How to freeze a row in Excel so it always stays on the screen, even when you scroll away


microsoft excel

  • You can freeze a row in Excel so it’s easier to compare data as you scroll through the spreadsheet.
  • You can choose to only freeze the first visible row in your Excel sheet, or freeze multiple rows. 
  • To freeze a row (or unfreeze it later) you just need to use the “Freeze Panes” menu.
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Spreadsheets can get complicated, and frequently you need to be able to compare two different sets of data that are widely separated on your Mac or PC screen. 

An easy way to do that is to freeze a row (or column), so it stays in a fixed location while the rest of the spreadsheet scrolls up and down (or side to side). 

There are two ways to do this: You can freeze the first visible row on your spreadsheet, or you can freeze a set of rows. 

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How to freeze the top row in Excel

Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to literally be the top row in your spreadsheet — this command lets you freeze the first visible row. 

1. Scroll your spreadsheet until the row you want to lock in place is the first row visible under the row of letters.

2. In the menu, click “View.”

3. In the ribbon, click “Freeze Panes” and then click “Freeze Top Row.”

freeze 1

Now, when you scroll through the spreadsheet, the top row that was visible will remain fixed while the rest of the spreadsheet scrolls under it.

How to freeze a set of rows in Excel

When you use this option, you’re actually freezing all the rows from the top down to the row you want to freeze — you can’t freeze a random row in the middle of a spreadsheet without locking everything above it at the same time.

1. Select the row below the set of rows you want to freeze. 

2. In the menu, click “View.”

3. In the ribbon, click “Freeze Panes” and then click “Freeze Panes.”

freeze 2

How to unfreeze a row 

Once you freeze a row, you can return to the Freeze Panes menu in the ribbon and choose “Unfreeze” to toggle the locked row. 

freeze 3

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to combine two columns in Microsoft Excel without losing data

  • How to edit a drop-down list in Excel, depending on how you created it

  • How to copy a formula in Microsoft Excel using a Mac or PC

  • How to set a print area in Microsoft Excel to print a specific section of your spreadsheet

  • How to change the date format in Microsoft Excel to make the program write dates in a certain way

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