How to Freeze Columns in Google Sheets (3 Ways)

In today’s article, we will be looking at how to freeze columns in Google Sheets.

Know that the processes are basic and can be used by users of any level of expertise.

But first…

Why should you Freeze Columns?

Freezing columns is crucial when you are handling a wide range of data in your worksheet. As you scroll through these data, the initial important rows or columns will become hidden making you go back to the starting point again to evaluate.

Things can get messy if this continues. And thus, for convenience, we freeze some rows and columns on our worksheet.

Some of the more common scenarios are:

  • Compare and contrast data in specific calls to the row or column headers.
  • To identify key rows and columns.
  • To determine the position of your data throughout the worksheet.

Points to Note

  1. You cannot freeze rows or columns from the middle of the worksheet.
  2. You cannot freeze columns and rows simultaneously (at once). Columns must be frozen first then rows, or vice versa.

3 Ways to Freeze Columns in Google Sheets

1. Freeze Columns Using Mouse in Google Sheets (Drag Column Pane)

The Row-Column pane is perhaps the most overlooked form for freezing columns or rows in Google Sheets. This is a surprise because it is the simplest way to do so.

You can find it in the top-left former of the worksheet:

the row-column pane - how to freeze columns in google sheets

Now, in the following worksheet, we will be using the Column pane (the vertical line) to freeze the SL and ID columns. We do this by clicking and dragging the pane to the right.

dragging column pane to freeze columns in google sheets

Our result:

freezing two columns in google sheets animated

Can you freeze columns on merged cells?

No. You can’t freeze columns that contain cells that are merged. You will be hit with the following warning when you look to do so:

error when trying to freeze on merged cells

2. Freeze Columns Using the Options Menu in Google Sheets

The traditional way to freeze columns is to do so from the Tab/Options menu. Namely the View tab.

View tab > Freeze > Column

how to freeze columns in google sheets from the view tab

In the Columns section (the second half of the Freeze option) we can see a few options presented to us.

By default, options 1 column and 2 columns are presented to us, allowing us to freeze up to the first two columns.

The final option, however, depends on your active cell (Up to column A). In the image, our active cell was A1.

Let’s change our active cell to C1 and see our options.

the active cell determines the range to freeze cells in google sheets

Now, if we select the option Up to column C:

3. Freeze Columns in Google Sheets from a Mobile Device

Google Sheets can also be found as a mobile device application, for both Apple and Android devices.

Let’s look at how we can freeze columns in Google Sheets using a mobile device.

Step 1: Tap and hold the column header until the whole column is selected and a menu appears.

tap and hold column header

Step 2: Click on the 3-dots icon to open a drop-down menu.

opening up column options

Step 3: Scroll down the drop-down menu to find the Freeze option. Tap it.

navigating to the freeze option in google sheets

Great! you have successfully frozen two columns from a mobile device.

How to Unfreeze Columns

1. Column Pane

To begin with, unfreezing columns can be done the same way as we have shown in our first method in Google Sheets. That is by dragging the Column pane.

unfreezing columns in google sheets

2. View Tab

You can also unfreeze your columns by using the View tab

View tab > Freeze > No columns

unfreezing columns from the View tab

3. Mobile Devices

In this example, we will be looking at how to unfreeze columns on an Android device.

frozen column in googles sheets in mobile device

Step 1: Tap and hold the heading of the column until a tray of options appears.

Step 2: Here, click on the 3-dots icon to open a drop-down menu.

opening the column options menu

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, scroll down to find the Unfreeze option. Select it.

unfreeze columns in google sheets in mobile device

Final Words

We hope that all the methods we have discussed come in handy when you look to freeze, or unfreeze, columns in your Google Sheets spreadsheet.

For freezing rows, please follow our How to Freeze Rows in Google Sheets article.

Please feel free to leave us any queries or advice you might have in the comments below.

Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz is a Technical Writer for officewheel.com specializing in everything Google Sheets. Mehrab has always had a profound passion for writing and with his experience with MS Excel and Google Sheets throughout his career, it seems to be a great match when it comes to dishing out tips and tutorials for all to enjoy.

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