How to turn off Scroll Lock in Excel

Just imagine this. You are working on a spreadsheet normally when all of a sudden you notice that you cannot move from cell to cell - instead of getting to the next cell, the arrow keys scroll the whole worksheet. Don't panic, your Excel is not broken. You have just accidentally turned Scroll Lock on, and this can be easily fixed.

What is Scroll Lock in Excel?

Scroll Lock is the feature that controls the behavior of the arrow keys in Excel.

Usually, when the Scroll Lock is disabled, arrow keys move you between individual cells in any direction: up, down, left or right.

However, when the Scroll Lock is enabled in Excel, arrow keys scroll the worksheet area: one row up and down or one column to the left or right. When the worksheet is scrolled, the current selection (a cell or range) does not change.

How to determine that Scroll Lock is enabled

To see whether the Scroll Lock is turned on, just look at the status bar at the bottom of the Excel window. Among other useful things (such as page numbers; average, sum and count of selected cells), the status bar shows if Scroll Lock is on:
Excel status bar shows whether Scroll Lock is enabled.

If your arrow keys scroll the whole sheet instead of moving to the next cell but the Excel status bar has no indication of Scroll Lock, most likely your status bar was customized not to display the Scroll Lock status. To determine if it's the case, right click the status bar and see if there is a tick mark to the left of Scroll Lock. If a tick mark is not there, simply click the Scroll Lock to have its status appear on the status bar:
Get the Scroll Lock status to appear on the Excel status bar.

Note. The Excel status bar only displays the Scroll Lock status, but does not control it.

How to turn off Scroll Lock in Excel for Windows

Much like Num Lock and Caps Lock, the Scroll Lock feature is a toggle, meaning it can be turned on and off by pressing the Scroll Lock key.

Disable scroll lock in Excel using the keyboard

If your keyboard has a key labeled as Scroll Lock or ScrLk key, just press it to turn Scroll Lock off. Done :)

Scroll Lock keyScrLk key

As soon as you do this, Scroll Lock will disappear from the status bar and your arrows keys will move from cell to cell normally.

Remove scroll lock in Excel using on-screen keyboard

If you don't have the Scroll Lock key or it does not work for some reason, you can "unlock" Scroll Lock in Excel by using the on-screen keyboard.

The fastest way to turn off Screen Lock in Excel is this:

  1. Click the Windows button and start typing "on-screen keyboard" in the search box. Usually, it is sufficient to type the first two characters for the On-Screen Keyboard app to appear at the top of the search results.
  2. Click the On-Screen Keyboard app to run it.
    Opening the On-Screen Keyboard app
  3. The virtual keyboard will show up, and you click the ScrLk key to remove Scroll Lock.

You'll know that Scroll Lock is disabled when the ScrLk key returns to dark-grey. If it is blue, Scroll Lock is still on.
Turn off Scroll Lock in Excel by using a virtual keyboard.

Alternatively, you can open the virtual keyboard in the following ways:

On Windows 10

Click Start > Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard, and then click the On-Screen Keyboard slider button.

On Windows 8.1

Click Start, press Ctrl + C to display the Charms bar, then click Change PC Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard > On Screen Keyboard slider button.

On Windows 7

Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard.

To close the on-screen keyboard, click the X button in the upper-right corner.

Scroll Lock in Excel for Mac

Unlike Excel for Windows, Excel for Mac does not show Scroll Lock in the status bar. So, how can you know that Scroll Lock is on? Press any arrow key and watch the address in the name box. If the address does not change and the arrow key scrolls the whole worksheet, it's safe to assume that Scroll Lock is enabled.

How to remove Scroll Lock in Excel for Mac

On the Apple Extended Keyboard, press the F14 key, which is an analogue of the Scroll Lock key on a PC keyboard.
Disable Scroll Lock in Excel for Mac.

If F14 exists on your keyboard, but there is no Fn key, use the Shift + F14 shortcut to toggle the Scroll Lock on or off. Depending on your settings, you may need to press the CONTROL or OPTION or COMMAND (⌘) key instead of the SHIFT key.

If you are working on a smaller keyboard that does not have the F14 key, you can try to remove Scroll Lock by running this AppleScript that emulates the Shift + F14 keystroke.

That's how you turn off Scroll Lock in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

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3 Responses to "How to turn off Scroll Lock in Excel"

  1. Canmycomputersupportssdpictures says:

    Svetlana Cheusheva, thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  2. Leo says:

    For security reasons my access to on-screen keyboard is disabled, then how do I turn off scroll lock

  3. Vivek says:

    Thanks for the solution, and most of know how to scroll off with on screen key board but the question is how and why it is getting on during working in excel.
    I work on excel every day for a long time and all of sudden it gets on, WTF?
    It is irritating and Microsoft should answer of fix this bug, it can't happen that it will on automatically without doing anything from user side.

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