How to Use Scroll Lock in Excel

How to turn off scroll lock and how to turn it on

Hand on desktop computer keyboard

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Scroll Lock is a navigation feature in Microsoft Excel typically enabled or disabled using the keyboard. Excel can be easy to maneuver with Scroll Lock turned on, as long as you're trying to move around in a worksheet without leaving the active cell. Otherwise, it could make things more difficult. Learn how to enable, use, and turn off Scroll Lock in Excel.

Instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel for Office 365 on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

What Does Scroll Lock Do?

Originally, the Scroll Lock key was added when computer users navigated primarily using keyboards. Toggling the Scroll Lock key disabled scrolling with the arrow keys so computer users could move the typing cursor through the page. Most programs have replaced scroll lock capabilities with the scroll bar on the right side of the page.

Excel is one of very few applications in which the Scroll Lock key still works. And some users still find it useful for navigating long (or wide) spreadsheets in a methodical way, such as when searching for something specific.

By default, using the arrow keys in Excel allows you to navigate cells. When Scroll Lock key is enabled, using the arrow keys will scroll the entire worksheet. Pressing the right or left arrow keys scrolls the sheet to the right or left; pressing the up and down arrow keys scrolls the worksheet up and down. This allows you to navigate your spreadsheet without losing track of where you are.

How to Enable and Turn off Scroll Lock in Excel

If you prefer to keep your hands on the keyboard, this option could be quite useful. All you need to do to turn it on is press the Scroll Lock key (which might appear as the "ScrLk" key or the "scr lk" key), which is typically at the top of the keyboard.

When you enable the Scroll Lock, a notification appears in the status bar at the bottom-left side of the Excel window.

If it doesn't appear in the status bar, but you suspect it's toggled on, check to see whether it's on or off by right-clicking the status bar and checking whether Scroll Lock is listed as On or Off.

Pressing the Scroll Lock key on the keyboard will toggle the feature off and on. However, if it's on and you can't find the keyboard key, there is another way. The method you use will depend on your operating system.

How to Turn off Scroll Lock in Windows 10

Locate the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard to turn off Scroll Lock. Excel will no longer scroll when you press the arrow keys.

  1. Type "onscreen" into the Windows search box and select On-Screen Keyboard when it appears in the results window. The on-screen keyboard will open.

    Screenshot of On-Screen Keyboard listed in Windows search results

    Alternatively, you can select StartSettings > Ease of Access > Keyboard to open the on-screen keyboard.

  2. Select the ScrLk key.

    Screenshot of ScrLk button on On-Screen Keyboard
  3. Close the on-screen keyboard.

How to Turn off Scroll Lock in Windows 8.1

Open the on-screen keyboard to turn off Scroll Lock. Excel will no longer scroll when you press the arrow keys.

  1. Select Start, then press CTRL+C to display the Charms bar.

  2. Select Change PC Settings Ease of Access > Keyboard.

  3. Select the On-Screen Keyboard button to turn on the keyboard.

  4. Select the ScrLk button.

  5. Close the on-screen keyboard.

How to Turn off Scroll Lock in Windows 7

Access the on-screen keyboard to turn off Scroll Lock. Excel will no longer scroll when you press the arrow keys.

  1. Select Start > All ProgramsAccessories

  2. Select Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard. The on-screen keyboard will open.

  3. Select the slk button.

  4. Close the on-screen keyboard.