How to Fix Arrow Keys Not Moving Cells in Excel (Scroll Lock)

🖋️ By Kasper Langmann, Certified Microsoft Office Specialist. 📅 Updated on August 29, 2023.
We are talking about the times when out of a sudden, your Excel sheet starts behaving weirdly.

As you press the arrow keys, you are not navigated to the cells up or down, right or left. Instead, your Excel sheet starts to move as a whole. 😩

Don’t worry – your Excel has not broken down, but your Scroll Lock is enabled. As the name tells, the “Scroll lock” locks your ability to scroll across the worksheet.

Let’s learn all the possible ways to solve this problem in Excel in the guide below.

How to turn off scroll lock in Excel

Remember seeing this key on your keyboard? 👀

Pause Scroll Lock key

When this key is enabled, the ‘scrolling’ gets locked. This means you can no longer scroll between cells using arrow keys. Instead, the whole worksheet moves.

If you want to scroll between cells (up ⬆, down ⬇, right ➡, or left ⬅), the scroll key must be disabled.

How can we enable/disable the scroll lock for Windows?

The scroll key is a toggle – you press it to enable the scroll lock and again press it to disable it. 🖰

If your keyboard doesn’t have the scroll key to its face, you can enable or disable it from the On-Screen keyboard.

  1. Go to the Windows button.
  2. In the search tab, type “On Screen keyboard”.
  3. Click on the On-Screen keyboard app to launch it.
Excel Add ins: On screen keyboard
  1. Look for the Scroll key and hit it.
The Scroll lock button on the keyboard

To know if the scroll lock feature is enabled, check the status bar of your Excel window.

The send scroll lock keypress on the status bar

Can’t see the Scroll lock status on your status bar?

  1. Right-click on the status bar to launch the options menu.
  2. Check the option for Scroll Lock from the menu.
Activate display dialog for scroll lock status.

Pro Tip!

Did you ever happen to mistakenly toggle the scroll lock on? Not knowing which keys did you press to turn it on / off? 🤦‍♂️

Two possible key combinations that can turn the scroll lock on/off include the following:

  1. Fn key + the S key
  2. Fn key + the C key

(Varies from laptop to laptop)

How can we enable/disable the scroll lock for Mac?

If you’re a Mac user struggling with the arrow keys not working, this section is for you.✌

Excel for Mac doesn’t show the Scroll Lock status in the status bar like Excel for windows does. The only way you can check if the Scroll Lock is enabled or not is by using the arrow keys.

If the arrow keys don’t move you between cells but the worksheet moves instead – the scroll lock is enabled.

On your apple keyboard, press the F14 key + Fn key to toggle the Scroll lock on and off.

Excel scroll lock fix

Don’t find the Fn key anywhere on your keyboard? 🤔

You can use the Shift key + the F14 key to enable/disable the Scroll Lock.

Enable/disable scroll lock key code

If that still doesn’t work for you, try the Control key, the Command key, or the Option key together with the F14 key.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist
Enable sticky keys code

That’s it – Now what?

That’s all about fixing the stubborn cells in an Excel spreadsheet that won’t move in the direction of your arrow key.

👆 In the guide above, we’ve seen how you can fix this problem in Excel in no time.

To learn more about Microsoft Excel, get a hang of the top three functions of Excel including the VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IF functions.

My 30-minute free email course will teach you these and many more functions in under 30 minutes.

Other resources

Your arrow keys going jammed is a very small (and easily fixable) problem of Excel. You’ll often face more problems in Excel. But don’t worry – we have got them all covered.

Check out our other articles on how to fix the problems with the IFS function of Excel and the #VALUE Error in Excel.