How to Freeze Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Freezing cells in Excel is a handy trick that lets you keep certain rows or columns visible while scrolling through the rest of your worksheet. It’s especially useful when working with large datasets. In just a few clicks, you can lock specific sections in place, making it easier to compare data and navigate your spreadsheet.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Freeze Cells in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll be doing. Freezing cells in Excel allows you to lock rows or columns that you want to remain visible as you scroll through the document. This feature is beneficial when you have headers or labels that you want to keep in sight.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Start by opening the Excel file you want to work with.

Opening your spreadsheet is always the first step, as it’s where all the magic happens. Make sure you’ve saved any previous work before making changes to avoid losing important data.

Step 2: Select the Cell Below and to the Right of Where You Want to Freeze

Choose the cell that’s right below and to the right of the rows and columns you wish to freeze.

This step is crucial because it determines which parts of your spreadsheet will be frozen. Everything above and to the left of the selected cell will be locked in place.

Step 3: Click on the ‘View’ Tab

Go to the ‘View’ tab located on the Excel ribbon.

The ‘View’ tab houses various tools for changing how you see your spreadsheet, one of which is the Freeze Panes feature.

Step 4: Click on ‘Freeze Panes’

In the ‘View’ tab, click on ‘Freeze Panes’ in the Window group.

After clicking ‘Freeze Panes,’ a dropdown menu will appear with a few options. Here, you can choose to freeze just the top row, the first column, or the panes based on your selection.

Step 5: Select ‘Freeze Panes’ from the Dropdown Menu

From the dropdown menu, select ‘Freeze Panes.’

Once you click this, the rows and columns you’ve chosen will be locked in place. You can test it out by scrolling through your worksheet; the frozen sections should remain visible.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully frozen the desired cells in your Excel spreadsheet. Now, no matter where you scroll, the frozen sections will stay put, making it easier to work with your data.

Tips: Freezing Cells in Excel

  • Make sure you’ve selected the correct cell before freezing panes to avoid locking the wrong rows or columns.
  • If you want to freeze multiple rows and columns, select the cell that’s diagonally below and to the right of the area you’re freezing.
  • Use the ‘Split’ option if you want to create a moveable division in your worksheet without freezing.
  • Unfreeze panes by going back to ‘View’ > ‘Freeze Panes’ and selecting ‘Unfreeze Panes.’
  • Remember that freezing panes only affects your view of the spreadsheet, not the actual data or its structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I unfreeze cells in Excel?

To unfreeze cells, go to the ‘View’ tab, click on ‘Freeze Panes,’ and select ‘Unfreeze Panes.’

Unfreezing cells is as simple as freezing them. Just remember to click on the same ‘Freeze Panes’ button to access the unfreeze option.

Can I freeze both rows and columns at the same time?

Yes, you can freeze both rows and columns by selecting the cell that’s below and to the right of the area you want to freeze.

This is useful for keeping headers and labels in view while comparing and analyzing different parts of your data.

Will freezing cells affect how I print my Excel document?

No, freezing cells only changes how you view the spreadsheet on your screen; it doesn’t affect printing.

When you print your document, it will appear as usual, with no indication of the frozen cells.

Can I freeze cells in Excel Online or the Excel mobile app?

Yes, you can freeze panes in Excel Online and on the mobile app, though the steps may vary slightly from the desktop version.

The functionality remains the same across different versions of Excel, making it a versatile tool no matter where you’re working from.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to freeze cells in Excel?

There isn’t a direct keyboard shortcut for freezing cells, but you can use Alt + W + F + F after selecting your cell to access the ‘Freeze Panes’ feature quickly.

Learning keyboard shortcuts can save you time and make your workflow more efficient when working with Excel.


  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Select the Cell Below and to the Right of Where You Want to Freeze
  3. Click on the ‘View’ Tab
  4. Click on ‘Freeze Panes’
  5. Select ‘Freeze Panes’ from the Dropdown Menu


Mastering how to freeze cells in excel can transform the way you handle data in spreadsheets. It’s a straightforward process that can save you a lot of hassle, especially when dealing with extensive databases. Whether you’re a beginner or an Excel veteran, understanding the freeze panes feature is essential for efficient spreadsheet management. It keeps your headers and labels in sight, reducing the risk of errors and simplifying data analysis. With the tips provided, you should be able to tackle any freezing task that comes your way. Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be freezing and unfreezing cells like a pro!

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