Freezing a cell, column, or row allows you to make that said part of your spreadsheet visible at all times no matter how deep you scroll down or to the right of your spreadsheet. The “frozen” cell remains at view at all times, which is great if you’re infinite-scrolling and you want your headers visible.
Why Would You Want to Freeze a Row?
A frozen cell allows you to see this one cell or set of cells always no matter how much you scroll to the left and right or up and down. This is handy when making persistent headers or reminders regardless of how deep you go through your spreadsheet.
The benefits of frozen cells, columns, or rows in Google Sheets include the following.
- You want a task scheduler or to do list cell that’s always there.
- You wish to compare specific data with other data many columns or rows away.
- You want a persistent header on top of the spreadsheet that serves as its headline.
- Keep the headers locked to identify key rows of your spreadsheet without scrolling back up.
- You want a reminder of key data or an important message from your boss throughout the entire spreadsheet.
In other words, the frozen cell, row, or column represents anything you wish to stick around on the viewing window no matter how far down or the right you scroll like it’s a floating toolbar or menu.
How to Freeze Cell in Google Sheets
Step 1: Open a new spreadsheet.
Step 2: You can also use an old spreadsheet so you can make use of their already formatted content to illustrate your point.
I’ve put up an old invoice and task list sheet because it’s pretty long and I can show off how “frozen” the cell you’re going to freeze is going to be.
From hereon out, do either of the following methods.
Method 1: Use the View Menu
Step 1: Select A1 (for now). You can select a whole bunch of cells, rows, and columns as well, but don’t overdo it.
Step 2: Go to the “View” menu. Select the “Freeze” submenu, then select either “1 row” or “Up to 1 row“.
The entirety of row 1 is now frozen. However, we’re gunning for the Cell A1.
Step 3: Again click the “View” menu and “Freeze” submenu. This time, select columns. Select either “1 column” or “Up to column A”.
Now when you scroll to the right, you can see that Cell A1 remains on screen no matter how far you scroll.
Method 2: Use the Gray Pane
Step 1: See the gray pane over there where the column letter headers and row number headers meet? It has lines there you can click and drag.
This time around, let’s make the personal information of John Smith frozen.
Step 2: Move your cursor over the right edge of the gray pane until the arrow turns into a hand.
Click and press on that line then drag it to the column or cell you wish to place it on. In this case, we’ve placed it in between column C and D.
Step 3: Now do the same on the bottom line of the gray pane. Wait until it turns into a hand then drag the line to wherever you want.
Don’t drag the “freeze” line too far off or else you won’t have enough viewing room left.
The personal info of John Smith is now present no matter how far you scroll down or to the right. However, when freezing that amount of cells, your viewing window gets quite small.
In this case, the top rows will remain the same—not only the frozen cells—as you scroll down the columns until you change them by scrolling to the right as well.
In turn, the leftmost columns will remain the same as you scroll to the left until you scroll down. That’s the nature of multiple frozen cells.
File Example – Download here
When Everything Is Said and Done
You can use the gray pane or the “View” then “Freeze” menus to keep a specific cell frozen. The caveat here, of course, is that you can’t freeze any lower than the first few rows or first few columns because freezing happens from the leftmost and upper part of your spreadsheet.
If you make too many upper rows, columns, and cells frozen, you won’t be left with much viewing room for the rest of your spreadsheet.
- “Freeze or merge rows & columns“, Google.com Support, Retrieved June 26, 2022
- “How To Freeze Cells, Rows And Columns In Google Sheets – Excelchat“, Got-It.ai, Retrieved June 26, 2022
- Spreadsheet Point, “How to Freeze Rows and Columns in Google Sheets (Lock Headers in Google Sheets)“, YouTube, December 30, 2016
- Excel, Word and PowerPoint Tutorials from Howtech, “Google Sheets: How to Freeze Rows and Columns | Freeze Top Row | Freeze First Column“, YouTube, July 2, 2021