Featured - How to freeze a row or column in Excel

Keeping track of everything on your laptop when dealing with a lot of spreadsheet data can take a lot of work. It’s one thing to compare one or two rows of information when working with a small subset of data, but things get complicated when a dozen rows are involved.

How to freeze a row in Excel – or a Column

One remedy when your spreadsheets get unmanageable is to freeze rows and columns. Freezing Excel rows and columns makes navigating your spreadsheet much easier. When done successfully, the chosen panes are locked in place; this means those precise rows are always displayed, no matter how far you scroll down. 

You’ll usually freeze a few rows or columns, but Excel doesn’t restrict how many of you may freeze, which is helpful for bigger sheets. In many cases, to freeze the top row might be enough as it usually holds column titles which then stay visible while scrolling.

This tutorial is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2016 and subsequent versions. 

It demonstrates how to keep cells visible in Excel when browsing another worksheet region. Below you will discover the complete methods to lock a row or multiple rows, freeze one or more columns, or freeze a column and row at once.

How to lock/freeze the top row in Excel

Before you can begin freezing and locking, make sure you’re in the correct view mode. Switch to the View tab in your Ribbon interface after launching Excel and the document you’re working on, and make sure the “Normal” view is active.

  1. Switch to the “View” tab, click on “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze Top Row” from the dropdown

    Windows 11 - Excel - View - Freeze Panes - Freeze Top Row

  2. This will immediately freeze and lock the first row of your document

    Windows 11 - Excel - View - Freeze Panes - Freeze Top Row - Result

How to lock/freeze multiple rows in Excel

You can also freeze multiple rows in Excel through the following step.

  1. Choose the row under the row(s) you want to freeze. In our example, we want to freeze rows 1, 2, and 3; therefore, we’ll choose row 4, as shown in the picture

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select cell

  2. Switch to the “View” tab, click on “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze Panes” from the top row

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select cell - View - Freeze Panes

  3. The above step will freeze the selected rows in Excel, and they’ll stay at the top

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select cell - View - Freeze Panes - Result

How to lock/freeze the first column in Excel

You can also lock/freeze the first column to the right of your Excel sheet with the following step.

  1. Switch to the “View” tab on the ribbon, click on “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze First Columns”

    Windows 11 - Excel - View - Freeze Panes - Freeze First Column

  2. The column will be locked and frozen to the left of your Excel sheet

    Windows 11 - Excel - View - Freeze Panes - Freeze First Column - Result

How to lock/freeze multiple columns in Excel

  1. Choose the column to the right of the one or more columns you want to freeze. In this case, we wish to freeze column A and column B; therefore, we’ll choose column C

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell

  2. Switch to the “View” tab, click on the “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze Panes” from the dropdown

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - View - Freeze Panes

  3. The columns will be frozen and locked to the left of your Excel sheet

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - View - Freeze Panes - Result

How to lock/freeze rows and columns together in Excel

You can freeze multiple columns or rows as long as the top row and column of your document are included.

  1. Pick the column to the right of the last column you want frozen, and select the row below the last row you want frozen

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell

  2. Switch to the “View” tab, click on the “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze Panes” from the dropdown

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - View - Freeze Panes

  3. The selected column and rows will be locked and frozen to the left and the top of your Excel sheet

    Windows 11 - Excel - Select Cell - View - Freeze Panes - Result

How to unlock/unfreeze rows and columns in Excel

Once you are done needing frozen and locked rows and columns, you can unlock/unfreeze them through the following step.

  1. Switch to the “View” tab, click on the “Freeze Panes,” and select “Unfreeze Panes” from the dropdown

    Windows 11 - Excel - View - Freeze Panes - Unfreeze Panes

 

Extra: How to Wrap Text in Excel (Automatically and Manually)

Knowing how to wrap text in Excel is important so that your spreadsheet doesn’t get any wider than it needs to be. The wrap text function in Excel lets you break text into multiple lines, therefore increasing the length of your cell. In our other tutorial, we show you both methods today so that you can use whatever best suits your scenario.

Featured - How to Wrap Text in Excel