How To Keep Cells From Moving In Excel

Productivity Software

I’ve often found it frustrating when working in Excel and trying to keep my cells from moving around unexpectedly. Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to prevent this from happening. Let’s dive into some methods that I’ve found particularly helpful.

Freezing Panes

One of the most useful features in Excel for keeping cells from moving is the “Freeze Panes” option. This allows you to lock specific rows and columns in place while scrolling through a large dataset. To use this feature, simply select the row below and column to the right of the cells you want to keep visible, then navigate to the “View” tab, and click on “Freeze Panes”. This has been a game-changer for me when working with large spreadsheets.

Protecting Cells

Protecting cells is another great way to prevent them from moving around unintentionally. By using the “Protect Sheet” feature, you can choose which cells are allowed to be edited, preventing accidental changes to important data. To do this, navigate to the “Review” tab, click on “Protect Sheet”, and then customize the editing permissions for different cells. This has saved me countless hours of re-entering data after accidental changes.

Using Absolute References

When writing formulas in Excel, using absolute references can help ensure that cell references do not change when copied to other cells. By placing a dollar sign before the column letter and row number (e.g. $A$1), you’re telling Excel to keep that specific cell constant regardless of where the formula is copied. This has been a lifesaver for me, especially when working with complex calculations across multiple worksheets.


In conclusion, keeping cells from moving in Excel can be a real headache, but with the right techniques, it becomes much more manageable. Freezing panes, protecting cells, and using absolute references are just a few methods that have made a significant difference in my productivity and peace of mind when working with spreadsheets.