πŸ‘‡ Grab our practice workbook here:

Introduction

Having trouble with headers in large Excel sheets? Our guide shows you how to freeze them, allowing you to scroll through your data while keeping those frozen cells visible.

How to Freeze Rows

Freezing rows in Excel is a straightforward process. Here’s how to lock a row in Excel.

Freeze Top Row

Here is how to lock the top row in Excel (row 1):

Simply go to the “View” tab, choose “Freeze Panes,” and select “Freeze Top Row.”

Excel freeze top row

This action locks the first row of your worksheet, making it always visible as you scroll down.

How to Freeze Multiple Rows in Excel

In our example, to freeze specific rows 1 and 2, you’ll need to select row 3.

Always pick the row immediately below the ones you want to freeze.

Excel freeze specific rows

Then, go to “View“, select “Freeze Panes“, and then choose “Freeze Panes” from the drop-down.

Excel freeze pane

As you scroll down the worksheet, the frozen rows at the top remain visible. For instance, in our example, we’ve scrolled down to row 35.

Excel frozen certain rows

How to Freeze Columns

Learn how to lock a column in Excel. It’s just as simple and follows a similar process:

Freeze First Column

Excel makes it easy to keep your first column (A) visible.

Simply navigate to “View,” select “Freeze Panes,” and then click on “Freeze First Column.”

This can be really helpful when you need to pin a column in Excel. Especially if it has important data like IDs or names.

Freeze Multiple Columns

If you need to freeze more than one column, click the column to the right of the last column you want to freeze. In our example, to freeze columns A and B, you’ll need to select column C.

Excel freeze column

Then, head to “View“, select “Freeze Panes“, and then click on “Freeze Panes” from the drop-down menu.

Excel freeze pane

As you scroll across the worksheet, the frozen columns on the left remain visible. For instance, in our example, we’ve scrolled across to column K.

Freeze specific columns in Excel

How to Freeze Rows and Columns Simultaneously

Sometimes, you’ll want to freeze both rows and columns to keep both headers and row labels in view. In our example, we want to freeze the rows 1 and 2 along with column A.

To do this, select the cell that is immediately below the last row and to the right of the last column you wish to freeze. In our example, this is cell B3.

Then, go to “View“, select “Freeze Panes“, and click on “Freeze Panes.”

Excel freeze pane

As you scroll across the worksheet, the frozen rows on top and the frozen columns on the left remain visible. For instance, in our example, we’ve scrolled down to row 27 and across to column K.

How to Unfreeze Panes

To return your worksheet to its original layout, unfreezing panes is easy. Just head to β€œView,” choose β€œFreeze Panes,” and then select β€œUnfreeze Panes.”

Shortcuts

Excel is all about efficiency, and shortcuts can save you a ton of time. If you frequently use the Freeze Panes feature, it’s a good idea to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar. Here’s how to do it:

Click the small dropdown arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar and select “More Commands“:

In the “Choose commands from” dropdown, select “All Commands.” Scroll down to “Freeze Panes,” select it, and then click “Add >>.”

Click “OK” to apply your changes.

Now, you can quickly freeze or unfreeze panes from the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of your Excel window.

✨ While Excel doesn’t offer a direct keyboard shortcut for freezing panes, you can also quickly access the Freeze Panes option by pressing Alt+W followed by F. This shortcut sequence opens the Freeze Panes dialog, allowing you to lock your rows or columns with ease.

πŸ’‘ Dive deeper into Excel shortcuts and grab your handy cheat sheet by exploring our blog post HERE.

Practice Example

Now it’s your turn to practice! The best way to get comfortable with freezing panes in Excel is to practice. Here is a quick challenge for you:

  1. Open our practice workbook.
  2. Unfreeze panes.
  3. Freeze columns A through E and rows 1 to 2.
  4. Scroll across to column N and down to row 27.
  5. Your screen should look like this:

Featured Course

Excel Essentials for the Real World

Learn time-saving hacks to work smarter in Excel. Our members also consistently report a newfound enthusiasm for using Excel after taking our course.
Learn More

Final Thoughts

Mastering the art of freezing panes in Excel can significantly enhance your data analysis and presentation skills. It’s a simple yet powerful feature that keeps your data organized and accessible, no matter how large your dataset is.

Leila Gharani

I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.

My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.