How to disable or unlock scroll lock in Excel O365 for Windows and Mac

How to disable or unlock scroll lock in Excel O365 for Windows and Mac

If you are trying to figure out how to unlock scroll lock in Excel, then you are in the right spot. Read along to know more about it!

Microsoft Excel is an excellent productivity tool and forms part of your Microsoft Office Suite. An essential program in your bundled Microsoft Office Suite or a part of the Office 365 Suite, it should be one of the best options for preparing your spreadsheets. However, you may come across a few issues with the program that appears abruptly without any apparent reason.

We will be discussing one such error or issue you would normally face when working with your Excel Workbook. Yes, we are talking about Scroll Lock feature and learn how to disable or turn it off on your Excel program.

Unlock Scroll Lock in Excel O365:

Well, before we begin, it may be apt to understand what exactly is a scroll lock. It is one such issue that if you have not come across at least once, you will not know that it exists. Of course, we would also claim that you may have come across the issue once in a while, but blamed it on the program and have relaunched your Excel program.

Now imagine the situation. You are working on an Excel sheet. There are no issues whatsoever with your formulas and other aspects of your spreadsheet. All of a sudden, you realize that when you tap on the arrow keys, you do not move to the next cell. Instead, the entire workbook or worksheet moves in the direction of the arrow.

Have you come across this issue? We bet you have and have rebooted your Excel program to resolve the issue. However, you are bound to find the issue affecting you quite repeatedly.

Ideally, in an Excel worksheet, pressing the arrow keys moves your cursor from one cell to another in whichever direction you intend it to. However, if you have your Scroll Lock enabled, you will find that the entire worksheet moves when you press the arrow keys. The situation can be alarming if you are not aware of what is happening and why does it happen so. I many cases, users tend to think that their Excel program is broken and needs to be taken care of.

The Excel Scroll Lock is a feature that should help you control how do the arrow keys work in excel concerning the cells in an Excel worksheet. If the Scroll Lock function is disabled, you will find that the arrow keys will help you between the individual cells in any direction. If the Scroll Lock is enabled, you will be able to move your cursor, but the cell selection does not change and remains unaltered. If you have wanted to move to a cell, you need to manually move your cursor to the cell and click there to activate it or make it your active cell.

How to find if the Scroll Lock is enabled?

Before you can check if you can disable the Scroll Lock feature, it would be essential to find if the scroll lock feature is enabled or not on your computer. So, how would you be able to check it?

If you want to check whether the Scroll Lock feature is turned on or off, you just need to have a look at the bottom of your Excel window. Yes, you are right there – it is called Status Bar. The status bar should show whether the scroll lock is applied to your Excel sheet.

In case, you do not see the option for Scroll Lock; your status bar may not have been configured to show it. Right click on the status bar and check the option for Scroll lock. Once that done, the status bar will display if the scroll lock has been enabled or disabled. If you see the words, Scroll Lock, you can be assured that the scroll lock has been activated.

Please note that the scroll lock status will only display the status of scroll lock and will indicate whether it is in the enabled or disabled state. It will not let you control the behavior of your scroll lock. In other words, you cannot disable scroll lock using the status bar.

How to Disable or Unlock Scroll Lock in Excel O365 for Windows?

The NUM Lock and Scroll Lock features work similarly. They work as a toggle. You press them once, they get activated and enable the lock. Tap on them again; they are disabled. You can easily disable the scroll lock using the keyboard and the physical scroll lock key. You will find the scroll lock status disappearing from your status bar on Excel.

However, there are cases where you do not have a scroll lock key on your keyboard. This can be a typical case on the keyboard of a laptop. There are situations where – even when you have a scroll lock key, it may not work.

In such situations, it may be practical to opt for an onscreen keyboard. Windows do come with an on-screen keyboard and can be quite helpful in letting you enable or disable the scroll lock even without the physical key for the scroll lock function.

Go to Windows Search and type in Onscreen Keyboard. Choose the onscreen keyboard from the search results and launch it. You should find the Scroll lock key on the keyboard. Click on it, and you can easily enable or disable the Scroll Lock feature.

Another option to bring up the Onscreen keyboard will involve the following steps –

  • Launch your Windows Settings
  • Go to Ease of Access grouping.
  • Under the Interaction tab on the left side menu bar, locate the Keyboard option.
  • Toggle the option for Onscreen keyboard.

Once the onscreen keyboard launches, you are good to go with enabling or disabling your scroll lock on your Excel sheet or for that matter, any of your programs.

How to Disable Scroll Lock on Mac?

Finding if the scroll lock is enabled on Excel is a tough task if you are using Mac. If you want to know whether the scroll lock is turned on, you will need to check it with the behavior of your Excel cells.

Launch your Excel worksheet and press the arrow keys. Observe the behavior of the cells when you press the respective arrow keys. If the cursor moves to the desired cell and turns it active, you can be assured that the scroll lock is not enabled. If it does not move and the cell selection does not change, it should be an indication to show that the scroll lock has been activated.

Now, how to disable the scroll lock on your Mac? Well, there are a few options that should be helpful enough.

Do you have the Apple Extended Keyboard? In that case, it should be easy for you to work with it to disable scroll lock. If you have the F14 key along with Fn key on your keyboard, it should be a more comfortable option to use. The F14 key is the shortcut for scroll lock feature. Make sure you have pressed the Fn key before pressing the F14 key.

If your keyboard does not have the Fn key but features the F14 key, you can press SHIFT key and F14 in combination. Check your keyboard for the exact combinations. You may need to press anyone among Command, Control or Option keys instead of the SHIFT key. The correct option will be dependent upon the configuration on your keyboard.

Yet another good option that can be helpful in case of your Mac is to use the AppleScript feature. AppleScript, if you are not aware, is the built-in scripting language that lets you automate the applications and a few everyday tasks on your Mac. You can make use of the AppleScript to send keystrokes to the app so that it can make changes even without the key being pressed.

You need to know how to use the AppleScript program. It may not be as easy unless you do possess some sort of experience in the programming language.

The following script may be handy enough, though we may not be able to guarantee any assured results –

-- Workaround to enable and disable Scroll Lock in Excel on the Mac

-- For Macs that don't have an F14 key available

-- Tested on 2015 MBP running Mac OS 10.10.5 and Excel 2011 (14.5.8)

-- Annonymous, December 13, 2018

activate application "Microsoft Excel"

delay 0.5 -- time to release modifier keys

tell application "System Events"

    key code 63 -- fn key

    key code 107 using {shift down}

end tell

You may get assistance from anyone who has good experience in programming and in creating scripts.

In Conclusion

That was the complete information on how to disable or turn off scroll lock on your Excel program in Office 365 suite. However, do note that the functionality and steps remain the same even when you are facing similar issues on your bundled Microsoft Excel program. Do note that enabling the scroll feature can affect all the programs and applications on your computer and not Excel alone. However, the effects are felt more on Excel, where it touches the functionality to a greater extent.

More on Office 365:

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