If the arrow keys in Excel aren’t working within Excel You can follow the suggestions from this guide to troubleshooting to resolve the problem.
Arrow keys are one of the most frequently employed keys in the Excel spreadsheet, particularly to navigate between cells. If the arrow keys aren’t functioning properly, it could be extremely frustrating and time-consuming.
If the arrow keys in your Excel have not working or aren’t responding in Excel It could be due to a variety of reasons like scroll locks, sticky keys glitches, conflicting or corrupted add-ins, frozen panes protected worksheets, etc. In this article we’ll explain how to fix the issue when the arrow keys aren’t working correctly in Excel.
Table of Contents
Disable Scroll Lock
If the arrow keys don’t working in Excel most of the times it’s because of the scroll lock not being turned on. If you have the lock on scroll enabled it won’t allow you to move around between cells, instead, the entire spreadsheet will be moved when you use the Arrow keys.
If you’re interested in knowing whether the scroll lock is on or not, you can look for a light labeled Scroll Lock at the top of your keyboard. When the Light is on it means that it means that the Scroll lock is on. To switch it off, just hit the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard.
However, the majority of modern keyboards and laptop keyboards do not have an individual key to lock the scroll. If that’s the case, look at the Excel status bar. If the “Scroll Lock” is shown in the Status Bar this means that you have the Scroll Lock is enabled on your system.
The display of the Scroll Lock message in the status bar is a default feature in Excel. If it’s not turned on, try this:
To display the scroll lock in the status bar, click on the status Bar and then click the option ‘Scroll Lock’ in the contextual menu.
When you select the Scroll Lock option is tick and your status bar should display that Scroll Lock message.
Use the On-screen Keyboard to Disable Scroll Lock
But, Excel does not have a way to disable this scroll lock. If your keyboard doesn’t include the Scroll Lock key either, you can disable it by using the keyboard tool on-screen. To accomplish this, follow these steps:
Go to the Start menu, and type “On-screen keyboard” into the search bar. Select the On-Screen Keyboard application to launch it.
When the keyboard for On-Screen Lock is opened, you will notice the key “ScrLk” on left side. If enabled the key will appear in blue color.
To turn off scroll lock, just click the key ‘ScrLk’ to disable it. If the scroll lock is turned off the key will change to the same color as the other keys.
Enable and Disable Sticky Keys
Sticky keys are an Microsoft accessibility function that lets users (especially disabled people) to type keys shortcuts by pressing only one keyboard at a given time instead of pressing all keys at once. The keys you press remain in use even the time you’ve stopped pressing the keys.
Although sticky keys aren’t directly connected to arrows or Excel but, they can be when the sticky keys function is in a non-working state , or if there have glitches in Excel’s Sticky Keys, it may cause arrow keys to fail in Excel.
A number of users have reported that switching off on the Sticky Keys feature may fix the problem. If you want to enable Stickly and deactivate it when it’s already enabled Follow these steps:
Select the Start menu, then choose ‘Settings’.
Within in the Settings app, click the tab ‘Accessibility’ on the left side. Scroll down to the right pane , and then click “Keyboard” under the section titled Interaction.
On the Keyboard settings page select the Keyboard shortcut to sticky keys toggle.
Alternately, you can use the Shift key five times per minute (quickly) to activate those keys that are sticky. In the pop-up dialogue box you need to click ‘Yes’.
After you have enabled those keys that are sticky, return into the Excel program to check if the arrow keys are working or not.
In the event that Sticky Keys feature is already disabled, try turning it off and see if that solves the issue.
Disable Excel Add-Ins
A malicious or corrupted add-in from a third-party source can cause many issues within your Excel such as arrow keys not working. In some cases, add-ins that come from an official source can cause conflicts. To fix this issue it is necessary to identify the add-in that is in conflict with the arrow keys , and remove it. To turn off Excel Add-ins take these steps
Start the Excel program, and then click the File menu at the right. Then, click “Options” on the sidebar to your left.
Within the Word Options dialog box, click on Add-ins in the left-hand panel to see the Excel add-ins options.
In the bottom of the pane to your right, select Excel Add-ins from the Manage drop-down menu and then press the ‘Go’ button.
Then, select all add-ins that are available, and then select OK.
If the arrow keys stopped working again, do the same thing and enable the add-ins again in the dialog for Add-ins.
Unfreeze Excel Rows and Columns
If the cells you’re working on are within the frozen column or rows, this could be cause the reason why the arrow keys aren’t working within the visible portion on the worksheet. If that is the situation, you should remove the rows and columns to resolve the issue.
To free up columns or rows first open the spreadsheet in which you’ve frozen cells and click the Unfreeze Panes option in the “Freeze Panes menu on the tab ‘View’.
If you wish to keep frozen cells, you can make use of an magnifier and then use the arrow keys to navigate the cells that are not locked or frozen in the regions.
Exit Formula Mode of Entry
If you have typed in the symbol ‘=’ and then begin entering the formula into the cell Excel is able to enter Formula Entry Mode. If the Excel worksheet is set to Formula Entry Mode, the Arrow keys only alter the cell that is selected in the formula, but they do not affect the cursor on the worksheet.
If you’re editing a cell within the Formula Bar above, the Arrow keys only let you move the cells left or right.
To get your arrow keys working again, you must complete the formula, and then press Enter, or enter and press Ctrl+Z to erase the formula currently in use.
Unprotect the Excel Sheet
Like the frozen panes, when the entire Excel sheet is protected by a lock, or protected from access will not be able to choose or switch between cells, or use arrow keys across the whole sheet. In these situations you need to unprotect the Excel sheet in order to make use of the arrow keys in the sheet.
Update the Keyboard Drivers
Another reason why your keyboard’s arrow keys don’t work could be due to outdated drivers for your keyboard. Therefore, ensuring that your drivers are up current may solve the issue.
To update the drivers for your keyboard To update your keyboard drivers, run the Run command and enter
devmgmt.msc, and hit Enter.
Within the Device Manager control panel Expand the ‘Keyboards’ tree. After that, right-click on “HID Keyboard Device and choose “Update driver”.
Then, select the “Search automatically for the latest driver software’ and then wait for the update to complete.
You can also download the most recent drivers from the manufacturer’s site and install them.