Scroll Lock In Excel For Mac

If you are trying to figure out how to unlock scroll lock in Excel, then you are in the right spot. Read along to know more about it!

Microsoft Excel is an excellent productivity tool and forms part of your Microsoft Office Suite. An essential program in your bundled Microsoft Office Suite or a part of the Office 365 Suite, it should be one of the best options for preparing your spreadsheets. However, you may come across a few issues with the program that appears abruptly without any apparent reason.

Figure 4 – Scroll lock is active. How to check scroll lock in Excel on Mac. We cannot find the Scroll Lock Status in the Status bar of Excel 2011 but we may find it in later Excel versions. However, we can also verify by trying to move the arrow keys while looking at the formula bar at the same time. I'm on the road, in a hotel, w/o my full size mac keyboard (left at home or I'd command+F14). Can anyone help me - reminder, I only have F1-F12, and my 'Show Keyboard Viewer' only show a macbook pro keyboard (no F14 there either). I'm trying to do expense report work in excel and I'm working at a snail's pace because the scroll lock is on.

We will be discussing one such error or issue you would normally face when working with your Excel Workbook. Yes, we are talking about Scroll Lock feature and learn how to disable or turn it off on your Excel program.

Unlock Scroll Lock in Excel O365:

Well, before we begin, it may be apt to understand what exactly is a scroll lock. It is one such issue that if you have not come across at least once, you will not know that it exists. Of course, we would also claim that you may have come across the issue once in a while, but blamed it on the program and have relaunched your Excel program.

Now imagine the situation. You are working on an Excel sheet. There are no issues whatsoever with your formulas and other aspects of your spreadsheet. All of a sudden, you realize that when you tap on the arrow keys, you do not move to the next cell. Instead, the entire workbook or worksheet moves in the direction of the arrow.

Have you come across this issue? We bet you have and have rebooted your Excel program to resolve the issue. However, you are bound to find the issue affecting you quite repeatedly.

Ideally, in an Excel worksheet, pressing the arrow keys moves your cursor from one cell to another in whichever direction you intend it to. However, if you have your Scroll Lock enabled, you will find that the entire worksheet moves when you press the arrow keys. The situation can be alarming if you are not aware of what is happening and why does it happen so. I many cases, users tend to think that their Excel program is broken and needs to be taken care of.

The Excel Scroll Lock is a feature that should help you control how do the arrow keys work in excel concerning the cells in an Excel worksheet. If the Scroll Lock function is disabled, you will find that the arrow keys will help you between the individual cells in any direction. If the Scroll Lock is enabled, you will be able to move your cursor, but the cell selection does not change and remains unaltered. If you have wanted to move to a cell, you need to manually move your cursor to the cell and click there to activate it or make it your active cell.

How to find if the Scroll Lock is enabled?

Before you can check if you can disable the Scroll Lock feature, it would be essential to find if the scroll lock feature is enabled or not on your computer. So, how would you be able to check it?

Scroll Lock On Surface

If you want to check whether the Scroll Lock feature is turned on or off, you just need to have a look at the bottom of your Excel window. Yes, you are right there – it is called Status Bar. The status bar should show whether the scroll lock is applied to your Excel sheet.

In case, you do not see the option for Scroll Lock; your status bar may not have been configured to show it. Right click on the status bar and check the option for Scroll lock. Once that done, the status bar will display if the scroll lock has been enabled or disabled. If you see the words, Scroll Lock, you can be assured that the scroll lock has been activated.

Please note that the scroll lock status will only display the status of scroll lock and will indicate whether it is in the enabled or disabled state. It will not let you control the behavior of your scroll lock. In other words, you cannot disable scroll lock using the status bar.

How to Disable or Unlock Scroll Lock in Excel O365 for Windows?

The NUM Lock and Scroll Lock features work similarly. They work as a toggle. You press them once, they get activated and enable the lock. Tap on them again; they are disabled. You can easily disable the scroll lock using the keyboard and the physical scroll lock key. You will find the scroll lock status disappearing from your status bar on Excel.

However, there are cases where you do not have a scroll lock key on your keyboard. This can be a typical case on the keyboard of a laptop. There are situations where – even when you have a scroll lock key, it may not work.


In such situations, it may be practical to opt for an onscreen keyboard. Windows do come with an on-screen keyboard and can be quite helpful in letting you enable or disable the scroll lock even without the physical key for the scroll lock function.

Scroll lock in excel for mac

Go to Windows Search and type in Onscreen Keyboard. Choose the onscreen keyboard from the search results and launch it. You should find the Scroll lock key on the keyboard. Click on it, and you can easily enable or disable the Scroll Lock feature.

Another option to bring up the Onscreen keyboard will involve the following steps –

  • Launch your Windows Settings
  • Go to Ease of Access grouping.
  • Under the Interaction tab on the left side menu bar, locate the Keyboard option.
  • Toggle the option for Onscreen keyboard.

Once the onscreen keyboard launches, you are good to go with enabling or disabling your scroll lock on your Excel sheet or for that matter, any of your programs.

How to Disable Scroll Lock on Mac?

Finding if the scroll lock is enabled on Excel is a tough task if you are using Mac. If you want to know whether the scroll lock is turned on, you will need to check it with the behavior of your Excel cells.

Launch your Excel worksheet and press the arrow keys. Observe the behavior of the cells when you press the respective arrow keys. If the cursor moves to the desired cell and turns it active, you can be assured that the scroll lock is not enabled. If it does not move and the cell selection does not change, it should be an indication to show that the scroll lock has been activated.

Now, how to disable the scroll lock on your Mac? Well, there are a few options that should be helpful enough.

Do you have the Apple Extended Keyboard? In that case, it should be easy for you to work with it to disable scroll lock. If you have the F14 key along with Fn key on your keyboard, it should be a more comfortable option to use. The F14 key is the shortcut for scroll lock feature. Make sure you have pressed the Fn key before pressing the F14 key.

If your keyboard does not have the Fn key but features the F14 key, you can press SHIFT key and F14 in combination. Check your keyboard for the exact combinations. You may need to press anyone among Command, Control or Option keys instead of the SHIFT key. The correct option will be dependent upon the configuration on your keyboard.

Yet another good option that can be helpful in case of your Mac is to use the AppleScript feature. AppleScript, if you are not aware, is the built-in scripting language that lets you automate the applications and a few everyday tasks on your Mac. You can make use of the AppleScript to send keystrokes to the app so that it can make changes even without the key being pressed.

You need to know how to use the AppleScript program. It may not be as easy unless you do possess some sort of experience in the programming language.


The following script may be handy enough, though we may not be able to guarantee any assured results –

You may get assistance from anyone who has good experience in programming and in creating scripts.

In Conclusion

That was the complete information on how to disable or turn off scroll lock on your Excel program in Office 365 suite. However, do note that the functionality and steps remain the same even when you are facing similar issues on your bundled Microsoft Excel program. Do note that enabling the scroll feature can affect all the programs and applications on your computer and not Excel alone. However, the effects are felt more on Excel, where it touches the functionality to a greater extent.

More on Office 365:

  • Disable Scroll Lock – Official Forum
Disclaimer: The Questions and Answers provided on are for general information purposes only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availabilitywith respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose.

Related articles

Your report is due in an hour. You’re working along in Excel, things are going fine, when suddenly you notice that you can no longer move around properly. You press the arrow keys, but instead of the cursor moving to another cell, the entire worksheet seems to be moving about. WTF?!

Before you panic and call support to tell them Excel is broken, check to see if Scroll Lock has been accidentally enabled.


What is Scroll Lock?

Usually, the arrow keys will move you one cell at a time in whatever direction you wish. However, when Scroll Lock is enabled, the worksheet is “scrolled” instead. The up and down arrow keys scroll one row up and down, and the right and left arrow keys scroll one column right and left. The active cell never changes.

If you don’t understand what’s going on, this can be quite distressing 🙂

Fortunately, the Scroll Lock setting is a toggle, much like Caps Lock. If you have a Scroll Lock key on your keyboard, just press it toggle Scroll Lock off. Done.

No key for Scroll Lock?

Unfortunately, it’s harder to disable Scroll Lock if your keyboard doesn’t have a Scroll Lock key. How can you press a key you don’t have?

The “trick” is to figure out how to send the equivalent of the Scroll Lock keystroke to Excel. The rest of this article explains how to do that on both Mac and Windows.

Is Scroll Lock really on?

First, make sure Scroll Lock is really enabled.

On Windows, the status bar will display Scroll Lock if Scroll Lock is toggled on, and if the Scroll Lock status is enabled in the status bar. If Scroll Lock status is not enabled in the status bar, it might be toggled on and you’ll never see it.

Right click the status bar to make sure Scroll Lock status is enabled:

The Scroll Lock setting here doesn’t control Scroll Lock, it only displays Scroll Lock status.

Once you make sure that the Scroll Lock status is on, look for the Scroll lock message in the lower left.

Yes, Scroll Lock is turned on.

How To Turn Off Scroll Lock In Excel For Mac

On a Mac, as far as I know, Scroll Lock status will not appear in the status bar of Excel 2011. (I haven’t checked Excel 2016 yet). The only way I know to verify the Scroll Lock state is to use the arrow keys and observe behavior. Try moving around with the arrow keys and watch the address in the name box (directly left of the formula bar). If the address doesn’t change change, Scroll Lock is probably turned on.

Mac Excel 2011 doesn’t show scroll lock status anywhere.

How to disable Scroll Lock on Windows

If you’re using a full keyboard in Windows – one that has a Scroll Lock key – simply press the key to disable. You should see the Scroll Lock message disappear from the status bar and then be able to move around normally.

If your keyboard does not have a Scroll Lock key, you can access a virtual keyboard in Windows via Start > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard.

The On-Screen Keyboard in Windows, Scroll Lock key in white

Once the keyboard is displayed, make sure Excel is the active application and click the ScrLk key. That should do it.

How to disable Scroll Lock on a Mac

The official Microsoft shortcut for Scroll Lock is Shift + F14. If you have an extended keyboard with an F14 key, try that first.

A Mac Extended Keyboard has an F14 key (click to enlarge)

If you have a Macbook Pro, or other machine with a smaller keyboard that does not have extended keys, you’ll have to go a little deeper.

You’d think that you could go System Preferences > Keyboard, then enable an extended virtual keyboard, then use that to press F14. But, after an hour so of fiddling around, I couldn’t get it to work, and I’m not sure it can be done.

It seems that the Mac is “aware” of the keyboard currently attached, and uses this information to display the virtual keyboard. If you know a way to enable an extended virtual keyboard (on a Mac that doesn’t have one attached), please let me know.

Virtual Keyboard, a commercial freeware utility by Corallo Software (14 day trial) seems to work, but I did very little testing.

AppleScript to the rescue

Scroll Lock In Excel For Mac

On Macs, AppleScript is a built-in scripting language that can be used to automate applications and other general tasks. One of the things you can do with AppleScript is send keystrokes to an application.

Hp Keyboard Scroll Lock Missing

While researching this problem, I ran into a nice AppleScript by Damien Clark here. However, I couldn’t get the script work like I expected. I could enable Scroll Lock with the script. But when I ran the script again, Scroll Lock wasn’t disabled.

At least not without checking the “use all F1, F2, etc keys as standard function keys setting” checkbox in the Mac’s keyboard preferences…which made the process pretty confusing.

So, after a bit more investigation (read: a few hours flailing about), I adapted the script to send the equivalent of fn + shift + F14, with a small delay. This works on my 2015 Macbook Pro reliably to turn Scroll Lock on and off.

To use this script, run the AppleScript Editor, create a new file, and paste in the code above. Then compile the script (Command + K), and run it (play button, or Command + R).

If Scroll Lock is currently on, it should be disabled.

Caution: if Scroll Lock is not currently enabled, it will be enabled, so you’ll need to run the script again to toggle it off again.