If you are working with a huge data, it can be difficult to recognize which cell is under which column or row. Excel's Freeze Panes feature allows you to lock a number of rows and/or columns and make it easier to navigate other parts of your workbook and the frozen sections will remain visible as you scroll through. In this guide, we are going to show you how to freeze panes in Excel (rows and columns) using three different methods.

You have three options:

  1. Freezing both rows and columns, based on selection
  2. Lock the first row only
  3. Lock the first column only

A quick reminder here: Freezing applies only to the active worksheet and you need to define this separately for each worksheet. Let's see how you can apply these three variations on your worksheet.

Freeze Panes

First of all, all freezing options are listed under the Freeze Panes icon from the Window section of the View tab in the Ribbon.

The first option, Freeze Panes, locks both rows and columns up to the selected cell. For example, to freeze both the first row and the first column, select the cell B2 and click on Freeze Panes. This action allows you to see the first row and the column A, even when scrolling both ways.

Freeze Top Row

The second Freeze Panes option is Freeze Top Row. As the name suggests, this option locks the entire first row. This option is especially useful if your data set grows vertically.

Both Freeze Top Row and Freeze First Column options freezes the top row or the first column on the screen, not the row 1 or column A only.

Freeze First Column

The third and last option is Freeze First Column. This option freezes the first column, and allows you to see the first column as you scroll through to the right side of a worksheet. Again a quick reminder here: This feature freezes the first column that you see on the screen, and not necessarily the very first column on the left.