How to freeze columns in Google Sheets

How to freeze columns in Google Sheets

Whenever I’m working with large datasets in Google Sheets, it’s easy for me to lose track of what’s what—especially without headers locked in place. Take this simple student grade sheet below, for example. 

Notice that as I scroll across the sheet, the student names and IDs disappear. With this view, it’s nearly impossible for me to remember which grade belongs to which student. 

That’s where the Freeze function comes in. It lets you pin columns in place so you can see the data you need at all times, even as you scroll through your spreadsheet. 

Demo of scrolling across a Google Sheets spreadsheet with columns frozen in place.

How to freeze columns in Google Sheets 

Here’s the easiest way to freeze a column or multiple columns in Google Sheets. 

In the top-left corner of your spreadsheet, next to column A and above row 1, there are two thick, gray bars running horizontally and vertically. 

Two thick, gray bars running horizontally and vertical, sitting at the top-left corner of a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

To freeze a column, click the vertical bar and drag it across to the right side of the last column you want to freeze. For example, let’s pin up to the student IDs in column C.

Demo of how to freeze columns in Google Sheets by dragging the vertical, gray bar across to column C.

To unfreeze a column, drag the bar back to its original position. 

If you, like me, get frustrated about having to get your cursor in just the right spot, there’s another way. 

  1. Open a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

  2. Select the columns you want to freeze. 

  3. Click View, and then select Freeze

  4. Click Up to column [column letter]

Let’s freeze the student IDs in column C again using this method. For this example, click View, select Freeze, and select Up to column C.

How to freeze columns in Google Sheets using the ribbon menu.

It’s a simple example, but when you’re reviewing grades for 30 or so students—or you’re working with a large dataset of any sort—freezing columns and rows makes scrolling through the data much more manageable.

To unfreeze a column, repeat the same steps, but instead of clicking Up to column C, click No columns

Automate Google Sheets

Manual data entry is ripe for human error. With Zapier, you can connect Google Sheets with your go-to apps. This way, you can automate your most time-consuming spreadsheet-related tasks. For example, you can automatically add new lead data and form submissions to an existing spreadsheet. Learn more about how to automate Google Sheets, or get started with one of these workflow templates.   

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

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