Why Freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets?
Freezing rows and columns in Google Sheets can be useful if you want to keep certain rows visible while you scroll through the spreadsheet. It is particularly helpful if you have lots of data that will not fit on one screen. This allows you to keep the labels visible no matter where on the spreadsheet you scroll.
How can we do this? You might have already noticed a way from the image above! Read on below for 2 ways to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets with our step-by-step tutorials.
How to Freeze Rows in Google Sheets [Shortcut]
If you want to freeze a row in Google Sheets, all you have to do is click and drag with your mouse. Simple! Follow the steps below:
Step 1: In the upper left hand corner of the Google Sheets, find the gray bars surrounding the blank box between the row and column labels.
Step 2: Hover your cursor over the bottom gray bar until it turns blue.
Step 3: Click and drag the bar below the first row in Google Sheets, then release the mouse.
Now you have frozen the first row in Google Sheets. Even we scroll down to row 17, row 1 is still visible on top:
How to Freeze columns in Google Sheets
Similar to rows in Google Sheets, you can also freeze a column in Google Sheets. Instead of clicking the bottom gray bar, instead click and drag the vertical gray bar to the right, then release it to freeze columns in Google Sheets.
Now the first column is locked, meaning it will stay visible even if you scroll past it.
Freeze Row Google Sheets [View Menu]
While the click-and-drag method is simple, sometimes it can be difficult to grab the gray bars with your mouse. In those cases, you can also use the menu to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets.
Step 1: Click View on the menu.
Step 2: Find the Freeze option from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Select 1 row.
The row is frozen now.
You can use this same method to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets. Follow the same steps 1-2, then choose the 1 column option.
How to Freeze Multiple Rows in Google sheets
Sometimes, you may want to add important information to the top of a spreadsheet that you want to remain visible no matter where on the page an editor is. It could be instructions, warnings, or baseline data that is useful for every other entry.
In our example, we have a spreadsheet with important details in the first five rows. We want to make sure that it is always visible, no matter what row an editor is working on.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Select a cell in the last row that you want to freeze to the top of the spreadsheet.
- Click View in the main menu.
- Hover over the Freeze option
- From the dropdown, select the "Up to row #"
Using the Mouse shortcut
Using the mouse, simply drag the gray bar below the last row that you want to lock. In our example, we would drag the gray line below row 5 and then release it.
How to Freeze panes in Google Sheets
Excel has a handy feature to freeze panes that allows you to freeze rows and columns at the same time. We can create a similar pane effect in Google Sheets.
Luckily, Google Sheets does not force us to choose between locking a row or column. If you want to freeze a row and a column at the same time, you can!
To do so, you can use either method, dragging the gray line or using the menu. Simply follow any of the above methods to freeze rows, then follow the same steps to freeze columns in Google Sheets.
How to Unfreeze rows and columns in Google Sheets
There are also two ways to unlock rows and columns in Google Sheets.
Notice that the presence of a thick grey bar indicates that a row in Google Sheets is frozen. You will know that you have successfully unfrozen your row when the gray line disappears from the middle of the spreadsheet.
Using the Mouse
Find the light gray bar that you originally dragged down to pin the row. Click and drag it back up to the top of the spreadsheet where it began.
Be careful though! Make sure you are dragging the light blue line. If you dragged the dark blue line you will end up shrinking the row height and hiding the top row!
Via View Menu: Click View, then the Freeze option from the drop-down box, and then select No Rows. This will unlock the top row. You can also select No columns to unfreeze columns.
Using this knowledge, you will be able better navigate rows and columns in Google Sheets!
What if I want to freeze the top two rows?
Freezing the top two rows is just as easy as locking the top row. Luckily, Google Sheets does not limit the number of rows or the number of columns that you can freeze. For example, imagine that you have a row of headings and then another row of subheadings, and you want them both to remain visible.
You can use either the mouse or the View menu to freeze more than two rows in Google Sheets.
Using the mouse, simply drag the gray bar below the second row instead of only the first row. Similarly, select the 2 cells option from the Freeze dropdown of the View menu.
Now that you can freeze rows and columns, you can explore how to freeze other parts of your spreadsheets to lock and protect important information. Read on below.
How do I freeze specific rows?
If you want to freeze a row in Google Sheets or freeze columns that are not at the top or the left, follow this tutorial. This process involves selecting the row or column and locking it.
Can I freeze a cell in Google Sheets?
Read our tutorial to lock cells in Google Sheets. The outcome is similar, but freezing a cell or range requires slightly different steps than freezing entire rows and columns.
Can I freeze a sheet in Google Sheets?
Similarly, read this tutorial to freeze a sheet in Google Sheets.