Can’t Scroll in Microsoft Excel? 8 Ways to Fix

5 min read

Are you having problems scrolling through Excel spreadsheets with your mouse, touchpad, or keyboard arrow keys? Does the issue affect all or specific sheets in your workbook? Is the scroll bar missing in your worksheets?

This tutorial covers several troubleshooting fixes for scrolling-related malfunctions in Excel on Windows and Mac computers.

Unfreeze Panes

The first row or column of your spreadsheet is likely frozen if it’s stationary when you scroll. Follow the steps below to release frozen panes in your worksheet.

Unfreeze Excel Panes in Windows

  1. Open Excel’s View tab.
  2. Open the “Freeze Panes” drop-down menu and select Unfreeze Panes.

Scroll down the spreadsheet with your mouse wheel or touchpad and check if the “Unfreeze Panes” feature fixed the issue.

Unfreeze Excel Panes in macOS

Open Excel’s View tab, select the Window drop-down menu, and choose Unfreeze Panes.

Re-Enable the Scroll Bar

Spreadsheets in Excel typically have a horizontal and vertical scroll bar for easy navigation. If the scroll bars are missing in your spreadsheet, follow the steps below to enable them. If the scroll bars are frozen or don’t work, re-enabling them might fix the issue.

  1. Open Excel’s File tab.
  2. Select More on the sidebar and select Options.
  3. Select Advanced on the sidebar and scroll to the “Display options for this workbook” section. Select the checkboxes next to Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar.
  4. Select OK to save the changes and exit the “Excel Options” window.

Disable Scroll Lock

Turning on Scroll Lock disables your computer’s arrow keys. If you can’t scroll Excel sheets using the arrow keys, disable Scroll Lock and try again.

Disable Excel’s Built-In Scroll Lock

  1. Right-click the status bar at the bottom of your worksheet.
  2. If there’s a checkmark next to Scroll Lock, select it to disable the feature.

Disable Scroll Lock on Your Keyboard

Look for a “Scroll Lock” ( or “ScrLk”) key or indicator light on your keyboard. If the key or indicator is lit, press the Scroll Lock key to turn off the feature and enable your arrow keys.

Disable Scroll Lock via On-Screen Keyboard

You can also disable Scroll Lock through your computer’s on-screen keyboard.

Use the Windows key + Ctrl + O keyboard shortcut to turn on Windows On-Screen keyboard.

Alternatively, go to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and toggle on the On-screen keyboard.

In Windows 10, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and toggle on Use the On-Screen Keyboard.

Scroll Lock is active if the “ScrLk” key has a blue background. Deselect the ScrLk key to turn off Scroll Lock. You should now be able to scroll your Excel spreadsheet using the arrow keys.

Repair the Excel File

Not closing Excel correctly or shutting down your computer while Excel’s in use can corrupt your workbook. If you can’t scroll a worksheet after restarting Excel or your computer, repair the Excel file and try again.

Note: We recommend creating a backup copy of the Excel file before performing a repair.

  1. Open the Microsoft Excel File menu.
  2. Select Browse in the “Other locations” category.
  3. Choose the file and select the down arrow icon next to the “Open” button.
  4. Select Open and Repair.
  5. Select Repair to continue.

Wait for Excel to perform validation checks for potential corruption. A dialog box displaying the file repair result should pop up when the operation’s complete.

6. Select Close and check if you can now scroll the sheets in the Excel workbook.

Open Excel in Safe Mode

Corrupt or buggy add-ins can cause Microsoft Office applications to malfunction. Open Excel in safe mode if you suspect a bad or recently installed add-in is responsible for the scrolling issue. Save the document you’re working on, force quit Excel, and reopen the app in Safe Mode.

Note: Microsoft Excel for macOS doesn’t have the Safe Mode feature.

On Windows computers, open the Task Manager, select Microsoft Excel and select End task on the top menu.

Press and hold the Ctrl key and select the Excel app icon. Keep holding the Ctrl key while Excel boots. Select Yes on the pop-up asking if you want to open Excel in Safe Mode.

You can also open Excel in Safe Mode through the Windows Run box.

Press Windows key + R, type or paste excel /safe in the dialog box, and select OK.

If you can scroll worksheet(s) in Safe Mode, disable all installed add-ins, and restart Excel. Re-enable the add-ins one after another and check which one prevents you from scrolling worksheets in Excel.

How to Enable and Disable Excel Add-Ins

  1. Open Excel and select File on the Ribbon tab.
  2. Select More on the sidebar and choose Options.
  3. Open the Add-ins tab, choose Excel Add-ins in the “Manage” drop-down menu, and select Go.
  4. Deselect the add-in you want to disable and select OK. To enable or activate an add-in, check the box next to the add-in, and select OK.

Disable “Zoom on Roll with IntelliMouse”

Moving the wheel on a physical mouse scrolls an Excel worksheet vertically. With a Microsoft-branded mouse or IntelliMouse, Excel zooms your worksheet instead.

Follow the steps below to stop Excel from zooming worksheets when moving the scroll wheel on an IntelliMouse.

  1. Open Excel’s File menu, select More on the sidebar, and choose Options.
  2. Open the Advanced tab, uncheck Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse, and select OK.

Repair the Excel Application

Microsoft has a repair tool that diagnoses and fixes file corruption and other issues with Office applications in Windows. Save your files, close Excel, and follow the steps below to run the Office repair tool.

  1. Open the Control Panel and select Uninstall a program in the “Programs” category.
  2. Select Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365 and select Change on the top menu.
  3. Select Yes on the “User Account Control” prompt.
  4. Choose Quick Repair and select the Repair button.
  5. Select the Repair button again to start the repair operation.

Reopen Excel after the repair and check if your worksheets are now scrollable. Connect your computer to the internet and run an online repair (see step #4) if you still can’t scroll your Excel worksheets.

Update Microsoft Excel

Installing Office updates can fix issues with Microsoft Excel and other Office applications.

  1. Open Excel’s File menu and select Account on the sidebar.
  2. Open the Update Options drop-down menu and select Update Now.
  3. Excel will download the latest version of the app in the background. Select Continue to install the downloaded updates.
  4. Close the update window and reopen Excel when you get a success message.

If you use a MacBook, update Excel from the App Store or use the Microsoft AutoUpdate tool.

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