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How to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets

Stay cool and keep on scrolling with critical data frozen in place.
By
March 1, 2022

Scrolling back and forth to find your data can take forever and leave you with a headache. After all, our short-term memory can only store up to seven items for as long as thirty seconds. Thankfully, there’s a way to pin datasets to the same place to see them when you scroll, making the whole process just a little easier. Here’s how to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets.

Read more: How to add, hide and remove columns or rows in Google Sheets

QUICK ANSWER

To freeze a row or column in Google Sheets, select it and click View--> Freeze.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to freeze columns and rows in Google Sheets on a computer

We will use a model budget for our example because it’s one of the most common spreadsheets you may encounter. Plus, these steps should work no matter which way you need to scroll. There are a few ways to get the job done, so you can pick which one works the best.

Method one: Click and drag

This first method is easiest if you have a row or column header to keep in place.

Once you’ve opened your sheet, navigate to the top left corner — right below the formula bar. Notice that the cell between the column letters and row numbers has a dark gray border. This border is all you need to freeze the top row.

google sheets border
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Click and hold the bottom line of the dark gray border. Now drag it to beneath row 1 and above row 2.

freeze row google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

That’s all there is to it! You can also move the border as low as you like to freeze multiple rows.

You can also drag the right side of the dark gray border to freeze columns. In our example, this would help to check where your payments went.

freeze column google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Method two: Menu options

If you prefer to use the menu options, this section is for you.

Head up to the View tab to get started, then select Freeze at the top of the dropdown menu.

view freeze sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Once you open the Freeze menu in Google Sheets, you’ll notice four options for both rows and columns.

freeze menu options
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Here’s a brief overview of what each option does:

  • No rows/columns: Essentially, this is the unfreeze option. It resets the sheet to nothing frozen so you can scroll freely.
  • 1 row/column: This freezes the top row or column like the click and drag method above. In our case, that means the headers.
  • 2 rows/columns: This option freezes the top two columns or rows. As you scroll, you’ll always see the headers.
  • Up to current row (number)/column (letter): If you want to freeze more than two rows or columns, this is your go-to.

We’ll use the last option as our example. We will freeze everything above the paycheck entry, so we’ve selected a cell in row nine.

highlight cell
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Head back to the Freeze menu and select Up to current row. You’ll notice that the number nine is in parentheses to show you how much will freeze.

Now, you’ll see the top nine rows are frozen in place as you scroll up and down.

frozen row example
Adam Birney / Android Authority

How to freeze columns and rows in Google Sheets on Android or iOS

On your Android or iPhone, open a spreadsheet in the Google Sheets app. Then, touch and hold the row or column you wish to freeze.

From the menu that appears, tap the three-dot icon to view more options.

touch and hold sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Then, tap Freeze. You can also Unfreeze rows or columns from here.

freeze row mobile
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Lastly, you’ll see that the spreadsheet separates into two sections. In this case, you can scroll up or down above and below the frozen row. If it were a frozen column, you’d be able to scroll on either side of the divide.

frozen row sheets mobile
Adam Birney / Android Authority

That’s all it takes to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets. Of course, there are more features to master with the help of our guides.

FAQs

Can I freeze columns that contain merged cells in Google Sheets?

You can’t freeze columns that contain only part of a merged cell. Try to break apart merged cells or freeze more columns to include the complete merged cells. Learn more about how to merge cells in Google Sheets.

What does it mean to freeze a row in Google Sheets?

Freezing a row means it will stay in place on screen no matter how far you scroll up or down.