Freeze panes not working properly

Occasional Visitor

I'm having an issue with freeze panes. I'm trying to freeze the first 2 columns and the top row of a large worksheet, so I'm using "Freeze top row" for the top row, and selecting the 3rd column and selecting "Freeze panes." The row and columns stay frozen for a while, but the freeze panes command "wears off", and sometimes doesn't work at all. I'm using Excel 2016, and I've never had this problem before. TIA.

4 Replies


Make sure the active cell is C2 then select Freeze Panes.


Freeze top row = Free top visible row

Freeze first column = Freeze first visible column

Usually in this case, you will probably have headings in i.e row 3. If your headings is in row 3 and you want to Freeze row 3 and the first 2 columns (A and B), you need to select cell C4. Then, apply Freeze Panes.

This will Freeze the first two columns and the first 3 rows. When you scroll to the right and down, you will notice the freezing
I have had the same situation happen frequently and as yet haven't read a satisfactory explanation...
Whilst using the full downloaded client version of Excel 365 and particularly since ribbons came to fruition I have created customised ribbons, then this particular issue started occurring along with others...
My customised ribbon was made in a version a few years has been exported to later versions...then I found icons or functionality changed in some way or form. For example the Wrap Text and Group command buttons...
But whilst simply swapping out the old for the new solves those issues permanently, Freeze Pains remains unreliable, becoming disabled seemingly in random spreadsheet sessions...!
Currently the only way I have found is to remove the function from the ribbon and immediately add it back. This refreshes the ribbon and it is working again.
Whether this is a bug of the ribbon or of the code behind the function I do not know, but it remains a mystery...
So I do not tell you about instances where it is designed to be greyed out, purely my situation using Excel in everyday normal view mode.
It's a pain and I think an unresolved bug Microsoft has still to address.


Yeah it's a little strange at first, but basically it freezes everything above and to the left of your current selection. So the other post is correct, use cell C2 to freeze the top row and the left two columns. Don't bother setting "Freeze Top Row", just use "Freeze Panes".

Experiment with a blank document, you'll see the pane lines clearly when you set the freeze.