How to Make a Column Stay in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide


In the world of spreadsheet management, Google Sheets is a popular tool that offers enormous potential for organizing and analyzing data. However, when working on large datasets, it can be frustrating to lose sight of important information as you scroll through endless rows. This is where the ability to make a column stay in Google Sheets becomes invaluable. By fixing a column, you can ensure that vital data remains visible, allowing for easier reference and efficient data manipulation. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the process of making a column stay in Google Sheets, and uncover the benefits it brings to your spreadsheet experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Making a column stay in Google Sheets is essential for keeping important data visible while scrolling through large datasets.
  • A fixed column provides easy reference and efficient data manipulation, enhancing the overall spreadsheet experience.
  • To freeze a column, navigate to the "Freeze" option in the menu and select the desired column.
  • Adjusting the width of the frozen column allows for better visibility and should be done according to personal preferences.
  • To unlock a frozen column, locate the "Unfreeze" option in the menu and follow the steps to remove the fixed column when no longer needed.

Understanding the Basics

When working with Google Sheets, it can be incredibly helpful to have certain columns stay in place as you scroll through a spreadsheet. This feature, known as making a column stay, allows you to keep important data visible at all times, even as you navigate through a large amount of information.

Explain what it means for a column to stay in Google Sheets

When you make a column stay in Google Sheets, it means that as you scroll horizontally through your spreadsheet, that specific column will remain in view, no matter how far you move to the right or left. This feature is particularly useful when you have a lot of data and want to keep certain information, such as headers or key identifiers, visible as you analyze or input new data.

Highlight the difference between a fixed and unfixed column

In Google Sheets, a fixed column is one that stays in place as you scroll through your spreadsheet, while an unfixed column will move off the screen as you navigate horizontally. This distinction is crucial because it allows you to choose which columns are most important for your specific tasks and keep them readily accessible.

Discuss the advantages of keeping a specific column in view while scrolling through a spreadsheet

There are several advantages to making a column stay in Google Sheets:

  • Improved data visibility: By keeping a specific column in view, you can easily refer to and compare data without having to constantly scroll back and forth. This can save you time and reduce the chances of making errors.
  • Easier data entry: When working with large data sets, having a fixed column can make it simple to input information accurately. You won't need to search for the corresponding column each time you want to enter data, allowing for more efficient data entry.
  • Enhanced analysis: When analyzing data, it's often necessary to compare different columns. By keeping relevant columns in view, you can easily compare and contrast data points without losing sight of the context.
  • Consistent formatting: If you have specific formatting applied to a column, such as custom number formats or conditional formatting rules, making that column stay ensures that the formatting remains consistent even as you scroll through your spreadsheet.

Step 1: Freeze the Column

One of the handy features in Google Sheets is the ability to freeze a column, so it stays in place when scrolling through a large dataset. This can greatly improve the visibility and ease of working with your data. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of freezing a column in Google Sheets.

Explain how to freeze a column in Google Sheets

To begin, open your Google Sheets document that contains the desired column you want to keep fixed. Freezing a column will ensure that it remains visible on the screen, even as you scroll horizontally through your data.

Provide the location of the "Freeze" option in the menu

To freeze the column, click on the "View" menu at the top of the screen. A dropdown menu will appear, revealing several options to customize your view.

Within the "View" menu, locate the "Freeze" option. Clicking on it will display a sub-menu with additional freezing options.

Guide users to select the column they want to keep fixed

After selecting the "Freeze" option, you will see three choices: "1 column", "2 columns", and "Up to current column". To freeze a specific column, select the desired option that suits your needs.

If you choose "1 column", the column to the left of your cursor will be frozen. This means that when scrolling horizontally, the chosen column will remain in view.

Similarly, if you choose "2 columns", the two columns to the left of your cursor will be frozen. This is useful when you want to keep multiple adjacent columns visible while exploring your data.

Lastly, selecting "Up to current column" will freeze all columns up to and including the one where your cursor is currently located. This is particularly helpful when you're working with a large dataset and need to keep a specific column in sight at all times.

Once you've made your selection, Google Sheets will automatically freeze the chosen column(s), ensuring they stay in place while you navigate through your spreadsheet.

Step 2: Adjust the Frozen Column:

Once you have frozen a column in Google Sheets, the next step is to adjust its width to ensure optimal visibility and convenience. Follow these simple steps to adjust the frozen column width:

1. Explain how to adjust the width of the frozen column:

To adjust the width of the frozen column, place your cursor on the line separating the frozen column from the adjacent column. It will change into a double-headed arrow, indicating that you can resize the column.

2. Show users how to resize the column to their preferred width:

To resize the frozen column to your preferred width, click and hold the double-headed arrow icon. Then, drag it left or right to increase or decrease the column's width until it matches your desired size.

While dragging the arrow, you will see a horizontal guideline that shows the current width. This guideline helps you estimate the width of the column as you resize it, ensuring accurate adjustments.

3. Explain the importance of adjusting it correctly for better visibility:

Adjusting the width of the frozen column correctly is crucial for better visibility of the frozen data. If the column is too narrow, the text in the frozen column may become truncated, making it difficult to read. On the other hand, a column that is too wide may waste valuable screen space and require unnecessary horizontal scrolling.

By resizing the frozen column to the appropriate width, you can make sure that the frozen data remains visible and easily legible, enhancing your overall spreadsheet experience.

Step 3: Unlock the Frozen Column

Once you have successfully frozen a column in Google Sheets, there may come a time when you need to unfreeze it. Whether you want to rearrange your columns or simply no longer need a fixed column, unlocking the frozen column is a straightforward process.

Unlocking a Frozen Column

In order to unlock a frozen column in Google Sheets, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the frozen column by clicking on the header of the column.
  2. Click on the "View" option in the menu bar located at the top of the Google Sheets interface.
  3. From the dropdown menu, navigate to the "Freeze" option.
  4. In the submenu that appears, click on the "No rows or columns" option.

By selecting the "No rows or columns" option, you will effectively remove the freeze from the selected column.

Removing the Fixed Column

Once you have unfrozen a column, you may find that you no longer need it to be fixed in place. To remove the fixed column entirely, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the header of the column you want to remove from the frozen state.
  2. Go to the "View" option in the menu bar.
  3. In the dropdown menu, navigate to the "Freeze" option.
  4. Click on the "No rows or columns" option in the submenu.

By following these steps, you will successfully remove the fixed column from your Google Sheets.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While making a column stay in Google Sheets can greatly improve your workflow and make data analysis easier, there are some common issues that users may encounter along the way. In this section, we will address these issues and provide solutions to potential problems.

Accidentally Freezing Multiple Columns

One problem that users may face is accidentally freezing multiple columns instead of just one. This can happen when the user selects a range of cells instead of a single column to freeze. If this happens, follow these steps to unfreeze the extra columns:

  • Select the frozen columns: Click on the View tab in the menu bar, then select Freeze from the dropdown menu. Next, click on the Freeze columns option. This will show the frozen columns highlighted in blue.
  • Unfreeze the extra columns: Right-click on any of the frozen columns and select Unfreeze. This will unfreeze all the frozen columns and allow you to start fresh with freezing just the desired column.

Unable to Adjust the Size of the Frozen Column

Another common issue users encounter is being unable to adjust the size of the frozen column. This can be frustrating when you need to view or edit data in the frozen column. To address this problem, try the following solutions:

  • Verify the frozen column range: Ensure that the frozen column range includes the entire column you want to freeze. If the frozen column range is too narrow, it may prevent you from adjusting the size of the frozen column.
  • Resize adjacent columns: If resizing the frozen column directly doesn't work, try resizing the adjacent columns instead. By adjusting the width of the adjacent columns, you may be able to indirectly adjust the size of the frozen column.
  • Disable word wrap: Sometimes the frozen column may appear to be unadjustable due to word wrap being enabled. To disable word wrap, select the frozen column, click on the Format tab in the menu bar, and uncheck the Word wrap option. This should allow you to adjust the size of the frozen column as needed.

By following these troubleshooting steps and solutions, you can overcome common issues that may arise while making a column stay in Google Sheets. Remember to always double-check your selections and settings to ensure you achieve the desired outcome.


In conclusion, making a column stay in Google Sheets is a crucial skill that can greatly improve your productivity. By freezing a column, you ensure that important information remains visible even when scrolling through the spreadsheet. In this step-by-step guide, we learned how to freeze, adjust, and unlock a column. Remember to utilize this feature to enhance your workflow and make data manipulation easier. With the ability to keep essential columns in sight, you can work more efficiently and effectively in Google Sheets.

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