If you didn’t know, Google Sheets can have more than 15,000 rows. While that might be hard to imagine, it’s even harder to keep track of your column heads while you’re scrolling up and down. In most cases, you’ll find it difficult to compare data even between columns as you scroll down. This is also true when comparing data between rows.
Now, there are two ways to freeze rows in Google Sheets.
2 Ways to Freeze Rows in Google Sheets
- Freeze the first row
- Freeze a certain number of rows up to the current row
Both of these methods will be covered in this guide down below. At the same time, we made sure to include a guide on how to freeze and unfreeze columns in Google Sheets. You’ll find those two sections at the end of the article, so make sure to scroll all the way through!
Now, the first method allows you to freeze a number of rows that are pre-defined by Google Sheets. The second one gives you more freedom in terms of how many rows you can freeze. However, there are some limitations to this, and we’ll go over these restrictions below. Hopefully, you’ll find the steps in this guide relatively easy to follow, as we have laid them out with beginners in mind.
Without further ado, let’s get on with it!
Why Should You Lock Rows in Google Sheets?
Dealing with a large dataset can be overwhelming. Most often, you will need to compare two or more data between multiple columns or rows. This can get complicated, especially when you’re using two rows that are far away from each other.
Remember, your column headings label and categorize the data that’s on your spreadsheet. Knowing which column is which is pivotal when browsing. Freezing your heading rows allows you to scroll through your spreadsheet while keeping an eye on your column headings. Google Sheets offers a number of options when freezing rows in your spreadsheets. You can choose to freeze a pre-defined number of rows set by Google Sheets, or you can specify the number of rows you want to freeze.
Freezing your rows in Google Sheets can solve this problem. You can freeze the top row so that you can scroll up and down without losing sight of the column headings. This way, you can easily cross-reference data values between rows and columns.
Now, here’s how you can freeze rows in Google Sheets.
Method 1: Freeze the First Row in Google Sheets
If you’re in a hurry and your goal is to freeze the top row only, then this method is for you. This method makes use of the Freeze options that Google Sheets already has ready to use.
Here’s how you can do that.
Step 1: Open up your Google Sheets file.
Before anything else, we will need to open up a spreadsheet file. If you don’t have one yet, you may create a copy of the document used in this guide. Alternatively, feel free to use your own personal spreadsheet if you have one open already.
Don’t worry about messing up your document as this method will not change or delete any of your data. After all, you can always undo the changes by simply pressing CTRL+Z on your keyboard.
Step 2: Go to the View menu.
Once we have a spreadsheet opened, go ahead and click the View button found at the Menu bar. This will be located at the top-left corner of your Google Sheets window.
Step 3: Freeze the first row of your spreadsheet.
After you’ve clicked on the View tab and have opened the drop-down menu, click on Freeze. This will open up another drop-down menu with different options and features. From there, simply click on and select the 1 row option.
- Click Freeze to show more options.
- Select row 1 to freeze the first row.
Alternatively, if you want to freeze the first two rows, then select 2 rows from the list of Freeze options.
Voila! You’ve just frozen the first row of your Google Sheets file.
If you want to learn more about how to freeze columns, then check out the “Freezing Columns in Google Sheets” section.
Method 2: Freeze Rows up to the Current Row
If you want to freeze a lot more than just two rows, then you’re in luck. This method gives you more control over the number of rows you can freeze.
Here’s how you can freeze a certain number of rows.
Step 1: Open up your Google Sheets file.
To get started, we will need to open a spreadsheet document. Feel free to use your own personal documents for this tutorial. If you’re worried about messing up your document, you can also use a blank one. None of your contents should be changed or deleted.
Alternatively, you may create a copy of the document used in this guide, so you can better see the benefits of freezing rows in Google Sheets.
Step 2: Select or highlight a row.
Now that we have our file opened, click the last row of the chosen set of rows that you want to freeze. You will need to click on the row number to select a row. Note that Google Sheets will always start from row 1 up to the row you have selected.
For this example, we will select row 10.
Alternatively, you can simply select a cell in that row. Both ways will work the same way.
Step 3: Go to the View menu.
From there, go to the View menu. Once again, you’ll find this at the top-left corner of your screen. After opening the drop-down menu, select Freeze to show more options. Now, select Up to current row (#).
If you are using a copy of our document or click on the same row we did, it should say Up to current row (10).
- Click View menu.
- Select Freeze.
- Select Up to current row.
Once you try to scroll up or down, you should notice that the first 10 rows are fixed in place.
Now, if you’re curious about how many rows you can actually freeze in Google Sheets, then go ahead and try. But, to save you the trouble, we tried this out ourselves. Here’s what we got:
In hindsight, it does make sense that freezing rows longer than your window doesn’t work. For one, it’s important to note that it would defeat the purpose of freezing rows if you have frozen rows more than the height of your window.
Unfreeze Rows in Google Sheets
There will come a time when you will need to unfreeze rows in Google Sheets. This is particularly true if you want to change the number of frozen rows.
Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to unfreeze rows in Google Sheets. Simply expand the Freeze options and select No rows.
- Select Freeze to display more options.
- Select No rows to unfreeze all frozen rows.
Freezing Columns in Google Sheets
Alternatively, you’ll also find it useful to learn about how to freeze columns in Google Sheets. The steps are pretty much the same, except for the obvious fact that you will be selecting columns instead of rows.
Freeze the first column of your spreadsheet
Go to the View menu and select Freeze. This will show you more options. Select 1 column or 2 columns to freeze the first column or the first two columns, respectively.
- Select 1 column to freeze the first column.
- Select 2 columns to freeze the first 2 columns.
Freeze up to the current column
If you want to freeze more than 2 columns, you will have to select a column of reference. Google Sheets will always freeze columns from column A to the column you selected.
For this example, we will freeze columns A to D.
- Select column D by clicking on the column letter.
- Select Up to current column (D) to freeze columns from A to D.
Just like the rows, you cannot freeze more columns than the width of your window. This would make the point of freezing them useless.
You have finally arrived at the end of this guide. We hope that we’ve helped you figure out how to freeze rows in Google Sheets. Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve discussed today.
Learning how to freeze rows in Google Sheets is an essential skill to have, especially if you are managing large sets of data. Having frozen rows will save you time and keep you sane when comparing data through a handful of rows and columns.
Google Sheets allows you to freeze rows in two ways. First, you can freeze rows by using one of the readily available Freeze options. Second, you can freeze rows starting from the first row up to the current row you selected.
We hope you found this article helpful!