How to Turn OFF Scroll Lock In Excel? 2 Easy Ways!

If the Scroll Lock is turned on in Excel, the active cell remains unchanged as you scroll through the worksheet using the arrow keys.

This is convenient if you want to use the arrow keys to scroll through the worksheet whilst preventing any accidental changing of values in the cells. 

If you want to use the arrow keys to move from one cell to the other you must turn off the scroll lock. This tutorial shows you various techniques for turning off the scroll lock in Excel.

How to Tell If the Scroll Lock Is Turned On

Sometimes you may accidentally turn on the Scroll Lock and get frustrated when you are no longer able to use the arrow keys to move from one cell to another.

You can tell if the Scroll Lock is on in the following ways:

Scroll Lock Status Light on the Keyboard

When the green Scroll Lock status light on the keyboard is on, it means that your scroll lock is on. 

scroll lock turned on as seen on keyboard

Note: Depending on your keyboard the Scroll Lock key may be labeled Scroll Lock or ScrLk.

Scroll Lock in the Status Bar

When the words “Scroll Lock” appears on the status bar of the Excel window.

This only happens if the status bar is customized to display the status of the Scroll Lock.

Scroll-lock in status bar

Note: You can tell if the status bar is customized to display the status of the Scroll Lock by right-clicking the status bar and checking if the Scroll Lock option is selected.

Enable scroll lock in status bar

How to Turn Off the Scroll Lock

We will look at various techniques you can use to turn off the Scroll Lock.

Method #1: Use a keyboard shortcut

The Scroll Lock is a toggle key meaning that it can be turned on and off by pressing the Scroll Lock on the keyboard.

Press the Scroll Lock key and the Scroll Lock status light goes off indicating that the Scroll Lock is now off. 

Scroll lock turned off on keyboard

Check that the words Scroll Lock are no longer displayed in the status bar of the Excel window. 

Scroll lock not showing in the status bar

You should now be able to use the arrow keys to move from one cell to another.

Method 2: Use the Windows On-Screen Keyboard

Not all keyboards have the Scroll Lock key.

If your keyboard does not have the Scroll Lock key you can use the Windows on-screen virtual keyboard to turn off the scroll lock.

We use the following steps:

  1. Open the On-Screen Keyboard App using any of the following ways:

Press Ctrl + Win + O

Or

From the Windows search box, search and open the On-Screen Keyboard App.

Search for  on-screen keyboard

Or

Select Settings on the Windows Start menu.

Click on Settings

Select the Keyboard option on the left sidebar of the Settings window.

Select keyboard option

Click the Use the On-Screen Keyboard toggle button to turn it on to display the On-Screen Keyboard. 

Turn on use the on-screen keyboard

The On-Screen Keyboard appears with the ScrLk key highlighted in blue if the scroll lock is enabled (as shown below). 

On-screen keyboard with scroll lock turned on
  1. Click the ScrLk key to turn off the scroll lock. The blue color is removed from the key.
Turn off Scrlk

Check that the words Scroll Lock are no longer displayed in the status bar of the Excel window. 

Scroll Lock no longer displayed in the status bar

You should now be able to use the arrow keys to move from one cell to another.

How to Resolve Other Scrolling Problems

As you work with Excel you may encounter other scrolling problems such as the inability to scroll beyond a certain range and missing scroll bars.

We explain how to resolve them.

Enable Missing Scroll Bars

The vertical and horizontal scroll bars allow us to scroll through the active worksheet either vertically or horizontally.

Vertical and horizontal scroll bar

Sometimes when you open a worksheet you may find that either one or both vertical and horizontal scroll bars are missing. 

scroll bar missing

This can be frustrating because your ability to quickly scroll through the worksheet is limited. 

You can enable the scroll bars by changing the related settings in the Excel Options dialog box.

We use the following steps:

  1. Select File to open the Backstage window.
Click on File
  1. Select Options on the left sidebar of the Backstage window.
Click on Options
  1. Select Advanced on the left sidebar of the Excel Options dialog box.
Select the Advanced option in the Excel Options dialog box
  1. Scroll down to the Display options for this workbook section and select the Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar options and click OK.
Select show horizontal and vertical scroll bar

The vertical and horizontal scroll bars are immediately displayed in the worksheet.

Remove settings that limit the scroll area 

Sometimes as you use the arrow keys to scroll through the worksheet you may find that the keys work only within a certain range.

It is as though there is an invisible barrier that prevents the keys from working beyond that range. This can be very frustrating. 

This normally happens because the ScrollArea property of the worksheet has been set to a certain range. We can remove this setting using any of the following ways:

Change ScrollArea property settings on the Properties menu

To remove the setting that limits the scroll area follow the steps below:

  1. Select Settings in the Controls group of the Developer tab
Click on prperties

Note: If you do not see the Developer tab you can enable it by doing the following:

  • Open the Excel Options dialog box as shown previously in this tutorial.
  • Select Customize Ribbon in the left sidebar of the Excel Options dialog box.
Click on Customize the ribbon
  • Select Developer in the list box on the right and click OK.
Check the developer option
  1. In the Properties menu that appears delete the range that is displayed next to the ScrollArea property.
Remove Scroll Area range
  1. Click the Close button in the top right corner of the Properties menu to close the menu.

You should now be able to use the arrow keys to scroll through the worksheet without limitation.

Change the ScrollArea property settings using Excel VBA

Suppose you have a large workbook that has many worksheets with locked scroll areas. Removing the scroll lock from one worksheet at a time is not efficient. 

We can use Excel VBA to remove all the scroll locks across all the worksheets with a single command.

We  use the following steps:

  1. Press Alt + F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor.
  2. Insert a new module by selecting Module on the Insert menu.
Insert a new module
  1. Copy the below VBA macro code subroutine and paste it in a module in the VB Editor.
Sub setPropertyScrollArea()
    Dim Wst As Worksheet
    For Each Wst In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
        Wst.ScrollArea = “”
    Next Wst
End Sub
  1. Save the procedure and save the workbook as a Macro-Enabled Workbook.
  2. Place the cursor anywhere in the procedure and press F5 to run the code.

Use the arrow keys to scroll through all the worksheets and check that all the limitations on the scroll areas have been removed.

Note: This procedure loops through all the worksheets in the workbook and sets the ScrollArea property to an empty string. 

In this tutorial, we have explained how to turn off the scroll lock in Excel.

We can turn it off using the Scroll Lock key on the physical keyboard or on the Windows On-Screen keyboard.

We also looked at how to enable missing scroll bars using the Excel Options dialog box.

We also explained how to remove the settings that limit the scroll area in a worksheet either manually or using Excel VBA. 

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