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Scrolling back and forth is a terrible way to compare lines of data in a spreadsheet. What happens if you scroll too far and can’t find the data you need? Locking data to your screen while you scroll makes the process so much easier. Here’s how to freeze a row in Google Sheets.

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We’re going to use a model budget for our example because it’s one of the most common uses for a spreadsheet. 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!

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How to freeze a row in Google Sheets:

Method one: Click and drag

This first method is easiest if you have a row of column headers that you want to keep in place. After all, it can be tough to remember just what’s in each column after you start to scroll.

1. Once you’ve opened your sheet, navigate to the top left corner — right below the formula bar. You should 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.

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

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3a. That’s all there is to it! You can also drag the border lower to freeze more than one row.

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3b. You can also drag the right side of the dark gray border to freeze columns in Google Sheets instead of rows. This might help in our example if you want to check where each of your payments went.

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Method two: Menu options

If you prefer to use the menu options to freeze rows, this section is for you. Maybe you don’t like the trackpad on your laptop or you’re just more comfortable with menus.

1. Head up to the View tab, located between Edit and Insert, to get started. You’ll want the Freeze option which is at the top of the dropdown.

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2. Once you open the Freeze menu in Google Sheets you’ll notice four options for both rows and columns. This is what the menu should look like:

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If you’re not sure what each option does, here’s a short overview:

  • No rows: Essentially, this is the unfreeze option. It resets the sheet to no frozen rows so you can scroll freely.
  • 1 row: Similar to the click and drag method above, this freezes the top row. In our case, that means the headers.
  • 2 rows: This option freezes the top two rows. You can scroll and you’ll always see the header and top row.
  • Up to current row (number): If you want to freeze more than two rows, this is your go-to. We’ll use this one for the example

3. In order to use the Up to current row option, we’ll have to select a cell in the Google Sheet. We’re going to freeze everything above the paycheck entry, so we’ve selected a cell in row 9.

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4. 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.

5. Now you can scroll up and down and you’ll see the top nine rows frozen in place.

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That’s all it takes to freeze rows in Google Sheets. The process for freezing columns is much the same and the column options are in the same Freeze menu. However, this is just a small part of what you can do in Google Sheets!

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