Can’t Scroll in Excel? Here Are Reasons and Easy Fixes!

You cannot scroll any longer in your Excel worksheet? Mainly scrolling up- and down, but also sideward does not work? There are actually a number of possible reasons for that. Let’s explore them below and make you scroll again!

Reason 1: Frozen panes might prevent you to scroll

Frozen panes and zoomed in might be the reason that you can't scroll in Excel.
Frozen panes and zoomed in might be the reason that you can’t scroll in Excel.

Are there frozen panes? E.g. the first row or column? If yes, try to unfreeze them. Therefore, go to View and click on Freeze Panes and then on Unfreeze Panes (if the button says “Freeze Panes” like in the screenshot above it means that this is not the reason and you should proceed to potential reason number 2 below). Can you scroll now?


The reason: Maybe the frozen section is larger than the screen. Please refer to this article for more information about freezing panes.

Reason 2: A dialogue box / window is open

Are there any (hidden) other windows or dialogue boxes open? For example a sort window, but shown somewhere else (e.g. on another screen)? In such case, the scrolling might be disabled as well.

If a dialogue box is open, you can't scroll in Excel.
If a dialogue box is open, you can’t scroll in Excel.

Solution: Close the other window.

Reason 3: Holding down the Shift key disables scrolling

Are you pressing the Shift key? Maybe something is pressing down on the key and you haven’t noticed it? In such case, scrolling might not work. So, the solution here would be to just release the Shift key on the keyboard.


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Reason 4: Zooming instead of scrolling

If your workbook zooms in or out, you are probably pressing the Ctrl key at the same time. So, just release the Ctrl key and you should be able to scroll again.

Reason 5: Your scroll wheel on the mouse is broken…

Just kidding – hopefully you have solved it with reasons 1 to 4 above!

Anything else?

What was the reason for you? On of the things above? Or anything else? Please leave a note – if there is another reason that I might have missed I will add it here. Thanks!

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

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Henrik Schiffner is a freelance business consultant and software developer. He lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. Besides being an Excel enthusiast he loves photography and sports.

15 comments

  1. Hi Henrik. In my Excel workbooks I have many tabs (worksheets) and I was able to scroll quickly between the worksheets with the cursor on the tabs and swiping with two fingers. Now, for no reason this has simply stopped working and I have to scroll across the tabs (worksheets) one click at a time. It is like I have triggered something in Excel . . . but I don’t know what. No other changes have been made to my touchpad settings in Windows 10. Hope you can help, thank you. Regards, Ron

  2. Hi,
    I had the issue with one tab not scrolling vertically in a workbook. The solution was to go Control A to mark all cells on the sheet and format ‘AutoFit row height’.
    It was driving me nuts. And glad to share this so others are saved 🙂

    1. Wow, all the other solutions I found didn’t work, but your solution did! Now I want to know why that worked!!! Thank you!

    2. You are an absolute genius… thank you! Why is that even a solution to a scrolling problem and how did you figure it out!

      thankyou once again

    3. Yes!!! This did it! Every article says the same things, but this for some reason worked when nothing else did! Thank you!

  3. It was the frozen pane thing. This must be a glitch in Excel. How weird. I turned that off and then back on and now it works normally.

  4. Hi Henrik, why my mouse scrolling up and down is not working on some worksheet in my workbook while it’s working on another worksheet?

  5. Hi Henrik, why my mouse scrolling up and down is not working in only one worksheet in my workbook while it’s working on another worksheets?

    1. Same here… Not even the autofit worked… I am using Excel 365 and have also seen it happens with some worksheets, not all. Interestingly, if you try and copy the entire sheet into a new one, it drags the problem over. The only way I was able to find a workaround was to copy and paste the content into a new sheet (not the entire sheet otherwise you copy the problem over there)

  6. I’ve got another workbook where again, some tabs improve with the AutoFit row height works, but one tab it just won’t work on. Tried all the other elements suggested here. Any ideas please?

    Come on MS, this has never been an issue before, where’s your QA?

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