-based scrolling UI applications (Like VS2019)
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor

Current experience from the touchpad is horrendous in a program like outlook. 

Copper Contributor

There are some SmoothScroll extensions for Visual Studio, various versions. Installed one with good reputation yesterday, and I have smooth scroll in the code edition window of Visual Studio 2019 now.

Copper Contributor

Well yep, but I hope Mac rdp developers will fix the issue, really annoying 

Copper Contributor

There are multiple ways to support scrolling inside an application, from a developer point of view.  In order to implement proper reaction to "smooth scrolling", as modern mice can support it or trackpads, the application best needs to handle some specific messages in the proper way.

The code editor of Visual Studio (2019) does not do so. So it lives in the late '90s when scroll was a matter of knowing "by how many lines should I scroll the content when I get 1 notch from the mouse wheel". You know those mouse wheels which had notches which you could feel when rotating the wheel.

To support smooth scroll, and even more accelerated scroll depending on the way you "rotate" the wheel, and match more or less properly what happens when you move fingers through a trackpad, slowly or quickly, the application has to handle additional Windows API messages. Those messages deliver to the application a count of "ticks smaller than a notch" and the applications have to decide how to handle them. That is, how to translate those smaller ticks to smaller scroll increments (possibly sub-line scrolling) or accumulating them for a while until some threshold is reached at which point it scrolls a line or whatever unit feels appropriate for the application.

Using my Mac trackpad through a RDP session to a Windows machine where I run Visual Studio, those appropriate messages reach Visual Studio. It just is that it does not handle them as some other applications.

Those "SmoothScroll" extensions for Visual Studio only exist to add the missing appropriate mouse message handling to Visual Studio. I tested some, most are OK, one of them is better, feels better, but I won't insist on its name or author name in order to not favour any one of them.


Copper Contributor

Well... So why it works perfectly smooth with Windows Precision trackpads ?

I think precision driver has some nice and tricky code to detect if it should do something to smooth line scroll logic in odd application... Maybe it can be implemented in similar way on Windows side to handle smoothly such things... Just thoughts

Copper Contributor

The scrolling part have definitely a lot to be improved.

Copper Contributor

The same issue happens in other apps, such as using a browser over remote desktop.



Macbook connected to windows 10 server via Microsoft remote desktop.

Open a webpage in Chrome.


Steps to reproduce:

Use a large gesture on the macbook touchpad to cause a large scroll distance of the webpage in Chrome.


Expected outcome:

The webpage scrolls a large distance.


Actual outcome:

The webpage scrolls one line only.

Copper Contributor

Absolutely. We need to force lazy MS developers to do their job

Copper Contributor

This is unacceptable, I can't use scroll on the trackpad at all, I have to drag the scrollbar like it's 2002.  No hacks or tweaks in settings on both sides (Macbook/Remote PC) work. How is this even possible? This is a product for mac, apples trackpad is not some rare edge case. Do MS developers not have a budget for a trackpad and only work with a mouse? 

Copper Contributor

This is a necessary feature that other remote apps support.

Copper Contributor

I'm ready to fix this issue as a Contractor for Microsoft company for 49.99$\h

Copper Contributor

This is definitely a problem.


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Status changed to: Closed