[SOLVED] Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel

Using the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate between cells is the most efficient method of working in an Excel spreadsheet. Because a single keypress with the arrow keys allows you to quickly travel between cells in an Excel spreadsheet.


When it comes to a spreadsheet application, Microsoft Excel is one of those that want you to utilize the keyboard as much as possible. However, even if you like to work with a mouse, you may find yourself using the arrow keys on your keyboard to do tasks such as swiftly zooming across spreadsheets or moving from one cell to another by hitting the arrow keys up, down, left, and right.

But, there are some times when these arrow keys don’t work and make your working process difficult. So, if you are also facing the arrow keys not working in Excel problem, here are some troubleshooting methods to fix this issue.

So, keep reading this post until the end to learn in detail.

How to Fix Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel Problem

There might be so many reasons why you are facing this Excel’s arrow keys not working problem. However, to solve this issue, there are also a few methods as well.

But, before we move on to the troubleshooting, first make sure that your keyboard’s arrow keys are fine and working perfectly outside of Excel. If the arrow keys are not working outside Excel either, then this might be a problem with your keyboard or Windows.

Hence, if the arrow key functions normally outside of Excel, it is time to begin solving the issue. Listed below are several methods that can be used to resolve your Excel arrow key issue.

1. Disable Scroll Lock

One of the common reasons why you are not able to use the arrow keys in Excel is because you mistakenly turned on the scroll lock feature on your keyboard. If you somehow turn on the scroll lock button, then the arrow keys won’t function. So, look out on your keyboard to see any light on the scroll lock button.

There are three lighting sections on your keyboard to indicate three different buttons’ status. The first one is for Num Lock, the second one is for Caps Lock, and the last one is for the Scroll lock button. If any of those lights are glowing, then be sure that the button is turned on.

So, you will need to turn off the Scroll lock button on your keyboard.


If you want to turn off the button on your Windows pc, just hit the Scroll lock key on the keyboard.

Depending on the manufacturer, you can often find the button on top of the arrow keys or in the control keys section.



If you are using a Mac, hit the F14 key or the Shift + F14 key combo to turn off the Scroll lock feature. However, if the scroll lock does not deactivate, try hitting Command + F14 at the same time.

2. Disable Scroll Lock Using The On-Screen Keyboard

Nowadays, there are so many modern keyboards like TKL, 60% or 75% keyboards available out there that have become kind of a trend. And because the manufacturer reduced the number of keys, there are no Scroll lock keys available on the keyboard.

In this case, to turn off the Scroll Lock feature, all you can do is use the on-screen keyboard feature of Windows. Windows, on the other hand, provides an on-screen keyboard that allows you to access buttons that are not present on your physical keyboard. When your actual keyboard becomes damaged or just stops operating properly, you may make use of this alternative keyboard.

Follow the below steps to open the on-screen keyboard and turn off the Scroll lock:

  1. Click on the Start menu and type on-screen keyboard and hit enter.
  2. Now the virtual keyboard will appear on your screen. Look for the ScrLk option on the right-hand side and click on it to disable it.


However, keep in mind that if the Scroll lock was previously turned on, then that button will appear in blue. But if it wasn’t active previously, then it will appear as usual like the others. So, don’t turn it on mistakenly.

3. Use an AppleScript on macOS.

On a physical Mac, if you are unable to switch off the scroll lock using the keyboard commands, you will need to execute an AppleScript to do this. However, don’t be scared because this solution is not as much tough as it sounds now.

When it comes to Mac keyboards, the scroll lock button is frequently absent, which means that deactivating the feature will be a difficult chore for you if you are using a Mac. There is, although, a solution that makes use of an AppleScript to allow you to correct the problem in Excel on your Mac.

This fix involves creating an AppleScript and having it execute whenever you use Excel on your computer. It then goes through the process of ensuring that the arrow keys function properly in the Excel software.

Although the process of creating and running an AppleScript may seem to be complicated, it is rather simple.

  1. Open TextEdit by searching it from the Launchpad and selecting it from the search results.
  2. Go to the File menu at the top of the screen and pick New to create a new document.
  3. Copy and paste the code from below in the document.

set returned items to (display dialog “Press OK to send scroll lock keypress to Microsoft Excel or press Quit” with the title “Excel Scroll-lock Fix” buttons {“Quit”, “OK”} default button 2)

set buttonPressed to the button returned of returnedItems

if buttonPressed is “OK” then

tell application “Microsoft Excel”


end tell

tell application “System Events”

keycode 107 using {shift down}

end tell


display dialog “Scroll Lock key sent to Microsoft Excel” with the title “Mac Excel Scroll-lock Fix” buttons {“OK”}

end if

  1. Press the Command + S keys simultaneously to keep the changes.
  2. Save the file as Applescript.
  3. Open the spreadsheet in your Excel.
  4. Double click on the AppleScript that we created now, and it will fix the issue.

Now check if the problem persists or not. If the problem’s still there, then don’t panic. Follow the below methods to solve it.

4. Disable Scroll Lock in Excel’s Status bar

The Scroll Lock function in Excel may easily be disabled from inside the software as well. You can handle things by navigating to the Status Bar and deactivating the relevant option.

Follow the below steps to disable scroll lock in Excel’s status bar:

  1. Open the spreadsheet, or you can also open a blank spreadsheet as you wish.
  2. Once the sheet is open, right-click on the status bar in Excel to bring up the menu. The status bar of Excel is the very bottom section where you can find many features like Zoom slider and Page Layout option.
  3. Locate the Scroll lock You may turn the function off by clicking on it once if it appears as “On.”

5. Turn On The Sticky Keys Feature on Windows

In most circumstances, the arrow keys won’t work in Excel problem may be fixed using the techniques outlined in this guide previously. But to be on the safe side, if none of those suggestions worked for you, you might want to give a couple more a go and see if it helps.

The sticky keys function on your Windows PC is one of these approaches which is worth trying out. Even though it has nothing to do with Excel or arrow keys, it’s worth a shot to see if toggling it cures the problem for you.

So, follow the below steps again to turn on the sticky keys:

  1. Open the Control Panel by searching it on the Start
  2. Hit on the Ease of Access Center
  3. Select Make the keyboard easier to use.
  4. Check the box that says Turn on Sticky Keys and hit on Apply and OK

6. Disable The Excel Add-Ins

A drawback of installing add-ins in Excel is that they may occasionally create issues with the program. So, to utilize the Excel arrow key properly, you may need to deactivate any Excel Add-ins you previously added.

Follow the below steps to disable the Excel add-ins:

  1. Open Excel
  2. Select the File menu and click on the Option from the left-hand side.
  3. Click Add-ins and press Go on the Manage drop-down menu section.
  4. Uncheck all of them and click OK.
  5. Now repeat the above steps for all the options available in the drop-down menu.

Now the arrow keys should work perfectly in Excel.


Why are the arrow keys not working in Excel?

While using Excel, make sure to turn off the Scroll Lock (ScrLk) button. Instead of moving the cursor, the arrow keys act as scrolling buttons in this mode. So, the arrow keys won’t work.

What is the keyboard shortcut for Scroll Lock?

Shift + F14 is the standard Microsoft keyboard shortcut for Scroll Lock.


The arrow keys in Microsoft Excel are one of the best keyboard shortcuts for traveling through the cells. But if these keys don’t work for some reason, it might be quite frustrating. So, after doing some intense research, we rounded up some of the best possible ways to fix this Arrow Keys not working in Excel problem for you. We hope this guide has helped you to solve the issue.