How to Get a Scrollbar in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting a scrollbar in Word is a breeze! All you need to do is open your Word document, click on the View tab, then check the box next to “Vertical Scroll Bar” in the Show group. And just like that, you’ll have a scrollbar ready to use. It’s that simple!

Once you complete this action, you’ll notice a scrollbar appear on the right side of your Word document. This allows you to navigate through your document much more efficiently, especially if it’s a particularly long one.


Ah, the scrollbar, that humble yet essential tool that helps us navigate our way through the digital sea of text in our Word documents. But why is it so important, and who exactly needs to know about it? Well, for starters, imagine trying to scroll through a 100-page thesis or a hefty report without a scrollbar. It’d be like trying to eat soup with a fork – possible, but unnecessarily difficult.

The scrollbar in Word is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. Whether you’re a student working on an essay, a professional preparing a business proposal, or anyone who uses Word for creating documents, knowing how to get a scrollbar can make your life a whole lot easier. It allows you to quickly move from one part of your document to another, saving you time and frustration. Plus, it’s pretty user-friendly – even for those of us who aren’t exactly tech wizards. So, let’s dive in and get that scrollbar up and running, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial to Get a Scrollbar in Word

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s clarify what these steps will do. By following them, you’ll enable the scrollbar in your Word document, which will appear on the right side of the window. It’s a feature that’s usually on by default, but if it’s not, these steps will help you get it back.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Word document where you want the scrollbar to appear.

When you open your Word document, you’ll typically be greeted with the blinking cursor, ready for you to start typing away. But let’s focus on the task at hand.

Step 2: Click on the View tab

Find the View tab at the top of the Word window and click on it.

The View tab is like the control room for how you view your document. It’s where you can adjust settings like the layout, zoom, and, of course, the scrollbar.

Step 3: Look for the Show group

In the View tab, locate the Show group of options.

The Show group contains a few checkboxes that control various elements on your screen. It’s a small section, but it packs a punch.

Step 4: Check the box for Vertical Scroll Bar

Find the “Vertical Scroll Bar” option and click the checkbox next to it to enable it.

Once you click that box, you should see the scrollbar pop up immediately. It’s like magic, but, you know, the practical kind.


When it comes to the benefits of having a scrollbar in Word, there are several that come to mind. Let’s explore a few of the pros.

Easy NavigationHaving a scrollbar makes it incredibly simple to move up and down your document.
Time-SavingInstead of scrolling with the arrow keys or your mouse wheel, a scrollbar gets you where you need to go much faster.
Visual ReferenceThe scrollbar gives you a visual cue as to where you are in the document.


While having a scrollbar in Word is generally pretty handy, there are a couple of potential drawbacks worth considering.

Screen Real EstateThe scrollbar takes up a bit of space on your screen, which could be a con for some users.
Potential DistractionSome might find the scrollbar visually distracting, especially when working on a focused task.
Rarely UsedIf you mainly work on short documents, you might find the scrollbar unnecessary.

Additional Information

Now that you’ve got your scrollbar up and running, let’s chat about a few extra tidbits that could be helpful. For instance, did you know that you can also enable a horizontal scrollbar if you’re working with wide tables or documents? It’s just as easy as getting the vertical one. Plus, if you’re one of those people who like to customize your workspace, you can tweak the scrollbar’s settings in your system preferences to make it behave just how you like it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the visibility of your scrollbar can also depend on the version of Word you’re using or your operating system settings. So, if you can’t find the scrollbar options where you expect them, it might be worth checking out if there are any specific instructions for your setup. And one more thing, if you’re using Word on a touch-enabled device, you might notice that the scrollbar behaves a little differently, catering to touch gestures.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Click on the View tab.
  3. Locate the Show group.
  4. Check the box for Vertical Scroll Bar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a horizontal scrollbar too?

Yes, you can enable the horizontal scrollbar by following similar steps and checking the “Horizontal Scroll Bar” option in the Show group.

What if the scrollbar isn’t showing up?

Make sure you’ve checked the correct box in the View tab. If it’s still not appearing, check your Word version and system settings for any specific instructions.

Can I customize the scrollbar?

Yes, you typically can adjust the scrollbar’s settings in your system preferences to suit your needs.

Is the scrollbar necessary for short documents?

Not necessarily, but it can still be helpful for quick navigation.

Does the scrollbar behave differently on touch devices?

Yes, it might be optimized for touch gestures if you’re using a touch-enabled device.


There you have it, friends – getting a scrollbar in Word is as simple as pie (and arguably less messy). Whether you’re crafting a novel or just jotting down some notes, that handy little scrollbar will make sure you can zip through your document with ease. No more endless scrolling or losing track of where you are; with a scrollbar, navigating your Word documents is a walk in the park. So go ahead, give these steps a whirl and get that scrollbar back in action. Your future, more efficient self will thank you.

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