By default, pressing the Enter key in Excel on an active cell submits anything you’ve typed into cell and selects the cell below it. However, you can also choose to stay on the active cell or go to the next cell instead. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to change pressing Enter behavior in Excel.

Follow the steps below to access the options page where you can change the Enter key settings.

  1. Open Excel Options by following File > Options
  2. Activate the Advanced tab
  3. The first setting – After pressing Enter, move selection – is what we are looking for
    How to change pressing Enter behavior in Excel 01

As you can see, the default direction is Down – meaning that the active cell will move down once you press Enter. You can change the move direction from this dropdown menu.

Your other option is to disable moving altogether. If you uncheck the After pressing Enter, move selection option, pressing the Enter key will only submit your entry, and stay in the same cell.

In a form entry scenario, moving to the cell below is helpful. However, the ability to change the Enter behavior can be especially useful if you are copying data after entering formulas.
How to change pressing Enter behavior in Excel 03

Remember to press OK to save your changes to the Excel Options dialog.