Can’t scroll in Excel with arrow keys: How to fix

If you’ve used programs like Excel and Sheets before you’re assumedly well acquainted with arrow key scrolling. If you clicked on this, you’re just as likely to have experienced it breaking. Luckily, we’ve identified common causes for this problem, as well as how to fix each one.

Scroll lock is activatedDisable scroll lock
Conflicting/problematic Add-insDisable/remove your add-ins

In the upcoming segments, we’ll give you a rundown on disabling scroll lock on Windows and MacOS, as well as how you can go about disabling your add-ins, and working out which add-in is causing the problem.

Quick links:

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Disable scroll lock to allow arrow key scrolling

Windows 10 method

  • On Windows 10, scroll lock can be toggled on or off via the “ScrLK” button on your keyboard. However, in some cases this may not work, due to the button not existing on some keyboard models, or laptops. To get around this we can utilise Windows 10’s on-screen keyboard.
    • To open the onscreen keyboard press the “Win” key.
    • Search for “on-screen keyboard” and open it.
    • Click to toggle “ScrLK.”

MacOS method

  • Scroll lock also exists on MacOS and can be deactivated with one of the shortcuts listed:
    • F14
    • Shift + F14
    • Command + F14
  • In the event this does not work, you may need to run an AppleScript.
    • Open TextEdit via the launchpad
    • Open a new file
    • Paste the script provided
    • Save the file as “FixExcelKeys.applescript”
    • Click run

Disable Excel add-ins to scroll with arrow keys

Step 1 – Navigate to “Insert” > “Office Add-ins”

  • After opening your spreadsheet, open the “Insert” tab and select “Office Add-ins.” Proceed to the next step with the generated pop-out menu.

Step 2 – Proceed to add-ins’ options

  • To access an Add-ins’ options, identify the context button (“. . . “) next to it and select it.
    • Select “Remove” from the dropdown it will produce
      • Notice: you will be asked to confirm your choice

Finding the problematic Add-in to scroll with arrow keys

Review method (less effective)

Use the context menu for each add in to get to the add-ins rates and reviews. You can check the reviews to see if anyone else has found one of your add-ins to be associated with the issue. From here you can remove said add-in without having to unnecessarily remove the others.

Removal method (most effective)

Take a note of each installed add-in prior to removal. Attempt to use arrow scrolling each time you reinstall an add-in. If the issue does not persist it’s safe to assume your add-ins are not the cause of this erroneous occurrence.

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Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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