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How to Freeze Rows and Columns in Excel 2016

When you're working with a lot of data on your laptop, it can be difficult to compare one or more rows with others that are towards the bottom of the workbook. Excel's freeze panes feature solves this problem by letting you lock specific rows so they're always visible when you scroll. Here's how to freeze rows and columns in Excel 2016.

Editor's Note: These steps will also work with newer versions of Excel.

There are two quick steps to freezing or locking rows.

How to Freeze Rows in Excel

1. Select the row right below the row or rows you want to freeze. If you want to freeze columns, select the cell immediately to the right of the column you want to freeze. In this example, we want to freeze rows 1 to 6, so we've selected row 7.

2. Go to the View tab

3. Select the Freeze Panes command and choose "Freeze Panes."

That's all there is to it. As you can see in our example, the frozen rows will stay visible when you scroll down. You can tell where the rows were frozen by the green line dividing the frozen rows and the rows below them.

If you want to unfreeze the rows, go back to the Freeze Panes command and choose "Unfreeze Panes".

Note that under the Freeze Panes command, you can also choose "Freeze Top Row," which will freeze the top row that's visible (and any others above it) or "Freeze First Column," which will keep the leftmost column visible when you scroll horizontally.

Besides allowing you to compare different rows in a long spreadsheet, the freeze panes feature lets you keep important information, such as table headings, always in view.

Need more Excel tricks? Check out our tutorials on How to Lock Cells in Excel, How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel and our Excel tips roundup to boost your productivity in a big way.