Restoring keyboard arrows in Microsoft Excel

Published: April 21, 2022

Last Modified: March 29, 2023

Restoring keyboard arrows in Microsoft Excel

Method 1: Disabling the Scroll Lock Key

By default, the arrows on the keyboard in Microsoft Excel are responsible for navigating the table. With their help, it becomes possible to switch to a neighboring cell from the selected one, which in some conditions can be very useful. But using the Scroll Lock key, this function can be changed to scroll the entire sheet horizontally and vertically. Accordingly, to return everything to its original state, you must click on this button.

Note! If the Scroll Lock option is enabled, the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet displays a checkmark at the bottom of the GUI. In this way, it is possible to understand in advance whether the              presented method of eliminating the problem will be effective.                                                      

It is worth noting that the developers of modern keyboards have begun to refuse to place the Scroll Lock key, but this feature may still be active. In this case, you will need to use a special utility to correct the situation. Open the system search menu and enter the query “On-Screen Keyboard” , launch the application of the same name.

After the virtual layout appears, click on the corresponding button. It should be highlighted in blue, as it is registered in the system as pressed.

Method 2: Deactivate the Sticky Keys feature

The Sticky Keys feature makes it easier to perform complex hotkey combinations. But in a permanently active state, it can harm when editing a table in Microsoft Excel, in particular, causing the arrows to work incorrectly. To correct the situation, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the options window using the combination Win + I , then go to the “Ease of Access” section , which is located on the left sidebar.
  2. Scroll the page to the “Interaction” block and go to the “Keyboard” menu .
  3. Deactivate the option “Sticky Keys” , then go to its options. To do this, click on the arrow located to the right of the switch.
  4. Make sure that the “Shortcut Keys for Sticky Keys” feature is disabled .
  5. After that, you should return to the spreadsheet and check the performance of the keyboard arrows. If there is no result, if necessary, return all the changed parameters back.

Method 3: Disable add-ons

Note! All the steps presented in this method will be performed using Microsoft Excel 2021 as an example, but the guide remains relevant for all office programs released since 2007. The main differences will be only in the graphic design and naming of interface elements.

Excel add-ins are external components that make changes to how the program works. Some may affect the correct operation of certain spreadsheet functions, including input tools. You will need to disable all add-ons to make sure they are not involved:

  1. Run the program, go to the tab “File” and on the sidebar on the left click on the item “Options” .
  2. In the window that opens, go to the “Add-ins” section and in the drop-down list “Manage” select the value “Excel Add-ins” . After that, click on the “Go” button .
  3. Uncheck all items from the list of add-ons. Click on the “OK” button to disable the corresponding components.

  4. Note! Most add-ons stop working immediately after being disabled, but some require the program to be restarted first. This is exactly what is recommended to do immediately after following the above instructions.

    If none of the solutions in the article helped, there is a chance that the incorrect operation of the keyboard arrows is caused by damage to the program components. In this case, it would be preferable to reinstall Microsoft Excel. A separate article on our website is devoted to this topic, which, if necessary, 

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