The Cursor Keys are Not Working in Excel – 8 Solutions

This is an overview of the problem:

Dataset-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel


What Are Cursor Keys?

Keyboard keys: the Up, Down, Left, Right, Home, End, PageUp, and PageDown are referred to as Cursor Keys. They move the cursor in different directions.

Reasons for the problem

  • Enabling Scroll Lock Key
  • Activated Add-ins
  • Glitched Sticky Keys option enables the Scroll Lock
  • Freeze Panes lock working area
  • Protected Excel worksheets
  • Background processing of complex Excel formulas
  • Worksheet in Formula Entry mode
  • Keyboard Drive update issue


Solution 1 – Turning Off the Keyboard Scroll Lock

Press the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard to activate or deactivate the Scroll Lock.

Scroll Locks Key

Using On-Screen Keyboard (Windows):

  • Enter On-Screen Keyboard in the Windows Search bar.
  • Click on Open to launch the On-screen Keyboard.

On-screen keyboard-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

  •  Click ScrLk to switch the Scroll Lock On or Off.

On-screen keyboard

 Tips: Press Win+Ctrl+O to launch the On-Screen Keyboard.

For Mac Users (Physical Keyboard):

For Mac, press F14 or Shift + F14.

Solution 2 –  Enabling Sticky Keys

  • Enter Control Panel in the Windows Search bar.
  • Click Open.

Sticky Keys-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

  • In the the Control Panel window, click Ease of Access in Adjust your Computer’s Settings.

Control Panel

  • Select Ease of Access.
  • Click Ease of Access Center.

Ease of Access

  • Select Make the keyboard easier to use in Explore all settings.

Ease of Access Center-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

  • Check Turn on Sticky Keys in Make the Keyboard easier to use.
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.

Sticky Keys


  • Fast press SHIFT  5 times to display the Sticky Keys window.
  • Click YES.

Sticky Keys window-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

Solution 3 – Disabling the Scroll Lock in Excel Worksheets to Activate the Cursor Keys

You can check the Scroll Lock Status:

  • Right-click Status bar.
  • Set Scroll Lock Status On or Off.

Excel Scroll Lock-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

Solution 4 – Exiting Formula Mode to Solve Issue with Cursor Keys

  • Exit the formula pressing ENTER or ESC or CTRL+ Z.

Formula Mode

Solution 5 – Disabling Add-ins 

  • Go to File > Options > Select Add-ins > Click Go.
  • Add-ins-Cursor Keys Not Working in ExcelIn the Add-ins dialog box, uncheck all Add-ins.
  • Click OK.

Deactivating Add-ins-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel


Solution 6 – Using the Unfreeze Panes Option 

  •  Go to the View tab > Select Unfreeze Panes.

Unfreeze Panes-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel


Solution 7 – Unprotecting the Worksheet .

Unprotect Sheet

Click the link to see how to unprotect an Excel Worksheet without Password.

Solution 8 – Updating the Keyboard Driver 

  • Enter Device Manager in the Windows Search bar.
  • Click Open.

Update keyboard driver-Cursor Keys Not Working in Excel

  • In the Device Manager window, click Keyboards.
  • Right-click Keyboard Type (here, HID Keyboard Device).
  • Select Update driver.

Update keyboard driver

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

  1. Reply
    ExcelIsAbandonware Jan 26, 2023 at 5:21 PM

    There are also Excel bugs which cause it to ignore the cursor keys. A workaround I found is to add a new sheet, and immediately delete it. This resets the faulty setting inside Excel.

    • Hello ExcelIsAbandonware,
      Thank you for sharing this Excel bug issue with the solution. I hope it will profoundly help our users.


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