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3 Ways to Fix the Arrow Keys Not Working in Excel

By Keyede Erinfolami


Want to fix the arrow keys in Excel? It's probably one of the easiest fixes, so here's how to do it!

Arrow keys help you move from one cell to another on an Excel spreadsheet with a single key-press. When Excel arrow keys aren't working properly, the process can be frustrating.

With this guide, we'll show you how to fix not working arrow keys in Excel. Let's get started.

1. Turn Off Scroll Lock

The most common solution to not being able to use the arrow keys in Excel is to turn off your scroll lock. You won’t be able to use the arrow keys in Excel when the keyboard’s scroll lock is enabled. Look out for a light on your keyboard’s scroll lock button.

Whenever it is turned on, it indicates that the scroll lock button is enabled and that the arrow keys are not functioning as they should. The solution is to simply press the button to turn the lock off.

How to Turn Off Scroll Lock on a Keyboard

To turn off the scroll lock on a Windows computer, simply press the Scroll lock key.

It is usually located in the control keys section of the keyboard, above the arrow keys, or at the right side of the function keys.

On a Mac, press the F14 or the Shift + F14 key combination. If the scroll lock does not go off, try pressing Command + F14.

How to Turn Off Scroll Lock Without a Keyboard

Nowadays, most computers have keyboards without scroll locks. But worry not, you can still turn off the scroll lock without a keyboard.

For Windows Users

Windows has an on-screen keyboard feature that provides you with keys that don’t exist on your physical keyboard. To access the on-screen keyboard:

  • Open the Start menu, search and launch On-Screen Keyboard.
  • When it opens, look at the right-hand side of the On-screen keyboard. There you will find all the lock keys.
  • Click on the key named ScrLk, and it will turn off the scroll lock if it was enabled.

For macOS users

If you can't turn off the scroll lock with the keyboard commands on your physical Mac, you'll need to run an AppleScript.

Related: Use Macros in Excel on Mac to Save Time and Do More

Don’t fret. This method is not as tough as it sounds if you follow the simple steps below:

  • Click on Launchpad, search for TextEdit and open it.
  • Create a new document by clicking on the File menu and select New.
  • Copy the following code and paste it into your document.
  • Save the file by pressing the Command+S keys.
  • Name the file FixExcelKeys.applescript.
  • Now, open your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Double click the FixExcelKeys.applescript. This will open the script. Click the Run button at the top of the window, and it should fix the arrow keys not working in Excel.

2. Enable Sticky Keys

Another way to fix arrow keys not working in Excel is to enable the sticky keys features on your Windows computer. The sticky keys are not directly related to the arrow keys or your Excel application, but you could try toggling it to see whether it fixes the issue for you.

  • Open your system’s Control Panel.
  • Click on Ease of Access Center.
  • Next, Click on Make the keyboard easier to use. In some operating systems, you may need to click Change how your keyboard works before you see this section.
  • Enable the option that says Turn on Sticky Keys and click on OK.
  • Alternatively, press your Shift key five times in quick succession to enable Sticky Keys. From the pop-up dialog box, click Yes.

3. Disable Add-Ins

Excel add-ins are useful, but sometimes, they might cause some setbacks while using the application. You might need to disable any Excel Add-ins that you previously installed in order to use the Excel arrow key scroll.

Related: Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things

You can disable Add-ins in Excel easily by following these steps:

  1. Launch Excel on your computer.
  2. Click the File menu and select Options from the left sidebar.
  3. Click on Add-ins on the left sidebar to see your Excel Add-ins settings.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Excel Add-ins and click Go.
  5. Choose all the Add-ins and click the OK button.
  6. Deselect all the add-ins and click on OK.
  7. Repeat the above steps for all the options in the drop-down menu in order to disable all your Excel add-ins.
  8. Go back to your worksheet and try using your arrow keys.

Overcome Productivity Obstacles in Microsoft Excel

These solutions above should make it easier for you to navigate your Excel sheets. Don’t stop learning new things about Microsoft Excel and how you can use it for more effective productivity.


How to Copy Formulas in Microsoft Excel

Learning all the best methods to copy and paste formulas in your Excel spreadsheet is a great way to start saving time.

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About The Author
Keyede Erinfolami (38 Articles Published)

Keyede Erinfolami is a professional freelance writer that is passionate about discovering new technology that can improve productivity in daily life and work. She shares her knowledge on freelancing and productivity on her blog, along with hot takes on Afrobeats and Pop Culture. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Scrabble, or finding the best angles to take nature pictures.

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Quickly Fix Arrow Keys Not Working in Excel on Windows 10 [Partition Magic]

Summary :

arrow keys not working in Excel

It is very convenient to move from one cell to another in Excel. But some users reported that pressing these keys will move the entire worksheet. In this post, MiniTool offers you workarounds on fixing arrow keys not working in Excel.

Working on Excel is necessary when we need to create spreadsheets, crunch numbers, and prepare a business report. We usually press arrow keys to move from one cell to another. But sometimes, the whole sheet is scroll down when you press these keys.

To help you get out of arrow keys not working in Excel, MiniTool display some effective ways below. Let’s see what they are.

Fix 1: Disable the Scroll Lock Key

Arrow keys not working in Excel can be ascribed to the Scroll key locking. When the Scroll key locks, pressing any arrow key on the keyboard will move the entire worksheet instead of a single cell.

Therefore, the first fix you can try is disabling Scroll Lock key. This fix is quite easy, but note that some laptops do not come with scroll lock keys. If your device is one of them, you can also disable the Scroll Lock key.

There is a Scroll Lock key on your keyboard:

In this case, you just need to press the Scroll Lock key on the keyboard.

There is no Scroll Lock key on your keyboard:

Step 1: Type On-Screen Keyboard in the Cortana’s search bar and open it (click here to learn about more information about On-Screen Keyboard)

Step 2: When the On-Screen keyboard shows up, find the ScrLK button and click it to disable it.

Fix 2: Turn on and Turn off Sticky Key

When the Sticky keys are stuck in a limbo state, this can also lead to arrow keys failing to work in Excel. According to many users’ feedback, turning on Sticky key is helpful to fix this issue. Thus, have a try.

Step 1: Type Control Panel in Start menu (Start menu not working? Check the solutions) and then click the search result.

Step 2: On the Control Panel window, click Ease of Access.

check and then uncheck the box next to Turn on Sticky Keys

Step 3: Scroll down the right pane until you find Make the keyboard easier to use

Step 4: Scroll down to Make it easier to type and check the box next to Turn on Sticky Keys.

Step 5: Click the Apply to save the changes. Wait a couple of seconds, uncheck the box and click the Apply to save the configuration.

When you finish the tutorial on turning on Sticky key to fix arrow keys not working in Excel, you can launch your Excel and see whether the arrow keys work well.

Have you ever been bothered by another keyboard issues? Here is an article that talks about one keyboard issue Alt Tab not working on Windows 10. If you are interested in the solutions to this issue, you can click the following recommended article.

alt tab not working thumbnail

Alt Tab Not Working on Windows 10! – Here Are Top 5 Fixes  

Are you facing “Alt + Tab not working” when using it to switch to another application? This article shows you how to solve this issue in various ways.

Read More

Bottom Line

Now, two fixes to arrow keys not working in Excel have been displayed. Hope they can help you solve the issue quickly. If you have any doubts about the two workarounds, please leave them in the following comment zone to let us know. We will reply to you as soon as possible.



VickyFollow us

Position: Columnist

Vicky is a website editor who has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. Most of her articles talk about Windows PC and hard disk issues. Some of her articles also touch on YouTube usage and issues.

During her spare time, she likes to spend time reading, watching videos, and sitting on her Yoga mat to relax.

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When you’re working on an Excel spreadsheet, the best way to move between cells is to use the arrow keys on your keyboard. With these keys available for each direction, you can easily go from one cell to another with a single key-press.

Sometimes, it happens that these arrow keys do not work in Excel. In some cases, they even take you to the next worksheet instead of moving to the next cell in the line. If you’re frustrated by this behavior, you’ll probably want to find out how to fix it.

Fixing the arrow keys not working in Excel issue is actually easier than you think. In most cases, you’re just a single keystroke away from getting the keys to do what they should be doing.

Also, be sure to watch our YouTube video where we go through the different solutions mentioned in this article in a short and compact video.

Disable Scroll Lock

One of the common reasons why the arrow keys don’t work in Excel is because you’ve enabled the scroll lock feature on your computer. For as long as it remains enabled, the keys won’t do what they’re supposed to do.

If you take a look at your keyboard, you’ll find that the light for the scroll lock button is turned on. It indicates the lock is enabled, and you need to turn it off to activate the arrow keys.

If the above reason is why the arrow keys are not working in Excel on your computer, fixing it is just a matter of a key press.

  • Simply press the scroll lock button on your keyboard and the lock will be disabled.
  • You should find that the scroll lock light is no longer on on your keyboard.

Use The On-Screen Keyboard To Turn Off Scroll Lock

If you’re using a modern computer with an equally modern keyboard, you may notice that there’s no scroll lock button on your keyboard. It’s because most modern equipment has done away with that button thinking most users just won’t use it.

However, Windows has an on-screen keyboard available to help you use the keys that don’t exist on your actual keyboard. You can also use it on the occasions when your real keyboard gets broken or just won’t function normally.

You can use this on-screen keyboard to turn the scroll lock off.

  • Open the Start Menu and search for and launch On-Screen Keyboard. It should open.
  • On the right-hand side of the keyboard, you’ll find all the lock keys. There’ll be a key named ScrLk which should help you enable and disable scroll lock on your PC. Click on it and it’ll disable the scroll lock if it was enabled before.

Fix Arrow Keys Not Working With An AppleScript On Mac

Mac keyboards usually don’t have the scroll lock button on them and so disabling the feature is quite a task for you if you’re a Mac user. However, there’s a workaround that uses an AppleScript to let you fix the issue in Excel on your Mac.

The workaround creates an AppleScript and runs it when you use Excel on your machine. It then does what it needs to do to get the arrow keys to work in the Excel program.

Creating an AppleScript and executing it may sound a bit technical but it’s actually pretty easy to do.

  • Click on Launchpad, search for TextEdit, and open it.
  • Click on the File menu at the top and select New to create a new document.
  • Copy the following code and paste it into your document.
set returnedItems to (display dialog "Press OK to send scroll lock keypress to Microsoft Excel or press Quit" with 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"
key code 107 using {shift down}
end tell


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

end if
  • Press the Command + S keys to save the file.
  • Enter FixExcelKeys.applescript as the name of the file and save it.
  • Launch your spreadsheet in Excel.
  • Double-click on the newly created AppleScript file and it should fix the issue for you.

Enable Sticky Keys

In most cases, the above methods should fix the arrow keys not working in Excel issue for you. However, if you didn’t have any luck with them, you might want to try a few more and see if they help you resolve the problem.

One of these methods is to enable the sticky keys feature on your Windows computer. While it isn’t directly related to Excel or arrow keys, it’s worth toggling it to see if it fixes the issue for you.

  • Search for Control Panel using Cortana search and launch it.
  • Click on Ease of Access Center.
  • Click on Make the keyboard easier to use.
  • Enable the option that says Turn on Sticky Keys and click on OK.

Disable Add-Ins

Add-ins help you get more out of Excel but sometimes they can cause conflicts as well. If you have any add-ins installed, you may want to disable them and see if the arrow keys then start working.

It’s fairly easy to disable add-ins in the Excel software.

  • Launch Excel on your computer.
  • Click on the File menu at the top and select Options from the left sidebar.
  • Click on Add-ins in the left sidebar to view your Excel add-ins settings.
  • Select Excel Add-ins from the dropdown menu and click on Go.
  • Deselect all the add-ins and click on OK.
  • Do the above steps for every option in the dropdown menu so that all of your add-ins are disabled.

We hope your arrow keys not working in Excel issue is now resolved. And if so, we’d like to know what method worked for you. Let us know in the comments below.

Arrow keys not working in MS Excel - Scroll Lock

Windows 10: Up and Down Arrow Keys Randomly Stop Working

Discus and support Up and Down Arrow Keys Randomly Stop Working in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; Hey, I have seen this issue, but none of the solutions seem to work for me. Basically, when I boot up the computer, they won't work. If I uninstall the... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by smarinovic, May 25, 2021.


Up and Down Arrow Keys Randomly Stop Working

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Not working laptop arrow keys

There’s nothing worse than a malfunctioning keyboard. Trying to find what’s causing these issues can be very headache-inducing. Especially when you don’t even know what to look for.

So what should you look for?

There are a few things that could cause arrow keys to stop working. These include a faulty driver, a jammed key, the cursor is turned off, num lock is activated, scroll lock is activated, or the obvious answer, the keyboard needs to be replaced.

In this article, I will be going over all of these issues. I will explain how to test if they are the root of the problem. Hopefully, after reading this quick little guide, you will know exactly how to fix arrow keys if they stopped working on your computer keyboard.

How to Fix Arrow Keys if they Stopped Working

Run a Test

Before you go fiddling around with your keyboard, it’s important to make sure that it’s actually broken. Nothing worse than trying to “fix something that ain’t broke” as the saying goes.

An easy way to test your arrow keys is to access your computers setup utility screen. Most average computer users have never accessed the screen but don’t be too intimidated as it’s very easy to do.

The reason the screen will be useful for testing your arrow keys is that in this menu those keys are the only ones that function. There’s no other way to navigate the menu.

Here are the steps to access your computer’s utility setup screen.

  • First, make sure you know where your function wrote is and find the f10 key. This will be important for the next steps.
  • Next power down your computer.
  • With your hand ready to go, reboot the computer and continually press the f10 key.
  • Continue to do so until you’re brought to a new screen which you may have never seen before. This is the utility screen.

If you’re having trouble getting to this point consider contacting computer tech support.

If you’ve successfully made it to this point, you can now try navigating the menus. Try moving up and down and see what happens. Try tapping quickly and slowly. Then try unplugging the keyboard and plugging it into a different USB port. If nothing seems to work then it’s time to look at some solutions.

To get out of this menu, you can simply press f9 to setup defaults and then press f10 to save and exit. This should take you back to your desktop home screen.

Faulty Driver Might Need an Update

I’m assuming when you say your arrow key is not working, you mean the computer is not receiving the inputs when you press it. If you mean the key physically won’t work then that’s a different issue I’ll be going over next.

If it is indeed an input issue then the problem may be a faulty driver. You can try giving your computer a restart and see if it fixes itself. However, if it doesn’t then you may need to uninstall keyboard driver.

Simply go to the start menu and type in “device manager”. Once in the menu find your keyboard and right-click to uninstall the driver.

Now, when you restart the computer, it should automatically start downloading the correct driver. If it doesn’t, you may need to go to the keyboard manufacturer’s website to find and install its driver.

If you need more help with this then you will need to call customer support. You should be able to find their phone number on the manufacturers’ website.

Key/Switch May be Jammed

A common problem with older keyboards is the keys tend to jam. If it’s a mechanical keyboard the physical switch may also stick. There are many reasons for this.

One reason this happens is the failure to maintain your keyboard. it’s important to clean your computer keyboard on a regular basis. If you don’t, dust, dirt, and grime starts to build up. This causes keys to jam and switches to stick.

With a keycap puller, you should be able to remove the keycaps to take a look inside. If it looks pretty gross inside you should take the time to clean it. Just a cleaning solution, j cloth, and Q-Tip are all you really need. You could try compressed air but some advice against it as you may push the dirt deeper inside.

I have a full guide on how to clean a gaming keyboard, which should work for most keyboards. Check it out if you are interested.

Is the Cursor Disabled?

You may not be aware of this but there is a feature on most keyboards to disable the cursor. If this is activated then using your arrow keys for certain functions may not work. There are a couple of ways to activate this feature.

How to get the cursor back on your computer

The first way is a dedicated button specific to this task. If your keyboard comes with this it should look like a touchpad with a line through it. Press this button and your cursor should be back to normal.

The other way is through the function keys. This is the top layer of keys on a standard keyboard. You will need to press FN with the appropriate F key. Usually, this is F5 but may be different for other keyboards. If pressing FN and F5 doesn’t bring back the cursor, then try pressing FN and F1, F2, F3, etc until it works.

Is Num Lock Activated?

Another issue that may be causing your arrow keys to stop working is if your Num Lk key is activated. It’s easy to check this if the light in the top right of your keyboard is on.

In a previous article titled: typing symbols instead of numbers: Easy Fix!, I explained how this button is very rarely used and could be accidentally pressed.

This will cause some unexpected problems while trying to use the keyboard that can easily be fixed by pressing the button again.

Is Scroll Lock Activated?

Similar to the previous tip, there is also a scroll lock button. It is often labeled as “ScrlLk” and is also rarely used and easy to accidentally press. This could possibly prevent your arrow keys from doing certain functions.

Again, this is easily correctable by simply pressing the scroll lock key a second time. The light on the top right of the keyboard should turn off when you do so letting you know that it’s been deactivated.

Get a new keyboard

If all else fails, the final solution is to simply get another keyboard. there are plenty of inexpensive membrane keyboards on the market. However, if money is not an issue you may want to try out a mechanical keyboard.

There are many benefits that come with using a higher quality keyboard. They feel great to type on, offer plenty of customization, and perhaps most importantly mechanical keyboards last a long time.

Check out my Guides and Reviews section for more tips on choosing a keyboard!


As you can see there are a few things that may cause arrow keys to stop working. I’ve gone over a few solutions that should hopefully solve the problem. if for some reason you’re unsuccessful at repairing your keyboard then it may be a good indicator that it’s time to replace it.

If this is the case, it’s a good thing they are pretty cheap nowadays. But if you’re looking to invest a little bit of money on something really nice that you love, I have plenty of information on keyboards as well as many guides and reviews for you to check out.

Hope this short little guide helps, good luck with your keyboard!

Arrow keys not working in MS Excel - Scroll Lock

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