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How to Freeze Rows, Panes, and Columns in Excel

It’s common to see Excel spreadsheets where the first row contains column headers to describe the data in each of the columns in the spreadsheet. This is useful because, when glancing at a specific piece of data, you can quickly look to the top of the column to see what the data represents. On larger spreadsheets with hundreds of rows of data, however, the column headers often scroll out of view while scrolling through the rows and rows of data in the spreadsheet. In this situation, you want to learn how to freeze rows in Excel.

How to Freeze Rows in Excel

So, how do you freeze rows in Excel? It’s quite simple if you use the Freeze Panes button on the View tab.

When the first row of your spreadsheet contains column headers, you may want to freeze the top row of data in your spreadsheet. To do this:

  • Click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab.
  • From the list of options that appears, click Freeze Top Row.

Now, scroll down the rows of data in your spreadsheet. You’ll notice that the top row stays in a fixed position. This means that whether you are viewing row 10 or row 1,000 in your spreadsheet, you’ll still be able to see the column headers associated with your data.

how to freeze rows in Excel, freeze top row - magoosh

Note that Excel delineates the frozen row by including a solid line on the bottom border of the row.

If you want to freeze multiple columns of data in your spreadsheet, follow the instructions under How to Freeze Panes in Excel, below.

How to Freeze Columns in Excel

The same concept can be applied to freeze the first column in your Excel spreadsheet.

  • Click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab.
  • From the list of options that appears, click Freeze First Column.
  • Now, scroll right across the columns of data in your spreadsheet.
  • You’ll notice that the first column stays in a fixed position.

how to freeze rows in excel, freeze first column - magoosh

Note that Excel delineates the frozen column by including a solid line on the right border of the column.

If you want to freeze multiple columns of data in your spreadsheet, follow the instructions under, How to Freeze Panes in Excel, below.

Check out our Excel Lesson Videos to learn more about other formatting options in Excel.

How to Freeze Panes in Excel

If you want to freeze multiple rows or multiple columns (you can do both at once), you can use the Freeze Panes option in Excel.

  • This option requires that you select (click) a cell first.
    • The cell you select is important. Every row above the cell you select and every column to the left of the cell you select will be frozen.
  • Once you select your cell, click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab.
  • From the list of options that appears, click Freeze Panes.
  • Now, scroll down the rows of data and right across the columns of data in your spreadsheet.
  • You’ll notice that the rows and columns you froze stay in a fixed position.

how to freeze rows in excel, freeze panes Excel - magoosh

Notice that Excel delineates the frozen row(s) and column(s) by including a solid line on the bottom border of the last frozen row and on the right border of the last frozen column.

Unfreeze Panes

If you decide you no longer wish to have any rows or columns frozen in your spreadsheet, click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab. From the list of options that appears, click Unfreeze Panes.

freeze panes Excel, how to freeze rows in excel, unfreeze panes - magoosh

Now you’ve learned how to freeze rows in Excel! You’ve also learned to freeze panes an columns. Now you should have no problem viewing and recognizing data in your larger spreadsheets.

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