Microsoft’s Excel is arguably the most popular, widely-used computer program. Its user base ranges from students and hobbyists to small businesses and corporations.
You can use Excel for organizing, planning, tracking, and much more, based on your proficiency.
While using Excel, many rely on the scroll lock function for more efficient navigation through the document without requiring the mouse.
If looking to optimize your Excel work and learn to navigate the sheets using only a keyboard, this guide will help you achieve that.
Here’s how to enable/disable scroll lock in Excel.
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Method 1: Use Your Keyboard’s Scroll-Lock Button
The scroll lock function can easily be toggled on or off with just a simple click of a button on your keyboard.
This button doesn’t always have the same name on it on every device, and how it looks usually depends on your keyboard’s manufacturer.
Besides the general Scroll Lock name, the button could also be named ScrLck, ScrlLock, SL, Slk, SLock, ScrLk, SLck, ScLk, and other variants are possible too.
If you see a button with any of these name indicators, press it once, and a light should toggle, letting you know that the function is now on.
However, if you’re using a 60% keyboard for example, you may not have the functional buttons row available, so “simply pressing the Scroll Lock button” is not an option.
Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem too. Hop into the next section for more information on that.
Method 2: Use The Built-In Windows Virtual On-Screen Keyboard
If you don’t have a full-sized keyboard with the functional row available, you can still enable the scroll lock command using the built-in Windows virtual on-screen keyboard.
Here’s how to do that:
- Press Windows + I simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Windows Settings Panel.
An alternative way (if you have no keyboard available) is to click the Windows button in the bottom-left corner of your taskbar, then click on the cogwheel icon, which will take you to the Windows Settings Panel.
- Now that the Windows Settings Panel is open, you need to click on Ease of Access.
- In the left sidebar menu, scroll down until you see the Keyboard section, then click on it.
- Enable the “Use the On-Screen Keyboard” function by “switching on” the button, as shown in the image below.
- Now you will see the Windows On-Screen keyboard. Use your mouse to click on the ScrLk button. Doing this will enable scroll lock on your computer.
Whenever you wish to disable scroll lock, click on the ScrLk button again, and it will turn the function off.
Method 3: Use The Scroll Wheel Button On Your Mouse
You can still use the scroll lock function in Excel without requiring a keyboard. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Open Microsoft Excel on your PC.
- Navigate your mouse cursor to an empty area, then click the mouse wheel button. An indicator confirming that you’re now in scroll lock mode will show up, as presented in the image below.
- Move your mouse on any axis to navigate the sheets, like you would if you used the keyboard scroll lock button.
When you want to exit this mode, click the mouse wheel button again.
Although this is a solution for those who don’t want to use the keyboard, we still recommend the keyboard method more, as navigating is much more precise with the keyboard pointer buttons.
If you move slightly quicker with the mouse (while using the mouse wheel method), you may “overscroll” in one direction, which doesn’t happen with the keyboard method.
Enabling The Excel Scroll Lock Indicator On The Status Bar
Some Excel users can’t tell if their scroll lock function is on or off due to the lack of information on the status bar.
Note: The Excel status bar is the thin, footer-like bar right under the one that shows how many sheets you have in your book.
That is quite common but also very easy to fix.
Here’s how to make the Excel status bar show if scroll lock is on:
- Launch Excel on your PC.
- Right-click an empty area anywhere on the Excel status bar, then click on the Scroll Lock function. You’ll see a “tick” show left of it.
Now, whenever you enable scroll lock in Excel using one of the methods taught in this guide, you’ll see its status in the bar, as shown in the image below.
That will help you know whether pressing the pointer buttons on your keyboard make the focus move to a different cell or move the sheet entirely.
That’s all there’s to it!
What Does The Excel Scroll Lock Command Do?
The scroll lock command in Excel allows you to easily navigate the sheets by skipping entire rows and columns instead going through them one by one like you would without it.
That is useful when you want to “reach” out farther and view information that’s not right at the beginning of the A1 field, for example.
You could also do this using the built-in slider, but it’s much more precise and easier to do with the scroll lock command.
With that said, you now know all the required information to easily enable or disable the scroll lock command in Excel using either a keyboard or a mouse.
Hopefully, this will enhance your ability to navigate the Excel workbook and optimize the time spent to finish specific tasks.