In Microsoft Excel, most of the users are unable to access the arrow keys in order to move through cells. This issue might occur in other versions of Microsoft Excel such as 2010 and 2013. If the arrow keys not working in Excel 2016 then you can stick to this guide to find out the easy solutions to fix when arrow keys not working in Excel on Laptop or computer.
Why are My Arrow Keys not Working in Excel?
There can be multiple reasons that cause this error in Excel. If you are struck by this question why are my arrow keys not working in Excel? Then you need to detect the cause of this error first and find the fix next. Hence, we have listed the causes that trigger this error in Excel so that you can analyze the error and apply actions accordingly. Here are the following causes.
- When the Scroll Lock Key is turned on.
- Sticky Keys are responsible for this error.
- Add-ins are corrupted due to which you are unable to access the arrow keys.
- Excel sheet is in Formula Entry Mode.
- Freeze Panes has locked the particular area in Excel.
- The Excel file is protected.
- Complex formulas are causing the arrow keys.
If you are thinking why arrow keys not working in Excel and facing any of the aforementioned issues then do not worry. In this guide, you are going to find a number of fixes trying in which you can solve the problem in an Excel sheet.
What to Do When Keyboard Arrow Keys not Working in Excel?
As mentioned earlier, you can perform a number of techniques to get rid of this error. For instance, you can disable the Scroll Lock Key, fix Sticky Keys, disable the add-ins that are corrupted, exit Formula Entry mode, unfreeze columns and rows inside the current view, unprotect the Excel sheet, or check if you are doing multiple calculations. Below we will understand these techniques with a manual procedure. You can follow the solutions based on the cause you detect. So let us get started.
Fix 1: Disable the Scroll Lock Key using On-Screen Keyboard
When you use the arrow key in Excel and the whole sheet moves instead of going from cell to cell, this is due to the Scroll Lock Key. Therefore, when you find the arrow keys not working in Excel on laptop then disabling the Scroll Lock Key can solve the error.
Unfortunately, you cannot disable the Scroll Lock Key through the physical keyboard as the Scroll Lock Key is not included in upcoming models.
Therefore, to disable the Scroll Lock Key, you are required to use an on-screen keyboard. Let us follow the steps mentioned below and know how to get it done.
- As the first step, use the Windows key with R key in order to open a Run dialog box.
- In the text field, you can type ‘osk’ and click on the OK button or hit the Enter key. This will bring up the On-Screen Keyboard on your computer screen.
- On the On-Screen Keyboard, you will see the Scroll Lock key with the name ‘ScrLk’. You can click on this key in order to disable it. Once you deactivate the ScrLk key, it appears in the same color as the remaining keys on the on-screen keyboard.
- Later, you can open your Excel sheet and try using arrow keys.
After deactivating the Scroll Lock key, if you are unable to access arrow keys in Excel then you can switch to the next fix. Because there are times when there is no issue with the Scroll Lock key so if you find the arrow keys not working in Excel, not scroll lock then you can look for more ideas discussed below.
Fix 2: Temporarily Disable the Sticky Keys
Most of the users find this arrow key issue due to the glitched Sticky Keys. If the arrow keys not working in Excel, not scroll lock then you can temporarily disable the Sticky Key and see if the error is fixed in Excel. Here is how to do it.
- To begin, use Windows Key with R Key in order to open a Run dialog box.
- Then, you can type Control Panel and press the Enter key in order to bring up the Control Panel window.
- In the Control Panel, you can search for the Ease of Access Center with the help of the search bar located on the top right.
- Here, you can scroll down and find Explore all settings. Then, you can click on the ‘Make the keyboard easier to use’.
- Now, you need to scroll down and click on the ‘Make it easier to type’ option. Here, you can check all the boxes linked with ‘turn on Sticky Keys.
- After hitting the Apply button, you can save all the configuration.
- After a while, you can uncheck the boxes again and click on the Apply button.
Now, you can open the Excel sheet and check if the arrow key is working. If you still find the error then try the Fix 3.
Fix 3: Disable Corrupted Add-ins
If the arrow keys not working in Excel, not scroll lock then it may happen due to the corrupted Add-ins. To solve the problem, you can inactive the Add-ins and check if the issue persists in the Excel sheet. Below are the following steps that you can follow.
- To get started, open the Excel sheet and go to the File option located on the top.
- Then, you can click on Options in the menu.
- Under the Excel Options menu, you can click on the Add-ins option.
- Under the Add-ins menu, you can scroll down and set a drop-down menu from Manage to Excel Add-ins before you click on Go.
- Thereafter, you can uncheck all the checkboxes linked with Excel Add-in. Once it is disabled, click on the Ok button.
- Now, you need to repeat the steps twice to thrice to return to the Add-ins menu. Then, scroll down to reach the Manage drop-down option and this time set this to COM Add-ins before you click on the Go button.
- Same as earlier, uncheck all the checkboxes linked with Add-in and click on the OK button.
- Now, open the Excel and see if the issue is fixed. If you are able to access the arrow keys then you can follow the above-mentioned steps again to enable the Add-ins. Once you detect the corrupted Add-in, remove that from your list.
Fix 4: Exit the Formula Entry Mode
If you are thinking why do my arrow keys not work in Excel this is because the Excel sheet is in Formula Entry Mode. Fortunately, you can exit this Formula Entry Mode and access the arrow keys. Below are the following steps you can follow to fix the issue.
- In an Excel sheet, you need to select any cell and then type ‘=’.
- Then, you can start typing the function.
- When you use the arrow key in the current mode, the cell you selected will change. However, the arrow keys will not control the mouse cursor in the Excel sheet.
- To make your arrow keys work again, you can use the Enter button.
- Thereafter, you can use Ctrl + Z keys in order to undo your actions for the current formula.
This method might be tricky but this will surely allow you to use the arrow keys in Excel. Yet you see the error present in your Excel sheet, you can try more fixes mentioned below.
Fix 5: Unfreeze the Columns and Rows Inside the Current View
When you find the arrow keys not working in excel, not scroll lock this may due to the Freeze Panes that have locked the visible area of the sheet. As a result, the arrow keys are unable to perform. In this scenario, you can unfreeze the columns and rows to fix the problem.
In case you do not wish to unfreeze panes then you can try zooming out the magnification in your Excel sheet. This will allow you to access the arrow keys in a specific section of sheet that is not frozen.
Fix 6: Unprotect the Excel Sheet
If your worksheet or workbook is protected, you might not be able to select cells and scroll through the cells. When the arrow key is not working in Excel, you can try to unprotect the Excel sheet. This will surely help you to use arrow keys in the Excel sheet.
Fix 7: Check if You are Performing Multiple Calculations in Excel
Generally, when you perform multiple calculations,it takes a long time to process the calculator. As a result, it may not allow you to access the arrow keys in Excel. So whenever the arrow keys do not work in Excel, make sure that you are not performing calculations.
With the help of arrow keys, it becomes easy to navigate through the cells. However, if you ever encounter a situation where arrow keys not working in Excel on HP laptop or other laptops then you can go through the easy solution given in this guide.
If the arrow keys not working in Excel on laptop, this guide will enlighten you about the reasons due to which the error occurs in the Excel sheet. Along with that, the guide has Seven fixes which you can perform based on the causes you detect in the sheet. This will resolve the issue and give you access to the arrow keys.