iOS UIScrollView

Create a UIScrollView

Create an instance of UIScrollView with a CGRect as frame.


let scrollview = UIScrollView.init(frame: CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: 320, height: 400))


UIScrollView *scrollview = [[UIScrollView alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(0, 0, 320, 400)];

Scroll View Content Size

The contentSize property must be set to the size of the scrollable content. This specifies the size of the scrollable area. Scrolling is visible when scrollable area i.e. contentSize is larger than the UIScrollView frame size.

With Autolayout:

When the scroll view's content is set up using autolayout, it must be explicitly sized both vertically and horizontally and have all 4 edges pinned to the containing scroll view. That way, the contentSize is calculated automatically based on the scroll view's contents and also gets updated when the content's layout is changed.



scrollview.contentSize = CGSize(width: 640, height: 800)


scrollview.contentSize = CGSizeMake(640, 800);

ScrollView with AutoLayout

Simple steps to use scrollview with autolayout.

  • Create a new project with single view application
  • Select the default viewcontroller and change its screen size to iPhone-4inch from attributes inspector.
  • Add a scrollview to your viewcontroller's view as follows and set background color to blue

enter image description here

  • Add constraints on it as shown in below image

enter image description here

What this will do is,simply stick every edge of scrollview to viewcontroller's view

Scenario 1:

Now lets say our content is huge,and we want it to scroll horizontally as well as vertically.

For this,

  • Add a UIView to the scrollview of frame(0,0,700,700).Lets give it orange background color to identify it differently.

enter image description here

Next comes the important part,we need it to scroll horizontally and vertically.

  • Select the orange view and add the following constraints

    enter image description here

Let me explain what we did in above step.

  • We fixed the height and width to 700.
  • We set trailing space to scrollview = 0 which tells the scrollview that content is horizontally scrollable.
  • We set bottom space to scrollview = 0 which tells the scrollview that content is vertically scrollable.

Now run the project and check.

Scenario 2: Lets consider a scenario where we know that content width is going to be same as scroll width width,but height is larger than scrollview.

Follow the steps to scroll content vertically.

  • Delete the width constraint in above case.
  • Change the width of orange view to match to scrollview width.
  • Ctrl-drag from orange view to scroll view and add equal widths constraint.

enter image description here

  • And Done!!! Simply run and check if it scrolls vertically

Scenario 3:

Now we want to scroll only horizontally and not vertically.

Follow the steps to horizontally scroll the content.

  • Undo all the changes to achieve constraints as below(i.e restore original constraints which achieved vertical and horizontal scroll)

enter image description here

  • Check frame of orange view,which should be (0,0,700,700)
  • Delete height constraint of orange view.
  • Change the height of orange view to match the scrollview height.
  • Ctrl-drag from orange view to scroll view and add equal heights constraint.

enter image description here

  • And Done!!! Simply run and check if it scrolls vertically

Scrolling content with Auto Layout enabled

This project is a self-contained example done completely in the Interface Builder. You should be able to work through it in 10 minutes or less. Then you can apply the concepts you learned to your own project.

animated gif showing horizontal scrolling

Here I just use UIViews but they can represent whatever view you like (ie, button, label, etc). I also chose horizontal scrolling because the storyboard screenshots are more compact for this format. The principles are the same for vertical scrolling, though.

Key concepts

  • The UIScrollView should only use one subview. This is a 'UIView' that serves as the content view to hold everything you wish to scroll.
  • Make the content view and the scroll view's parent have equal heights for horizontal scrolling. (Equal widths for vertical scrolling)
  • Make sure that all of the scrollable content has a set width and is pinned on all sides.

Start a new project

It can be just a single view application.


In this example, we will make a horizontal scroll view. Select the View Controller and then choose Freeform in the Size Inspector. Make the width 1,000 and the height 300. This just gives us the room on the storyboard to add content that will scroll.

simulated size settings screenshot

Add a Scroll View

Add a UIScrollView and pin all four sides to the root view of the view controller.

pinned scrollview screenshot

Add a Content View

Add a UIView as a subview to the scroll view. This is key. Don't try to add lots of subviews to the scroll view. Just add a single UIView. This will be your content view for the other views you want to scroll. Pin the content view to the scroll view on all four sides.

pinned content view screenshot

Equal Heights

Now in the Document Outline, Command click both the content view and the scroll view's parent view in order to select them both. Then set the heights to be equal (Control</kbd drag from the Content View to the Scroll View>). This is also key. Because we are scrolling horizontally, the scroll view's content view won't know how high it should be unless we set it in this way.

setting equal heights screenshot


  • If we were making the content scroll vertically, then we would set the content view's width to be equal to the scroll view's parent's width.

Add content

Add three UIViews and give them all constraints. I used 8 point margins for everything.

IB screenshot with added content views


  • Green view: pin the top, left, and bottom edges. Make the width 400.
  • Red view: pin the top, left, and bottom edges. Make the width 300.
  • Purple view: pin all four edges. Make the width whatever the remaining space is (268 in this case).

Setting the width constraints is also key so that the scroll view knows how wide its content view will be.


That's all. You can run your project now. It should behave like the scrolling image at the top of this answer.

Further Study

Enable/Disable Scrolling

Property scrollEnabled stores a Boolean value that determines whether scrolling is enabled or not.
If the value of this property is true/YES, scrolling is enabled, otherwise not.The default value is true


scrollview.isScrollEnabled = true


scrollview.scrollEnabled = YES;

Zoom In/Out UIImageView

Create UIScrollView instance

let scrollview = UIScrollView.init(frame: self.view.bounds)

And then set these properties:

scrollView.minimumZoomScale = 0.1
scrollView.maximumZoomScale = 4.0
scrollView.zoomScale = 1.0
scrollview.delegate = self as? UIScrollViewDelegate 

To zoom in and out image we must specify the amount the user can zoom in and out. We do this by setting values of the scroll view’s minimumZoomScale and maximumZoomScale properties. Both of these are set to 1.0 by default.

And zoomScale to 1.0 which specify the zoom factor for the minimum and maximum zooming.

To support zooming, we must set a delegate for your scroll view. The delegate object must conform to the UIScrollViewDelegate protocol. That delegate class must implement the viewForZoomingInScrollView() method and return the view to zoom.

Modify your ViewController as shown

class ViewController: UIViewController, UIScrollViewDelegate

Then add the following delegate function to the class.

func viewForZoomingInScrollView(scrollView: UIScrollView) -> UIView? {
    return imageView

Now create UIImageView instance

Make this variable as class variable

var imageView:UIImageView = UIImageView.init(image: UIImage.init(named: "someImage.jpg"))

And then add it to scrollview



Detecting when UIScrollView finished scrolling with delegate methods

scrollViewDidEndDecelerating: this tells the delegate that the scroll view has ended decelerating the scrolling movement.

Objective C:

- (void)scrollViewDidEndDecelerating:(UIScrollView *)scrollView {
    [self stoppedScrolling];

- (void)scrollViewDidEndDragging:(UIScrollView *)scrollView willDecelerate:(BOOL)decelerate {
    if (!decelerate) {
        [self stoppedScrolling];

- (void)stoppedScrolling {
    // done, do whatever


func scrollViewDidEndDragging(scrollView: UIScrollView, willDecelerate decelerate: Bool) {
    if !decelerate {

func scrollViewDidEndDecelerating(scrollView: UIScrollView) {

func stoppedScrolling() {
    // done, do whatever

Restrict scrolling direction

You can restrict the directions the user is able to scroll to using the following code:

func scrollViewDidScroll(_ scrollView: UIScrollView) {
    if scrollView.contentOffset.x != 0 {
        scrollView.contentOffset.x = 0

Every time the user scrolls on the x-axis, the scrollView's content offset is set back to 0.
You can obviously change the xs to ys and therefor lock the direction to be horizontal-only.

You also need to make sure you put this code into the scrollViewDidScroll(_ scrollView: UIScrollView) delegate method. Otherwise, you won't get it to work.

Also, be sure to have imported the UIScrollViewDelegate in your class declaration, like so:

class ViewController: UIViewController, UIScrollViewDelegate

...and set the scrollView's delegate to self in some method like viewDidLoad(_:)

scrollView.delegate = self