Easy Ways to Freeze Row and Column in Microsoft Excel

5 Easy Ways to Freeze Row and Column in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is an essential spreadsheet tool that allows users to easily organize and analyze a lot of data in one comprehensive program. It is especially helpful for individuals and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and it has earned its rightful place in nearly every industry.

With the power of data organization features, Microsoft Excel users can perform financial analyses of vast amounts of data. The program comes with a plethora of tools used in different applications, including performance reporting, people management, administration, business analysis, strategic analysis, and operation control. 

 However, the primary purpose of Microsoft Excel remains to be sorting and keeping data for analysis. Microsoft is constantly working on adding better tools that improve performance for its users. Microsoft Excel 2016 and 2019 have a helpful tool that allows users to freeze columns and rows, which keeps the panes in place whether you scroll up or down.

This feature is helpful when dealing with many rows and columns of data. If you don’t know how to freeze or unfreeze panes, rows, or columns, today’s article will guide you to accomplish that in MS Excel.

Freeze And Unfreezing Rows or Columns in MS Excel

If you have ever used Excel, you must already be aware that there is a ton of space in the program to organize and store your data. In fact, Excel has exactly 1048576 rows and 16,384, which is extensive. 

Let’s take a look at Excel’s a few of the helpful features of Excel:

  • Password protection of spreadsheets
  • Find and replace tool
  • Characters and numeric codes conversion
  • Built-in formulas 
  • Data filtering and sorting, plus a lot more.

One of the most valuable features that we are focusing on today is the ability to freeze and unfreeze multiple rows or columns. Users also have the option to freeze panes in Excel for easier visibility while scrolling the sheet.

This feature is helpful when you want to keep some data visible as a reference or a comparison while working on the rest of the spreadsheet without messing up labels or headers.

If you want to learn how to freeze or unfreeze columns, rows, and panes in Microsoft Excel, continue reading.

First, learn the following essential terminology:

  • Freeze Panes: Select a portion of the sheet, including rows and columns that you want to see while scrolling through the document.
  • Freeze Top Row: This option will only freeze the first row or header and keep it visible while you scroll up or down in the worksheet.
  • Freeze First Column: Only freeze the first column of your spreadsheet for visibility while scrolling the worksheet.
  • Unfreeze Panes: Unfreeze the rows and columns to remove them from visibility as you go through the worksheet.

Top 5 Ways To Freeze Microsoft Excel Columns and Rows

Top 5 Ways To Freeze Microsoft Excel Columns and Rows

Following are the 5 simple methods for freezing or unfreezing panes, rows, or columns in Excel spreadsheets:

Method 1 – Freezing A Row In Microsoft Excel

Microsoft allows users to freeze a single or multiple rows in Excel. Find how to freeze a row in excel or how to freeze multiple rows in excel using the method provided below: 

  1. Open MS Excel by clicking the Windows icon and searching Excel or locating it within the MS Office menu.
  2. Load the Excel sheet you want to work on and select a row.

Note: Remember to pick the row below the desired row you wish to freeze. For example, if you would like to freeze the first three rows, you need to select the 4th freeze row in excel.

  1. Click on View located in the menu bar.
  2. Go to Freeze Panes and click on Freeze Panes from the drop-down menu. 

The rows under the selected row will not be frozen, while the rows above the selected row will freeze and be visible as you scroll down the sheet. In our example, we chose the first, second, and third rows to freeze, and they will remain in the exact position as you move up or down the worksheet.

Method 2 – Freezing The Top Row in Microsoft Excel

Freezing The Top Row in Microsoft Excel

Freezing only the first row or the header row is straightforward; just follow our guide given to excel freeze top row within no time:

  1. Open Excel
  2. Load your desired Excel sheet and choose a row 
  3. Open the View tab from the menu bar 
  4.  Click on Freeze Panes and then Freeze Top Row.

The header row will be frozen, while the remaining worksheet will scroll as normal.

Method 3 – Freezing a Column in Excel

You can quickly freeze a single or multiple excel columns at a time. Follow the steps below to learn how to freeze a column in Excel sheets: 

  1. Click on the Windows button and type Excel in the search bar. Open Excel. 
  2. Select and open your Excel sheet. Select column for freezing. Always choose the column to the right of the column that you want to freeze. For example, choose B if you want to freeze column C).
  3. Now find the View tab on the top tab ribbon of the Excel window and click it open.  
  4. Find the Freeze Panes icon.
  5. From the Freeze Panes drop-down menu, select the first option, Freeze Panes.

All the columns on the left side of the selected column will freeze. All the left side rows of the selected column will remain in the exact place when you scroll right. For example, when you scroll right, columns A, B, and C will stay in the same place, whereas the rest of the Excel worksheet will continue to scroll right or left. 

Method 4 – Freezing First Column in Excel

You can freeze the first column in an Excel worksheet by following these four simple steps. 

  1. Launch Excel as explained in the first step of Option 3. Launch Excel as earlier.
  2. Open your worksheet and select any cell.
  3. Open the View tab and find Freeze Panes.
  4. Click on Freeze Panes. Now from the drop-down menu, select the Freeze First Column option. 

In this way, your worksheet’s first column will freeze, and now you can normally scroll through your Excel worksheet. 

Method 5 – Freezing Panes in Excel

Freezing Panes in Excel

Freezing Panes come in handy when entering data in a worksheet with names and marks like students’ report sheets. You can freeze the row and column fields to avoid scrolling to the header (containing category/course names) and the label (including the students’ names). Follow these steps to freeze panes in Excel sheets:

  1. Launch Excel (as explained earlier) and open your desired worksheet.
  2. Select the right column and the row below you want to freeze. For instance, if you want the first row and the first column to freeze, select the right of the first column and below the first-row pane. For freezing A1, you would have to choose B2.
  3. Now open the View tab from the top tab ribbon.
  4. Find the Freeze Panes icon.
  5. From the Freeze Panes drop-down menu, select the first option, Freeze Panes.

All the columns to the left of your selected column and all the rows above your selected rows will now freeze, while you can normally scroll the rest of the worksheet. For example, if you choose D4 and Freeze Panes, A1, B2, and C3 will freeze.

A Simple Way to Create Magic Freeze/Unfreeze Button

If you tend to use the Excel freeze option quite often, you will surely benefit from creating a magic freeze/unfreeze button in Excel’s Quick Access toolbar to conveniently freeze a column, row, first column, first row, or panes with a single click. Follow the easy steps below to create a magic freeze/unfreeze button:

  1. Launch Excel as explained earlier.
  2. Click the Down Arrow icon from the top of the worksheet (above the tab ribbon)
  3. From the drop-down menu, select More Commands
  4. Find and choose Freeze Panes from this list and then choose Add. 
  5. Once you click OK, the Freeze Panes Quick Access option will be added at the top of the Excel worksheet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1 – How does freezing rows in Microsoft Excel help?

Freezing rows in an Excel worksheet makes the rows visible across the top of your worksheet. You can scroll down till the end of the sheet; even then, the frozen row will remain visible. Freezing rows makes data entry easier and faster, significantly if the rows of your sheet extend downward past the height of your monitor screen and have multiple columns. 

2 – How does freezing columns in Microsoft Excel help?

Freezing columns in your Excel worksheet makes columns visible on the left side of your worksheet. You can conveniently scroll on the right side of the sheet till the end; even then, the frozen column will remain in sight. It comes in handy when your worksheet’s columns extend right past the widest of your monitor’s screen and contain multiple rows. 

3 – Why is my Excel Freeze Panes option not working?

The Excel Freeze Panes option grayed out and does not work if the spreadsheet is protected or you are in editing mode. You can exit the editing mode by pressing the Esc key. 

4 – Can I lock cells in Excel sheets instead of freezing them?

You can choose the Split option from the View tab to split and lock cells. You can also create a separate table by pressing Ctrl + T. Creating a table will lock the spreadsheet’s column header when you scroll down. 

Closing Words

It is a hassle to work on an Excel sheet with rows and columns extending beyond the length and height of your monitor’s screen. To make your Excel data entry tasks simpler, faster, and more accurate freezing rows and columns is an excellent option. 

We hope that you will now be able to freeze or unfreeze panes, rows, or columns without any hassle. If you have any questions related to freezing Excel sheets’ columns and rows or if you are facing any issues while freezing, feel free to comment in Reviewsed’s comments section. We would love to help.

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Sarah is a writer by profession and passion. She is a real tech-savvy who loves everything tech! Talk about the latest tech releases, latest news from the tech world, on-trend tech gadgets, or simple tech hacks – Sarah knows it all! Being a movie enthusiast, she always has a close eye on the latest releases. Her insights about how well the movie will do on the box offices are surprisingly always correct! We call her the “Encyclopaedia of Movies”.