5 Ways to Turn Off Scroll Lock in Microsoft Excel

Do you want to turn off the scroll lock? This post is going to show you how to disable the scroll lock feature in Excel.

This might be something you have accidentally enabled and don’t understand why your Excel is not scrolling normally or why the arrow keys aren’t moving the active cell cursor.

It can be frustrating when your Excel workbook isn’t working normally as expected!

This post is going to show you how to fix your scrolling problems and turn off the scroll lock feature in Excel.

What is Scroll Lock?

Scroll lock is a feature that allows you to scroll through your worksheet using the arrow keys without moving the active cell.

This can be useful when you want to use the arrow keys to navigate the sheet and don’t want to accidentally change any cell values or formulas while you are scrolling.

How to Tell If Scroll Lock is Enabled using the Status Bar

How do you know if the scroll lock feature is turned on?

You will be able to tell if the scroll lock feature is on as the status will display in the lower left of Excel in the status bar. If this shows the text Scroll Lock, then the scroll lock feature is enabled.

If you don’t see this status notification, it might not be enabled. You can enable this status easily.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the status bar.
  2. Check the Scroll Lock option from the menu.

When there is a check next to this option, it will allow the status bar to show you when the scroll lock feature is on.

Turn Off Scroll Lock with a Keyboard Shortcut

Using a keyboard shortcut is usually the way this feature gets accidentally turned on.

Using the keyboard shortcut will also turn off the scroll lock.

Press the Scroll Lock key to turn off the scroll lock feature. Depending on your keyboard, this might also be labeled as a ScrLk key.

📝 Note: Not all keyboards will have a scroll lock key and you will need to use another method.

Turn Off Scroll Lock with the Windows Virtual Keyboard

If your keyboard doesn’t have a scroll lock key, then you can use the on-screen virtual keyboard in Windows to turn off the scroll lock.

Search for the term key in the Windows taskbar search and then click on Open for the On-Screen Keyboard app.

This will open the On-Screen Keyboard app and you will be able to use the ScrLk key.

When the screen lock feature is on, it will be highlighted as blue in the app. Click on the ScrLk key to turn off the screen lock feature and the blue highlight will be removed.

💡 Tip: Use the Ctrl + Win + O keyboard shortcut to open the virtual keyboard app.

Turn Off Scroll Lock with the Options Menu

This isn’t a setting to turn on and off the scroll lock, but it might be exactly what you’re looking for.

If your Excel workbook is missing the horizontal and vertical scroll bars then it’s as though the ability to scroll around your spreadsheet has been locked.

If your scroll bars are missing, then you will need to enable them in the Excel Options settings.

Follow these steps to enable the scroll bars.

  1. Go to the File tab.
  2. Click on Options at the lower left of the backstage area.

This will open the Excel Options menu. Check out his post for more details on how to open the Excel Options menu.

  1. Go to the Advanced tab in the Excel Options menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Display options for this workbook section.
  3. Check both the Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar options.
  4. Press the OK button to close the Excel Options menu.

The scroll bars should now be visible and usable in your workbook!

Turn Off Scroll Lock with Properties Menu

Another scrolling issue you might come across in Excel is that scrolling and the arrow keys may work as expected within a certain range, but nothing outside of this range can be accessed.

You will suddenly come up against an invisible border that

If this is the case, it’s like the ScrollArea setting in the Properties menu.

Go to the Developer tab and open the Properties menu.

Delete any range that appears in the ScrollArea input.

When you delete this range and then close the Properties menu, you should be able to scroll around the entire sheet without any issues.

📝 Note: The ScrollArea property is a sheet level setting, so you might need to remove this range for each sheet in your workbook. Use the dropdown in the Properties menu to select each sheet and change this setting.

Turn Off Scroll Lock with VBA

The ScrollArea setting is a property that you can set with VBA.

Suppose your workbook has a lot of sheets and you want to remove the ScrollArea scroll lock on all the sheets. You wouldn’t want to do this manually through the Properties menu!

You can create a VBA script that will remove the scroll lock across all the sheets in your workbook with a single click.

Go to the Developer tab and click on the Visual Basic option to open the visual basic code editor. This is where you will be able to add the VBA code to automate the removal of the scroll area lock.

💡 Tip: Press the Alt + F11 keyboard shortcut to open the visual basic editor without the Developer tab.

Go to the Insert menu inside the visual basic editor and select the Module option.

Sub SetScrollArea()
Dim ws As Worksheet
For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
    ws.ScrollArea = ""
Next ws
End Sub

This VBA code will loop through all the sheets in the workbook and set the ScrollLock property to be empty "" with the empty string.

When you run this VBA code, all the sheets in your workbook will have the scroll area lock removed!

Conclusions

Scroll lock is one of those features that can frustrate and annoy you when you don’t realize that it’s on.

Identifying the issue is straightforward and you can easily check if the scroll lock is on using the Status Bar.

Once you know the problem is scroll lock is on, you can turn this off using your Scroll Lock key on your keyboard if it has one, or the scroll lock key on the Windows virtual keyboard.

There are also a few other scrolling issues you might encounter. Missing scroll bars can be enabled in the Excel Options.

Another issue you might encounter is the inability to scroll past a certain range. If this is the case, you will need to disable the ScrollArea lock in the Properties menu or with VBA.

Have you ever come across any of these issues that prevent you from scrolling your sheet normally? Do you have any other tips for removing the scroll lock feature in Excel? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and qualified actuary with over 15 years of experience. He has worked in a variety of industries, including insurance, ad tech, and most recently Power Platform consulting. He is a keen problem solver and has a passion for using technology to make businesses more efficient.

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