Arrow keys are commonly used in Excel to move the active cell, which is the cell that is currently selected. This is useful for navigating large spreadsheets and quickly moving between cells without having to use the mouse.
By default, when you press an arrow key while editing a cell in Excel, it moves the active cell one cell in the direction of the arrow key.
For example, pressing the up arrow key moves the active cell up one row, while pressing the right arrow key moves the active cell one column to the right.
How to Fix Arrow Keys Not Working in Excel
If the arrow keys are not moving cells in Excel, this can make it more difficult to navigate and edit your spreadsheet efficiently.
You may need to use the mouse or other navigation methods to move between cells instead, which can be slower and less precise than using the arrow keys.
That’s why it’s important to ensure that the arrow keys are working properly in Excel, so that you can easily and quickly move between cells as needed.
Methods to fix the arrow keys not working in Excel
Method 1: Check Scroll Lock The first method is to check if the Scroll Lock key is enabled. If it is, this could be the reason why your arrow keys aren’t working. Follow these steps to turn off Scroll Lock:
- Look for the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard.
- Press the Scroll Lock key once to turn it off.
- Try using the arrow keys in Excel again.
Method 2: Restart Excel Sometimes, restarting Excel can solve the problem of arrow keys not working. Here’s how to do it:
- Save any unsaved work in Excel.
- Close Excel completely.
- Reopen Excel and try using the arrow keys again.
Method 3: Update Keyboard Driver If neither of the above methods works, you may need to update your keyboard driver. Follow these steps:
- Go to the Control Panel.
- Click on Device Manager.
- Expand the Keyboards category.
- Right-click on your keyboard and select “Update Driver”.
- Select “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the prompts.
How to Check if Scroll Lock is Enabled in Excel
Here’s an example of how to check if Scroll Lock is enabled in Excel using the status bar method:
- Open an Excel worksheet and look at the bottom of the window for the status bar.
- If you don’t see the status bar, click on View > Show > Status Bar to display it.
- Look for the “SCRL” indicator in the status bar. If you see this indicator, it means that Scroll Lock is enabled in Excel.
- To turn off Scroll Lock, press the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard. The “SCRL” indicator should disappear from the status bar.
Turn Off Scroll Lock Using the On-Screen Keyboard
Scroll lock is a feature on keyboards that was originally designed to lock the scrolling function of a screen, which was particularly useful when working with spreadsheets.
However, today’s modern software mostly ignores the Scroll Lock key, and it can cause problems in some cases.
For example, if you accidentally activate the Scroll Lock feature, your keyboard may start behaving abnormally – you may not be able to move the cursor using the arrow keys, or the scrolling may become erratic.
This can be frustrating and can slow down your work, especially if you use your computer for data entry or other tasks that require frequent use of the arrow keys.
Turning off Scroll Lock using the On-Screen Keyboard is important because it allows you to regain control of your keyboard and avoid any issues caused by Scroll Lock.
The On-Screen Keyboard provides a virtual representation of your physical keyboard, allowing you to turn off Scroll Lock even if your physical keyboard doesn’t have a dedicated Scroll Lock key.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to turn off Scroll Lock using the on-screen keyboard in Excel:
- Open the on-screen keyboard on your computer. You can do this by clicking the “Start” button, typing “on-screen keyboard” in the search bar, and pressing Enter.
- Once the on-screen keyboard is open, look for the “ScrLk” key. This key will be located near the bottom-right of the keyboard.
- Click the “ScrLk” key to turn off Scroll Lock. If Scroll Lock was previously enabled, it should now be disabled.
- Close the on-screen keyboard and return to Excel. Try using your arrow keys again to see if they are functioning properly.
Remove or Disable Add-ins to Fix Arrow Keys
Add-ins are third-party programs or plugins that can extend the functionality of Excel. However, certain add-ins may conflict with Excel’s default settings and cause issues such as arrow keys not moving between cells.
If you’re still experiencing issues with arrow keys not moving between cells, try disabling all the add-ins and then enabling them one by one to determine which one is causing the issue.
Alternatively, you can try removing COM Add-ins, which are a type of add-in that can cause conflicts with Excel hotkeys.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to disable Excel add-ins:
- Open Microsoft Excel and click on the “File” tab in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Click on “Options” in the left-hand menu.
- In the Excel Options window, click on “Add-Ins” in the left-hand menu.
- In the “Manage” dropdown menu at the bottom of the window, select “COM Add-Ins” and click “Go.”
- Uncheck any add-ins that you want to disable and click “OK.”
- Close and re-open Excel for the changes to take effect.