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How to freeze a row in Excel

Scrolling through an Excel spreadsheet with dozens of rows can get tedious, but freezing rows helps to make it much simpler.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Blue ice block exploding on pink background
Jonathan Knowles via Getty Images

We already scroll enough on our phones, so scrolling down a mile-long Excel spreadsheet only to lose your place from the headers is a hassle. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT to write Excel formulas

We don't always use the top row as the header on a table, so freezing the second or third row may be necessary to keep information visible. Or maybe you want to quickly compare data from two rows that are pages apart? This kind of situation is where freezing rows helps to create a more organized spreadsheet.

How to freeze rows in Excel

1. Select the row below the one you want to freeze

If your table's header is on row 3, then select row 4. The row above the one you select is the one that will freeze.

My table's header takes up rows 1 and 2, with the quantifiable data beginning in row 3, so I select row 3 to freeze rows 1 and 2.


It's important to select the row below the one you want to freeze.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

2. Go to View and click Freeze panes

When you've selected the row below the ones you want to freeze, go to the View tab and click on Freeze panes. 

That's it!

Go to View and click Freeze panes
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET


How can I freeze a column?

Excel can automatically freeze the first column on a spreadsheet by clicking the Freeze First Column button under View

Also: How to remove duplicates in Excel

But if you want to freeze another column, select the one to the right of where you want to freeze it and click on Freeze Panes.

How can I use this feature to compare information?

The same steps apply to freezing a row below the header. For example, to compare row 12 with row 87, select row 13 and click on Freeze Panes. Everything above row 13 will be frozen, so row 12 stays visible while you scroll down to row 87.

Can I unfreeze panes in Excel?

Excel has a button that allows users to unfreeze panes. Click on View, and the Unfreeze Panes button will be where Freeze Panes once was. 

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