Possible Duplicate:
How do I disable overlay scrollbars?

By default 12.04 uses overlay scroll bars that are too difficult to click and make it harder to see my relative position, and every method I've found so far of disabling them makes them broken in a different way.

When I was using 11.10 this wasn't a problem because I could still change the GTK theme. In 12.04, the Appearance settings only contain a few stock themes, and other than the special purpose contrast ones they all have the overlay scroll bars. If I aptitude search gtk3 | grep theme I get no results so there appears to be no packaged alternative either.

Most suggestions I've seen for disabling the overlay scroll bars involve uninstalling packages or editing files as root. I want to disable them just for the current user, not for everyone on the whole box; as should be the case for any theme/display setting.

There is a gsettings command that temporarily disables the overlay scrollbars just for the current user, but this has two problems of its own:

  1. The setting doesn't stick after log off. Because who would want to save settings?
  2. The scroll bars put in place have no contrast. They have a black scroller on a black background and are completely unusable.

In short what I'd like to know is how to disable overlay scroll bars such that:

  • My preference is user specific.
  • My preference is actually saved.
  • The scroller can actually be seen against the background without having to use a special high contrast theme that makes my whole desktop look like a negative photo from Tron.
  • The last of your three points is doable on a user-specific basis. If you are interested, please modify your question accordingly.
    – user25656
    Sep 22, 2012 at 7:29
  • 1
    You don't need to change the theme. Just follow the instruction in the above link for per user case
    – Anwar
    Sep 22, 2012 at 8:06
  • My question is *not * an exact duplicate. None of the earlier posts address the combination of my last 3 points. If there is a post that does please actually link it instead of just closing my post. Sep 22, 2012 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


Go into terminal and type this line:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface ubuntu-overlay-scrollbars false

which will disable the overlay scrollbars, although you could completely remove them from the system by typing this command (overkill):

sudo apt-get purge "scrollbar*"
  • You would need to re-login for the change to take effect referred to this link: tuxgarage.com/2012/05/…
    – user91632
    Sep 22, 2012 at 8:08
  • The gsettings trick still leaves me with totally unusable scroll bars, as mentioned in my post. They're black on black and obviously were never tested before release. Sep 22, 2012 at 14:14

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