Application Excel Training Hints & Tips Microsoft MS Office Resources Office 365

How to ‘Freeze Panes’ in Excel

How often when using Excel have you had to scroll down to find what you’re looking for in a huge spreadsheet only to find your top headings disappear off the screen? Well worry no more. The solution lies in using an incredibly handy tool called Freeze Panes. This tool ‘freezes’ the top row and left column headings making it easier to check data against the appropriate headings when scrolling. This can increase your productivity and save you so much time

What are Freeze Panes

The images below show 2 separate ways to ‘freeze’ panes:

  1. Freezing top rows, scroll down


  1. Freezing left columns, scroll right



When freezing panes there are 3 options:

  1. Freeze top row (i.e. row 1)
  2. Freeze first column (i.e. column A)
  3. Freeze both rows and columns

The first 2 options can only be applied separately whilst the 3rd option applies the ‘freezing’ in both directions.

How to apply Freeze Panes


  1. To apply Freeze Panes to the top row (row 1) go to VIEW > FREEZE PANES > FREEZE TOP ROW
  2. For the first column, go to VIEW > FREEZE PANES > FREEZE FIRST COLUMN


  1. To ‘freeze’ both rows and columns select the cell B6 (in this example). This means when you go to VIEW > FREEZE PANES > FREEZE PANES, any rows above and to the left of cell B6 will be ‘frozen’ when scrolling in either direction

  1. After ‘Freeze Panes’ has been applied, you may wish to turn off this feature. This may be because you might want to reset the areas to be frozen or you just want to take it back to normal. To do this, go to VIEW > FREEZE PANES > UNFREEZE PANES
  2. If you add more columns and/or rows to your spreadsheet, you will need to ‘refreeze’ the panes. For example, adding 1 column to the left would mean selecting cell C6 and then going to VIEW > FREEZE PANES > FREEZE PANES


‘Freeze Panes’ is a great time saving tool that will help you organise data in large worksheets and will therefore make you more efficient in viewing your data.


Excel Training Hints & Tips

How to freeze panes in Excel

Save hours and eyesore by using freeze panes in Excel

Reviewing data in spreadsheets can be very demanding on the eyes and time consuming when you are trying to remember what a particular column or row of data actually is!

If you’re not already familiar with how to freeze panes in Excel, read on and save yourself some time.

Using freeze panes

To use Freeze Panes, open a workbook window, and click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab.

Clicking this button will display a menu of freeze options that you can choose from.

Freeze panes options in Excel

To freeze panes (columns and rows)

  • Select the first cell of data (for the area you wish to scroll through, not frozen!)
  • Go to the View tab
  • In the Window group, select Freeze Panes

To freeze panes (top row only)

  • Go to the View tab
  • In the Window group, select Freeze Top Row

To freeze panes (first column only)

  • Go to the View tab
  • In the Window group, select Freeze First Column

To unfreeze panes (any setting)

  • Go to the View tab
  • In the Window group, select Unfreeze Panes

Unfreeze any panes in Excel

By using freeze panes the time you save over multiple uses really can mean hours saved in the long run. This feature is also particularly useful when sharing Excel spreadsheets with others  so as to enable easier navigation and hopefully comprehension of the data shared.

Difference between freezing and splitting panes

We have looked at how to freeze panes which are really useful when you wish to keep the headings for rows or columns of data from disappearing while you are scrolling through a spreadsheet. If you wish to have multiple views showing different areas of a spreadsheet you can use the Split option (found under the View tab) to create 2 or 4 split areas (which are scrollable) of your spreadsheet/worksheet.

More related information:

How to use Freeze Panes in Excel 2007

Freeze or lock rows and columns