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How to freeze rows and columns in Excel – our step-by-step guide

Time to make things easier for you!

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on May 6, 2024
Logo of Microsoft Excel with a stylized green "X" and a gradient background, captioned with the words "freeze multiple rows in Excel" and a pictorial logo above.
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If you want to learn how to freeze rows and columns in Excel, then you’ve landed on the right page.

Freezing rows or columns in Excel can be a great idea when you have a lot of information on a spreadsheet and need to remember certain data while you continue working. Freezing a row or column will allow it to stay on the screen no matter how far you scroll, and it is a great built-in feature that will prevent you from writing down equations or statistics vital to the end result.

As the option to freeze rows and columns is hidden behind a layer of settings, we’ll walk you through the entire process to make things easier for you.

1

Here’s how to freeze a row or column in Excel

If you want to freeze rows or columns, follow these steps.

Step

1

Highlight a row or column

When you open up the Excel document you want to start editing, click on the row or column you want to freeze.

Screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet displaying a table that compares the data values for various GPU models, with functionality to freeze multiple rows.
Selecting a row

The way this works is if you highlight a row or column, all others rows above or columns on the side will be frozen. For example, if you choose row 5, the 4 previous rows will also be frozen on your screen, allowing you to get a bulk of information saved at once.

Step

2

Click on the View tab

When you have chosen the rows or columns you want to freeze, there will be a handful of options at the top that you can click on.

Each has their own set of tools that can be used to format a sheet in different ways and can really open up all the potential features an Excel user has at their disposal.

The option you will want to click on is ‘View’ near the far right of the screen.

Screenshot of Microsoft Excel toolbar focused on the "freeze multiple rows" option under the View tab.
View tab

Step

3

Select Freeze Panes

Once the ‘View’ menu has been selected, look to the far right at the top of the screen to see a ‘Freeze panes’ option. Click on the small arrow beside it to open a drop-down menu.

Step

4

Choose to freeze rows/columns

You will be offered three options, two of which are to only freeze the top row or first column.

Instead, click the first option simply called ‘Freeze Panes’ to tell Excel to freeze only the rows that had been selected previously.

Excel screenshot displaying an open 'freeze panes' dropdown menu with options to freeze multiple rows, first column, or panes highlighted.
Freeze options

Step

5

How unfreeze works

Your rows of choice will now be frozen and be easy to see as you navigate the page.

If you ever feel the rows are a bit too cumbersome or you don’t need them anymore, simply go on the same ‘Freeze Panes’ drop-down menu and click ‘Unfreeze Panes’.

Screenshot of Excel showing how to "freeze multiple rows" using the "view" menu to allow scrolling through other parts of the worksheet.
Unfreeze panes

Conclusion

Freezing multiple rows at a time is a quick and easy way to keep a few crucial bits of information memorized and ready to go whenever you may need them throughout your work. Excel makes this function extremely easy to toggle on and off, which is part of the reason it has become the most popular spreadsheet platform.

If you want to learn more about Excel and how it works, give these guides a read:

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.