7 Ways To Fix Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel Issue

Trying to use the arrow keys for easy switching between the cells but arrow keys are not working in Excel? Instead of moving onto the next cell, this arrow key takes you to the other worksheet?

Don’t get worried….! You can easily overcome this issue. Just follow down the listed solution of this blog to fix arrow keys not working in Excel issue.

What Is The Function Of Arrow Keys In Excel?

Arrow keys in Excel is basically used for easy switching between the cells. These arrow keys help in easy direction access, so you can move from one cell to another in just a single keypress.

Sometimes these arrow keys won’t work in Excel if you are frustrated with this behavior of arrow keys. then you probably looking for the fixes to resolve this arrow keys won’t work in Excel.

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Why Arrow Keys Are Not Working In Excel?

 This particular issue of arrow keys not working has several different potential culprits that might generate the odd behavior.

  • Scroll Lock Key is enabled
  • Corrupted Add-in or Add-in conflict
  • An Excel add-in conflict is causing the issue
  • Sticky Keys glitch is keeping scroll lock enabled
  • Freeze Panes has locked the visible area of the sheet
  • Excel sheet is protected
  • Complex formulas are processing
  • Excel is in Formula Entry mode

How To Fix Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel Problem?

After catching detail on why arrow keys are not working in Excel it’s time to move onto the next very important aspect i.e how to fix arrow keys not working in Excel problem.

So try all the listed troubleshooting methods to resolve arrow keys stopped working in Excel issues faster.

Fix Arrow Keys Not Working In Excel Mac

Generally, Mac keyboards don’t allot with the scroll lock button so disabling this feature is a tough task for you. But don’t get worried because there are some workarounds that use the AppleScript to fix arrow keys not working in Excel Mac.

This method will make an AppleScript and execute it while you use your Excel application on your PC. It will make your arrow keys work in the Excel program.

The creation of the AppleScript and its execution may sound a bit tougher to you but actually, it’s not.  Just follow the steps given below.

  • Tap to the Launchpad and search for the TextEdit. Hit to open it.

arrow Keys Not Working in excel mac 1

  • Go to the File menu and choose the New option for the creation of a new document.

arrow Keys Not Working in excel mac 2

  • Copy this below-given 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

  • Hit the Command + S keys from your keyboard for saving up the file.
  • Now in the file name section, type applescript and then save it.

arrow Keys Not Working in excel mac 3

  • Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Make a Double-click on this freshly created AppleScript file and it will fix the arrow keys not working issue for you.

Fix 1# Enable Sticky Keys

The very first method which you must try to fix the arrow key won’t work issue is by enabling the sticky keys. May sound weird to you because sticky keys are not directly related to the arrow keys or your Excel application. But in many cases, it’s found worthy to resolve arrow key not working in Windows 10.

Follow the steps to enable these sticky keys:

  • Go to your system’s Control Panel and open it.

enable sticky keys 1

  • Hit the Ease of Access Center option.

enable sticky keys 2

  • Now tap to the Make the keyboard easier to use option.

enable sticky keys 3

  • In the opened window, go to the “make it easier to type” Make a check across the Turn on Sticky Keys option and hit the OK button.

enable sticky keys 4

Fix 2# Unfreeze Rows And Columns

Another fix that you must try to avoid this arrow keys not working issue is unfreezing the column and rows present in the current view.

If entire cells with which you want to work comes under the group of locked columns or rows then it obviously your arrow won’t work in Excel at that time.

In that case, if you are not okay with the idea of unlocking those locked columns and rows then zoom your Excel sheet. This will helps you to see sections of the spreadsheet which is locked. So, now you can easily use the arrow keys in unlocked areas.

Fix 3# Disable Add-Ins

Though Excel add-ins are very useful in Excel, but sometimes they cause conflicts too. So you need to find that conflicting add-in to resolve the arrow key not working in Excel problem. Once you get that add-in just disable it and check whether the arrow keys are working or not.

Well, its quite easy to disable add-in in Excel but if you don’t know how to do this then follow these steps:

  • Start your Excel.
  • Tap to the “file” menu, and from the left sidebar hit the “Options”.

disable add in in excel 1

  • Hit the add-ins in the left sidebar to see the settings of the Excel add-ins.
  • From the drop-down menu choose the Excel Add-in and hit the Go option.

disable add in in excel 2

  • Choose all the add-ins and hit the OK button.
  • Repeat the same steps for all the options present in the dropdown menu. So as to disable all your Excel add-ins.

disable excel add-ins

  • One by one enable it and check whether your arrow keys are working or not.

Fix 4# Unprotect the Excel workbook.

Another method for which must-try is unprotecting your Excel workbook. As in the protected worksheet or workbook, you are not allowed to choose the cells neither you can scroll to them.

So firstly you need to unprotect your Excel sheet and then only your arrow key will work. When all task gets over then lock or protect it again.

Helpful article: Top 3 Methods To Unlock Password Protected Excel File

Fix 5# Let The Calculation Process Get Over

If you are doing multiple calculations then wait for a while because sometimes it takes a long time to complete the process. It will hinder you from doing navigation around your Excel sheets by using the arrow keys.

Fix 6# Disable Scroll Lock

One very common reason behind arrow keys doesn’t work in Excel is due to the enable scroll lock feature.

As long as this, the scroll lock feature kept enabled the arrow key won’t work.

On your keyboard, you can see the light glowing over the scroll button. It shows that your scroll lock button is turned on. You have to turn it off for making your arrow key back to work again.

If arrow key not working in Excel due to this reason then fix it by applying a few changes.

  • Hit the scroll lock key present on your keyboard. This will disable the scroll lock.

scroll lock

  • Make sure that the scroll lock light is no longer glowing on your keyboard.

Fix 7# Take Exit from Formula Entry mode

Exit yourself from the Excel formula entry mode by pressing the enter option. You get into this formula entry mode when you choose the Excel cell and then type =. After that, you start typing the function.

In this formula entry mode if you press over the arrow keys then the selected cell within the formula gets changed.  But this arrow key won’t cooperate with the cursor of your sheet.

  • To get the arrow key back to work just press the Enter and Ctrl+Z button. This will undo the current formula.
  • Performing this task can be confusing so make sure you enter the data correctly into the cells.


Malfunctioning of arrow keys in Excel is quite a common issue to get encountered with.  However, all the fixes mentioned above will surely fix arrow keys not working issue in no time.

I hope your Excel arrow keys stopped working problem has now been resolved. As per my experience, the Scroll Lock method is the most effective one but if it won’t work then you can try other alternative fixes as well.

Do share your experiences on which method worked in your case and if you encounter any issue while performing it then please share it. Let us know by commenting on our social media account Facebook and Twitter.

Margret Arthur is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and expertise on MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in easy to understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.