How To Lock Top Row In Excel

Have you ever found yourself working on a large Excel file and wished that you could keep the column headings or the top row in place as you scroll through the document? I’ve definitely been there! In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of locking the top row in Excel, a handy feature that can make navigating your spreadsheets a whole lot easier.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

First things first, open the Excel file you want to work with. Make sure you’re in the worksheet where you want to lock the top row.

Step 2: Select the Top Row

Next, click on the row below the row you want to freeze. In most cases, this will be row 2 if you want to freeze the top row (row 1).

Step 3: Navigate to the View Tab

Now, navigate to the View tab in the Excel ribbon menu.

Step 4: Freeze the Top Row

Under the View tab, find the Freeze Panes option. Click on it, and from the drop-down menu, select Freeze Top Row.

Step 5: Verify the Freeze

You should now see a horizontal line below the top row, indicating that it is frozen. Try scrolling down, and you’ll notice that the top row stays in place, making it much easier to keep track of your columns as you navigate through your data.

Additional Tips

  • If you ever want to unfreeze the top row, simply go back to the View tab, click on Freeze Panes, and select Unfreeze Panes.
  • Remember that freezing panes is specific to each worksheet, so if you have multiple sheets in your Excel file, you’ll need to repeat the process for each sheet where you want to freeze the top row.


Locking the top row in Excel can be a game-changer for navigating large datasets, and I’ve personally found it to be incredibly useful in my own spreadsheet work. By following these simple steps, you can make your Excel experience much smoother and more efficient. Give it a try and see the difference it can make in managing your data!