12 Easy Methods To Fix Arrows Not Working In Excel Issue

You might be annoyed because pressing the arrow key moves the entire spreadsheet rather than just one cell. The problem of arrows not working in excel is pretty prevalent. I’ll show you how to fix Arrow Keys in Microsoft Office that aren’t working. The Scroll Key’s undesired behavior causes this error.

arrows not working in excel

When the scroll lock function is enabled, pressing an arrow key moves the entire spreadsheet instead of advancing to the next cell in Microsoft Excel. While this function is helpful for users who are viewing a large spreadsheet, it can be rather frustrating for those who have accidentally activated it. The steps for turning off the scroll lock feature can be found in the sections below.

Why Are My Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel?

A variety of factors can cause this Excel error. In Excel, I have outlined the sources of this mistake so that you may evaluate it and take appropriate action.

  • Formula Entry Mode is enabled on the Excel sheet.
  • Excel has been locked due to the use of Freeze Panes.
  • You can’t use the arrow keys because add-ins have been compromised.
  • When you activate the Scroll Lock Key.
  • This error can be traced back to Sticky Keys.
  • The Excel document is password-protected.
  • Complex formulas cause the arrow keys.

How to fix the arrow keys in Microsoft Excel

You’re wondering why your arrow keys aren’t working in Excel, and you’re having any problems listed above. This article will show you a variety of fixes to try to remedy the problem in an Excel sheet.

  1. Disable Scroll Lock On Keyboard
  2. Enable The Sticky Keys Feature On Windows
  3. Disable Scroll Lock Key In Excel’s Status Bar
  4. Disable Excel Add-Ins
  5. Use An Applescript On macOS
  6. Exit From Formula Entry Mode
  7. Unprotect The Excel Sheet
  8. Unfreeze The Columns And Rows Inside The Current View
  9. Do not Do Multiple Calculations in Excel
  10. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  11. Update the keyboard driver
  12. Reinstall the keyboard driver

1. Disable Scroll Lock On Keyboard

Ensure that Scroll Lock (ScrLk) isn’t turned on in Excel. Instead of moving the arrow keys, this mode turns them into scrolling buttons. When you locate an on/off key on your keyboard, press it again to deactivate this feature.

  • Using the on-screen keyboard, an accessibility feature, you can disable the Scroll Lock on the keyboard.
  • Use the search feature on both Windows and macOS to locate the visual keyboard and the Scroll Lock button.
  • Disable it and then see if Excel can be navigated using arrow keys.
  • Simply press the Scroll lock key on a Windows PC to disable the scroll lock.
Disable Scroll Lock On Keyboard
  • It’s commonly found above the arrow keys or to the right of the function keys in the control keys region of the keyboard.
  • Press the F14 or Shift + F14 key combination on a Mac. Try hitting Command + F14 if the scroll lock does not come off.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.
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Turn Off Scroll Lock Without a Keyboard

The majority of PCs have keyboards that do not have scroll locks. But don’t panic. You can disable the scroll lock even if you don’t have a keyboard.

Users of Windows

  • In Windows, you can use an on-screen keyboard to access keys that aren’t available on your actual keyboard. To utilize the on-screen keyboard, follow these steps:
  • Search for and start On-Screen Keyboard from the Start menu.
Turn Off Scroll Lock Without a Keyboard
  • Look at the right side of the On-screen keyboard when it first opens. All of the lock keys can be found there.
  • If you click the ScrLk key, it will disable the scroll lock if it is enabled.
Turn Off Scroll Lock Without a Keyboard
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

2. Enable The Sticky Keys Feature On Windows

If the arrow keys in Excel aren’t working, try enabling the Sticky Keys option in Windows. While the Sticky Keys feature may not immediately solve the problem, many users have reported that it does.

  • Click the magnifying glass in the taskbar to access the search bar. You can also utilize the Windows + S keyboard shortcut to bring it up.
  • In the search box, type Control Panel. When you see it in the search results, click it to open the app.
control panel
  • Select Ease of Access from the drop-down menu. If you can’t see it, use the drop-down option in the top right corner to change the view mode to Category.
  • Change how your keyboard works, which is under the Ease of Access Center category, may be reached by clicking the Change how your keyboard works link. 
Ease of Access Center category,
  • Scroll down until you reach the category. Make it easy to type.
  • Place a checkbox in the empty box next to the Turn on Sticky Keys option to enable it.
Turn on Sticky Keys option to enable it
  • Close the Control Panel after clicking the Apply button. After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

3. Disable Scroll Lock Key In Excel’s Status Bar

In Excel, you may also turn off the Scroll Lock Key feature. This can be accomplished by going to the Status bar and deselecting the option.

  • To begin, open Microsoft Excel and then a spreadsheet. If you like, you can start over with a new blank spreadsheet.
  • Right-click on the Status bar after the spreadsheet has loaded. It can be seen at the bottom of the worksheet.
  • Look for features like the Zoom slider and Page Layout to identify it.
  • Scroll Lock can be found in the Status bar context menu. If the feature is currently set to “On,” click it once to turn it off.
Disable Scroll Lock Key In Excel's Status Bar
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

4. Disable Excel Add-Ins

Excel add-ins can pose issues when using the program. This occurs because add-ins tend to introduce additional code to the application, which can conflict with the original features in some circumstances.

To fix the arrow keys in Excel, you may need to disable any add-ins previously installed on your computer.

  • Open the Excel file. You have the choice of staying on the Welcome screen.
  • In the left-hand pane, click the Options button. Alternatively, go to File then Options if you already have a workbook open.
  • Using the left sidebar panel, select the Add-ins tab. Select Excel Add-ins from the bottom menu and click Go.
Disable Excel Add-Ins
  • Deselect the checkboxes next to each option in the Add-Ins dropdown menu to disable all of your Excel add-ins.
Disable Excel Add-Ins
  • Click OK, and repeat the procedure for each item in the Manage context menu.
  • To see if using your arrow keys after deleting your add-ins works, create a new worksheet or open an existing one.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.
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5. Use An Applescript On macOS

When using Microsoft Excel on a Mac, the arrow keys do not work by default. However, we can quickly resolve the “arrows not working in excel” issue by running an AppleScript created expressly for this reason.

  • Click the Launchpad in the dock to open it. Type “TextEdit” into the search field and press enter to open the application.
  • Open the File menu while TextEdit is open, and then select the New option from the context menu. You’ll be creating a new text document as a result of this.
  • Right-click on the text and select Copy from the context menu. Use the ⌘ + C keyboard shortcut as an alternative.
Use An Applescript On macOS
set returned items to (display dialog "Press OK to send scroll lock keypress to Microsoft Excel or press Quit" with the title "Excel Scroll-lock Fix" buttons {"Quit," "OK"} default button 2)
set buttonPressed to the button returned of returnedItems
if buttonPressed is "OK," then
tell application "Microsoft Excel."
activate
end tell
tell application "System Events."
keycode 107 using {shift down}
end tell
activate
display dialog "Scroll Lock key sent to Microsoft Excel" with the title "Mac Excel Scroll-lock Fix" buttons {"OK"}
end if
  • Return to the blank TextEdit document. Choose Paste from the menu when you right-click any blank place in your document. Use the + V keyboard shortcut as an alternative.
  • Select “File” then “Save” from the File menu. You can also use the ⌘ + S keyboard shortcut. Type “FixExcelKeys.AppleScript” without the quotation marks in the Save as area, and then save the document to your desktop.
  • Go to your desktop and double-click the FixExcelKeys.AppleScript file you stored after that the application has opened.
  • This will run the AppleScript and may resolve the issue of not navigating in Excel using the arrow keys.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

6. Exit From Formula Entry Mode

You can exit the Excel formula entry mode by pressing the enter key. When you choose an Excel cell and type =, you enter this formula entry mode. Following that, you begin typing the function.

  • When you press over the arrow keys in this formula entry mode, the selected cell within the formula is modified. Your sheet’s cursor will not interact with this arrow key.
  • Simply press Enter and Ctrl+Z to restore the arrow key’s functionality. The current formula will be undone as a result of this.
  • This work can be complex, so make sure you accurately enter the data into the cells.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

7. Unprotect The Excel Sheet

If the arrow keys in Excel aren’t working and you can’t scroll, the Freeze Panes may have locked the sheet’s visible region. The arrow keys are no longer functional. You can fix the problem by unfreezing the columns and rows.

Unprotect The Excel Sheet

If you don’t want to unfreeze the panes, you can reduce the magnification in your Excel sheet.

This will allow you to access the arrow keys in a non-frozen section of the sheet. After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

8. Unfreeze The Columns And Rows Inside The Current View

If your worksheet or workbook is protected, you may not select cells or navigate them. If the arrow key in Excel isn’t working, you might try unprotecting the sheet. 

This will undoubtedly assist you in using arrow keys in an Excel spreadsheet. After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

9. Do not Do Multiple Calculations in Excel

When you conduct many calculations, the calculator takes a long time to process. You might not be able to use the arrow keys in Excel. So, if the arrow keys in Excel aren’t working, make sure you’re not doing any computations. After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

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10. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

  • To access the Settings window, click on Start and the gear-like icon.
  • After entering Settings, look for and pick the Update and Security option.
  • On the left-hand side of the list, select the Troubleshoot option.
  • Then, from the list, choose Hardware & Devices, open the Troubleshooter, and run it. Once it has finished its work, wait for it to finish and then restart the system.
Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  • Check if the issue has been resolved after the system has restarted. If not, move on to the next choice listed below.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

11. Update the keyboard driver

You can repair the problem by updating the keyboard driver. In some circumstances, a corrupted or outdated driver can resolve the issue. Follow the instructions below to do so.

  • To launch the Run dialogue box, press Win + R.
  • Then, write “devmgmt. msc” and Enter to open the Device Manager in the field.
devmgmt.msc
  • Look for the keyboard driver and double-click it.
  • After that, right-click on the keyboard driver and choose Update driver from the menu.
  • Then, to continue, select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

12. Reinstall the keyboard driver

You might reinstall the keyboard driver if updating it didn’t help. How? Take the actions outlined below.

  • To start Run, press the Win + R buttons together.
  • Type MSC into the box and press Enter or OK to access the Device Manager.
  • Following that, a list of device drivers will appear. Find the keyboard driver, right-click it, and choose “Uninstall device.”
Reinstall the keyboard driver
  • Then unplug the device and restart your computer.
  • Then reconnect your device. Open the Device Manager once more, assuming your device is linked to your PC.
  • After that, go to the Action button and select Scan for Hardware Changes. That should take care of the issue.
  • After this, check if the “arrows not working in excel” issue is still there or not.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve figured out why your Excel arrow keys quit working. The Scroll Lock approach is the most effective, but you can try other options if that doesn’t work. The problem of “arrows not working in excel” is reasonably prevalent. The solutions listed above will quickly resolve the arrow keys not working issue.

FAQs

Arrows Are Not Working In Excel?

Disable the Scroll Lock feature on your keyboard. If your arrow keys aren’t moving the pointer from cell to cell, the solution is as simple as turning off the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard most of the time.

Up Down Arrows Are Not Working In Excel?

While SCROLL LOCK is on, pressing an arrow key will scroll one row up or down or one column left or right. SCROLL LOCK must be turned off to utilize the arrow keys to travel between cells. To do so, press the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard (labeled as ScrLk).

Why Is Shift Arrow Not Working In Excel?

When the keyboard’s scroll lock is enabled, you won’t utilize the arrow keys in Excel. Keep an eye out for a light on the scroll lock button on your keyboard. It indicates that the scroll lock button is activated and that the arrow keys are not working properly whenever it is switched on.

Why Doesn’t My Arrows Work In Excel?.

Ensure that Scroll Lock (ScrLk) isn’t turned on in Excel. Instead of moving the arrow keys, this mode turns them into scrolling buttons. When you locate an on/off key on your keyboard, press it again to deactivate this feature.