You Asked: What the heck is Scroll Lock



This week’s post is written by Amy Miller. Amy is a writer for She’s written and edited content for Excel, Access, OneNote, and InfoPath.



Imagine you’re working in a spreadsheet and you innocently press the arrow keys on your keyboard to move to another cell, but instead of moving to another cell, the entire spreadsheet moves. You may have asked yourself, what the heck just happened, and how do I make it stop? Lucky you. You’ve encountered that pesky little problem called Scroll Lock.

Recently, while reviewing customer comments related to scrolling in a spreadsheet, I discovered that a lot of folks have run into this issue. Scroll Lock is a toggling lock key on the keyboard, just like the CAPS LOCK key. Once pressed, Scroll Lock is enabled. To turn it off, simply press the Scroll Lock key again.

Easy, right? Well, the real problem is that many people don’t know how Scroll Lock got turned on in the first place, so they don’t know where the key is to turn it off, and often times they don’t realize that Scroll Lock is causing the problem in the first place. All they know is that they suddenly can’t move between cells with the arrow keys.

So here’s a quick tip to help save some time and ease any scrolling-related panic. If you’re having these wonky scrolling issues, take a look at the Excel status bar. If Scroll Lock appears, then it’s turned on.


To turn it off, just press the Scroll Lock key, which sometimes appears as ScrLk on the keyboard.

If you can’t find it, try turning the Windows On-Screen Keyboard on (go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Ease of Access), and disabling it from there.

For more information and troubleshooting tips, check out the article Turn off Scroll Lock.