Excel How To Freeze Rows

When you scroll down an Excel worksheet, you may lose the ability to see the column labels. Not the Excel column labels like A and B … but the column headers of your data like ID and Amount. This can be annoying because depending on the data, you may lose track of which data is in which column. One traditional way to handle this is to use the Freeze command, which helps you keep track of your column labels as you scroll down the page. But, there is a much faster alternative that can be helpful depending on your data.


Step by step guide

In this tutorial, we will take a look at a couple of different ways to freeze rows in Excel:

  • Freeze panes
  • Tables

Let’s get to it!

Freeze Panes

Let’s start with the Freeze Panes command. This command allows you to freeze either the first row, first column, or the worksheet based on the current selection.

For example, if you wanted to freeze the first row so that the values in that row remain visible as you scroll down, you can head to View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Top Row.

Then, as you scroll down, the top row, Row 1, will still be displayed:

Similarly, if you wanted to freeze the first column, you can head to Freeze Panes, and select Freeze First Column. That way, as you scroll right the first column, Column A, will be displayed.

You can freeze rows above the selected row, columns to the left of the selected column, or both rows and columns above and left of the selected cell, by making your selection first and then using View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes:

The Freeze Panes command has been in Excel for an extremally long time, so it is well known. However, there is another option that I use in practice far more frequently: Tables.


If you have your data stored in a table, then there are no extra steps needed to freeze the column headers.

For example, let’s say you have some data stored in an ordinary range, like this:

You can store your data in a Table by selecting any cell within your data range and clicking the Insert > Table command. Once you do, Excel applies some standard formatting, and it looks a bit like this:

There are many benefits to storing data in Tables, but the one that is relevant here is that when the Table is active (meaning, you’ve selected a cell within the Table), you can scroll down and Excel will automatically replace the standard column labels (A, B, C, …) with your Table’s column headers:

This is really nice because there are no extra steps needed. That is, we don’t need to use the Freeze Panes command 🙂

Note: Please note that in order for this to work, the active cell must be in the table. If the active cell is not in the table, then you will need to select the table in order for this to work.

If I can provide any additional information, or you have any suggestions or alternatives, please share by posting a comment below … thanks!

Sample file

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Jeff Lenning

I love sharing the things I've learned about Excel, and I built Excel University to help me do that. My motto is: Learn Excel. Work Faster.

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1 Comment

  1. Elijah on June 17, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    thanks for this info.
    But what if the needed row or column is not at topmost or the first column?

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