When you’re working in a spreadsheet, it’s often useful to lock certain rows in view at all times. This is especially true when you’re working with lengthy files. Let’s learn how to lock a row in Microsoft Excel.
How to Lock a Row in Excel
Consider a list of data with hundreds of rows inside it. Chances are, you’ll have headers or titles across the top of the dataset. When you’ve scrolled down far enough, you won’t be able to see those details. With complex data, this can easily become confusing. Without column headers in view, you might lose track of what your data means.
This is where it’s useful to lock a row in Excel. By locking a row or rows, you can keep them in view, no matter how far down you scroll in your file.
Excel gives you two options. If you want to lock only the topmost row in your dataset, begin by clicking anywhere on your worksheet. Then, go to Excel’s View tab on the ribbon. The option you’re looking for is on the right side, and it’s called Freeze Top Row. Click here, and start scrolling.
You’ll notice that the top row in your data – row 1, here – remains visible as you scroll and move throughout your spreadsheet.
To undo this, simply click Unfreeze Panes on the View tab.
Now, imagine that you want to lock the first three rows. The key here is to click on the first row that you don’t want to freeze to select it. Here, that would be row 4. With row 4 selected, go back to the View tab again. This time, the control you need is Freeze Panes.
Click there, and you’ll see that the first three rows are now locked. You can lock an unlimited number of rows with this technique.
As you can see, it’s easy to lock rows in Excel to keep data visible anywhere.