Excel Hack

Arrow keys not moving cells in Excel

Normally, in Excel, cells can be moved using the up, down, left, and right arrow keys on the keyboard. However, some operations may make it impossible to move cells with the arrow keys. This section describes how to deal with cases where the arrow keys on the keyboard are not available, using shortcut keys. If you are having trouble using the arrow keys, please refer to this section.

What to do if the arrow keys do not work

Unprotect the Excel

Windows
Access Key: Alt + T + P + P

Mac
None

Take exit from Formula Entry mode

Windows
Enter

Mac
With numeric keypad: return or enter
Without numeric keypad: return

Turn off Extended Selection mode

Windows
F8

Mac
F8

Sheet unprotection

If the arrow keys do not function, the sheet may be protected. Use the following access key to remove the sheet protection.

Total Time: 1 minute

Open a file

Open a file

Open the sheets for which the arrow keys do not work.

Unprotect Sheet dialog box will appear

Unprotect the sheet

Press Alt + T + P + P displays the Unprotect Sheet dialog box. Enter Password.

Unprotect Sheet

Arrow keys will be available

Press Enter to sheet protection is removed.

Turn off Scroll Lock

Scroll Lock

If you cannot move cells with the arrow keys and the screen scrolls, the scroll lock may be set.

Please refer to the following article on how to unlock the scroll lock.

How to remove scroll lock in Excel shortcut

Take exit from Formula Entry mode

If you are in Formula Entry mode in Excel, you cannot move to another cell by pressing the arrow keys. Use the following method to remove Formula Entry mode.

Formula Entry mode

B2 is in Formula Entry mode.

Formula Entry mode exits

Press Enter to confirm the formula and the arrow keys become available.

Turn off Extended Selection mode

If using the arrow keys results in a range selection instead of moving cells, Extended Selection mode is enabled. Use the following method to disable Extended Selection mode.

Extended Selection mode

The sheet is in Extended Selection mode and using the arrow keys results in a range selection.

Turn off Extended Selection mode

Press F8 cancels the Extended Selection mode and allows moving cells with the arrow keys.