Freeze Cells In Excel

Article byJeevan A Y
Edited bySheeba M
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Freeze Cells In Excel?

Freeze Cells in Excel helps us lock the columns, rows, or cells as required so that we are able to view the dataset headers when we move up and down, or right to left of the worksheet. Excel Freeze Cells freezes the cells displayed on the window.

For example, in the given dataset, we have frozen Column A using the Excel Freeze Cells option, so we can see when we move to the right of the worksheet, column A stays locked, and the other columns C and D moves, hiding the column B, as shown below.

Freeze Cells in Excel - 1

Key Takeaways

  • The Freeze Cells in Excel helps users lock the position of one or more cells, rows or columns in a large dataset so that the fixed cells are visible when we navigate across the worksheet. It helps compare data easily, and reduces scrolling and searching time.
  • To freeze a row and column, we can select any data cell and select the freeze panes option. Then, the rows above and the columns before the selected cells are frozen/locked until we unfreeze them.
  • Irrespective of the cells we lock or freeze, whether we Freeze Panes, Top Row, or First Column, we will only have the option to Unfreeze Panes as a whole to unfreeze any frozen cells.

How To Freeze Cells In Excel?

We can Freeze Columns in Excel as follows:

Select the “View” tab → go to the “Window” group → click the “Freeze Panes” option drop-down → select the “Freeze First Column” option, as shown below.

Freeze Cells in Excel - 2

We can freeze one or multiple rows, columns or cells.

Examples

We will consider some examples to Freeze Cells in Excel.

Example #1

The steps to freezing Rows for the simple example of a calendar are.

  1. We must first select the row which to freeze the cell by clicking on the number of the row.


    Lock rows Ex. 1

  2. Then, click the “View” tab and select the “Freeze Panes” command in the “View” tab.


    Lock rows Ex. 1.1

  3. The selected rows get frozen in their position, and a grey line denotes it. We can scroll down the entire worksheet and continue viewing the frozen rows at the top. As we can see in the snapshot below, the rows above the grey line are frozen and do not move after we scroll the worksheet.


    Lock rows Ex. 1.2

  4. We can repeat the same process for unfreezing the cells. Once we have frozen the cells, the same command is changed in the “View” tab. The “Freeze Panes” in the Excel command is now changed to the “Unfreeze Panes” command. By clicking on it, the frozen cells are unfrozen. This command unlocks all the rows and columns to scroll through the worksheet.


    Lock rows Ex. 1.3

The date is provided in the columns instead of the rows in this example.

lock Column Ex. 1

The steps to freeze 2 columns are,

  • Step 1: We must select the columns, which we need to freeze Excel cells by clicking on the alphabet of the column.
lock Column Ex. 1.1
  • Step 2: After selecting the columns, click the “View” tab on the ribbon. Then, we must choose the “Freeze Panes” command on the “View” tab.
Freeze Cells in Excel 1.2
  • Step 3: The selected columns get frozen in their position, and a grey line denotes it. We can scroll the entire worksheet and continue viewing the frozen columns. As we can see in the snapshot below, the columns beside the grey line are frozen and do not move after we scroll the worksheet.
lock Column Ex. 1.3

For unfreezing the columns, we must use the same process as we did in the case of rows by using the “Unfreeze Panes” command from the “View” tab. In addition, there are two other commands in the “Freeze Panes” options: “Freeze Top Row” and “Freeze First Column.”

Freeze Cells in Excel Ex. 1.4

These commands are used only for freezing the top row and the first column, respectively. For example, the “Freeze Top Row” command freezes the row number “1,” and the “Freeze First Column” command freezes the column number A cell. It is to be noted that we can also freeze rows and columns together. In addition, it is not necessary to lock only the row or the column at a single instance.

Example #2

The steps to Freeze Panes, i.e., a row and a column, simultaneously, are,

  • Step 1: The sheet below shows the timesheet of a company. The columns contain the headers as “Day,” “Date,” “Regular Hours,” “Overtime Hours,” “Sick,” “Vacation,” and “Total.”
Freeze Cells in Excel Example 1
  • Step 2: We need to see columns “B” and row 7 throughout the worksheet. We have to select the cell above, besides which we need to freeze the columns and rows cells, respectively. In our example, we have to choose the cell number H4.
Locking Row Column Example 1-1
  • Step 3: After selecting the cell, we need to click on the “View” tab on the ribbon and select the “Freeze Panes” command on the “View” tab.
Example 1-2
  • Step 4: As we can see from the snapshot below, two grey lines denote the locking of cells.
Locking Row Column Example 1-3

Use Of Rows & Column Freezing In Excel Cell

If we use the “Freeze Panes” command to freeze the columns and rows of Excel cells, they will remain displayed on the screen regardless of the magnification settings that we select or how we scroll through the cells. Let us take a practical example of the weekly attendance report of a class.

  • Step 1: Now, if we take a look at the snapshot below, the rows and columns display various pieces of information such as “Student name,” “Name of the days,” “Room,” etc. The topmost column shows the “logo to be placed here” and the “Weekly Attendance Report.”
Example 2

In this case, it becomes necessary to freeze certain Excel columns and rows of cells to understand the attendance of the reports. Otherwise, the report becomes vague and difficult to understand.

  • Step 2: We must select the cell at the F4 location as we need to freeze down the rows up to the subject code P1, T1, U1, E1, and columns up to the “Student Name.”
Locking Row Column Example 2-1
  • Step 3:  Once we select the cell, we must use the “Freeze Panes” command, freezing the cells at the position indicating a grey line.
Example 2-2

As a result, we can see that the rows and columns beside and above the selected cell have been frozen, as shown in the snapshots below.

Locking Row Column Example 2-3

Important Things To Note

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the shortcuts to the Freeze Top Row, First Column and Both Rows and Columns?

The Freeze Panes in Excel Shortcuts are,

Freeze Top Row – Press the keys “ALT + W + F + R” to freeze the top row of the table.
Freeze First Column – Press the keys “ALT + W + F + C” to freeze the first column of the table.
Freeze Panes, i.e., both Rows and Columns – Press the keys “ALT + W + F + F” to freeze both the rows and the columns of the table.

2. How can we Unfreeze the Frozen Cells in Excel?

By default, we only have options to Freeze cells available in the Excel ribbon. However, the moment we Freeze Cells, automatically, the options change.
We can unfreeze the frozen or locked cells as follows:

First, select the “View” tab → go to the “Window” group → click the “Freeze Panes” option drop-down → select the “Unfreeze Panes” option, as shown below.

Freeze Cells in Excel - FAQ 2

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Freeze Cells in Excel?

A few advantages are,
When we freeze cells, we will not miss the data headers, and modifying data in the dataset becomes easy.
In a large dataset, we can project on the needed data.

A few disadvantages are,
When we copy and paste the data values from the dataset, there are chances of missing the locked or frozen data.
Even if a column gets hidden, we might unintentionally delete it.

Download Template

This article helps understand Excel’s working and usage of the Freeze Cells in Excel through examples. You can download the template and use it instantly.

You can download this Freeze Rows and Columns Excel Cell template here – Freeze Rows and Columns Excel Cell template

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