Want to know the No. 1 question I heard after last year’s “Lion” update for the Mac? Here you go: “What happened to the scroll bars, and how do I get them back?”

Well, bad news first. The new Mac OS X “Mountain Lion” update lacks an option for replacing Lion’s whippet-thin scroll bar with a larger, old-school version, nor will it let you add clickable arrow buttons for more precise scrolling.

But once you update your Mac to Mountain Lion, you’ll at least be able to make those nearly invisible scroll bars a tiny bit thicker.

The secret? Hover over a scroll bar with your mouse, and it’ll grow to double the size.

The new, thicker scroll bar will retain its jumbo shape for as long as you keep it active.

Want to keep the thicker scroll bar permanently? You can—sort of—by tweaking a key system setting (which already existed in Lion, by the way):

  • Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, select System Preferences, then click the General icon.
  • Find the “Show scroll bars” setting, and select the “Always” option.

You should now see the thicker scroll bar all the time, although it’ll look lighter than it does when you do the mouse-hover trick.

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