Do you have a problem where the arrow keys don’t seem to be working in Excel?
Arrow keys help you to quickly move through your spreadsheet, so it can be very frustrating when they are not working as expected. Fortunately, this issue is usually easy to resolve with a few steps.
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In this blog post, we will walk you through different ways to get your arrow keys up and running again on Excel.
Why Are Arrows Not Working in Excel?
The most common reasons why your arrow keys may not be working in Excel are:
- You are using the wrong keyboard layout. Make sure to use a standard QWERTY keyboard.
- Your keystrokes are being interpreted as shortcuts instead of commands. To prevent this, press the ESC key before using an arrow key.
- The Scroll Lock key is enabled on your keyboard. To turn it off, press the Scroll Lock key again.
- There is a conflict with another program or macro. Close any other programs and try again.
- Scroll lock might be enabled on excel
How to Fix Arrows Not Working in Excel?
There are a few ways to get your arrow keys working again in Excel. Let’s discuss them one by one.
#1. Check Your Keyboard Layout
The most common cause of arrow key issues in Excel is using the wrong keyboard layout. Non-standard layouts can cause issues with the arrow keys not working correctly. Your computer’s keyboard must be set to QWERTY, one of the most common layouts.
#2. Check for Shortcut Conflicts
Another common cause is that the arrow keys are being interpreted as shortcuts instead of commands. To prevent this from happening, press the ESC key before using any arrow keys.
#3. Disable Scroll Lock
The Scroll Lock key on your keyboard can also interfere with how your arrow keys work in Excel. If it’s enabled, pressing an arrow key will move the entire spreadsheet instead of just a single cell. To disable Scroll Lock, press the Scroll Lock key again on your keyboard.
If your keyboard doesn’t have a scroll lock key, here is how to disable it using Windows onscreen keyboard:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type “On-Screen Keyboard“.
- Click on its icon to launch the Onscreen keyboard.
- Find the Scroll Lock key(ScrLk) on the right side of the keyboard and press it to turn off Scroll Lock.
#4. Disable Scroll Lock in Excel
If the arrow keys are working everywhere else and not working only on Excel, then it is possible that the scroll lock is enabled in Excel itself.
Excel comes with a built-in toggle for scroll lock. To disable it, follow these steps:
- Launch an existing spreadsheet or a new spreadsheet in Excel.
- Now, right-click on the status bar at the bottom, where you will find the Page Layout and Page Break Preview options.
- In the status bar menu, look for the Scroll Lock option and click on it to turn it off if it’s turned on.
#5. Enable Windows Stick Keys
If you’re still having issues, try enabling the Windows Stick Keys. This feature allows you to use keyboard shortcuts even if your keyboard is not working correctly. You can enable it using the Control Panel.
Here is how to do that:
- Search for “Control Panel” on the search box and click on its icon to launch it.
- Select Ease of Access settings from the Control Panel.
- Next, click Change how your keyboard works under the “Ease of Access Center” section.
- In the next window, look for the “Make it easier to type” heading and check the Turn on Stick Keys checkbox.
- Click Apply and OK.
#6. Unfreeze Columns and Rows
If your spreadsheet has frozen columns and rows, it can also cause issues with the arrow keys. To unfreeze them, select the View tab from the ribbon menu and click on Unfreeze Panes. This will allow you to move freely between cells using the arrow keys.
#7. Exit Formula Entry Mode
If you are currently in “Formula Entry Mode” in Excel, it can also cause the arrow keys to not work correctly. To exit this mode, press the ESC key on your keyboard.
#8. Check for Program or Macro Conflicts
If you are still having issues with the arrow keys, it is possible that there is a conflict with another program or macro. Close any other programs running in the background and try again. If this doesn’t work, try disabling macros in Excel.
These are some of the most common solutions for fixing the arrow keys not working in Excel. If none of these solutions work, try restarting your computer or reinstalling Excel and see if that helps. These steps should be able to get your arrow keys working normally again in no time.
If your keyboard doesn’t have a scroll key, someone might have accidentally enabled the scroll key from the windows virtual keyboard. To disable the scroll lock, launch the Windows on-screen keyboard and click on the ScrLk button to disable the lock.
In this case, it is likely that the scroll lock has been enabled in Excel itself. To disable it, go to the status bar and look for the Scroll Lock option and turn it off.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.