How to Freeze and Unfreeze Rows or Columns in Google Sheets

how to freeze rows or columns in Google Sheets
Getty Images (Thomas Barwick #530281091)

When working with a large spreadsheet, it can be helpful if specific rows or columns are always in view. Perhaps you want column headers to be displayed even as you scroll down off of the first page, or maybe you'd like to compare two rows of data that are positioned far apart from each other.

Whatever your motive, freezing (or unfreezing) rows and columns in Google Sheets is very easy if you know what path to take.

Freezing a Column or Row on a Computer

Freeze rows so headers stay visible.
Don't let big spreadsheets become a hassle. Freeze some rows to keep them in place.

Take these steps to freeze columns and/or rows in any major web browser, although Google Chrome is preferred. In this example, we'll freeze the first row to show how it works when you scroll away from the first row.

  1. Click on View in the Sheets menu, located towards the top of the screen. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse cursor over the Freeze option.
  2. The following options will now be displayed. Select the one that fits your individual needs.

    No rows: Unfreezes all rows

    1 row: Freezes the first row in your spreadsheet

    2 rows: Freezes the first two rows

    Up to current row (x): Freezes all rows up to the one currently selected, represented by x

    No columns: Unfreezes all columns

    1 column: Freezes the first column in your spreadsheet

    2 columns: Freezes the first two columns

    Up to current row (x): Freezes all columns up to the one currently selected, represented by x
  3. Next, scroll horizontally or vertically. Notice that the column or row that you chose to freeze remains in view no matter where you are within the spreadsheet.

To unfreeze a column or row at a later time, follow steps 1 and 2 again and select No rows or No columns.

Freezing a Column or Row on a Smartphone or Tablet

Freeze rows so headers stay visible.
Tablets can have big spreadsheets, too! Freeze some rows to keep them in place.

Follow these instructions to freeze columns and/or rows on Android and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) devices.

  1. Launch the Google Sheets app.
  2. Open an existing spreadsheet or create a new one.
  3. Select the row or column that you wish to freeze by tapping on it once so that it becomes highlighted, as shown in the example screenshot.
  4. Once highlighted, tap on it again so that the context menu appears.
  5. Select the Freeze column or Freeze row option.
  6. Next, scroll horizontally or vertically. Notice that the column or row that you chose to freeze remains in view no matter where you are within the spreadsheet.

To unfreeze a column or row at a later time, follow steps 3 and 4 again and select Unfreeze column or Unfreeze row.