Home / Scroll Lock Key on a Mac

Scroll Lock Key on a Mac

I am the king of random shortcuts and always seem to hit keys when typing that have unexpected consequences, such as this morning when I was doing something in Excel and managed to trigger scroll lock. But there’s no scroll lock on a Mac keyboard…

Excel and Scroll Lock

When scroll lock is on and you use the arrow keys to navigate around a spreadsheet in Excel, it scrolls the sheet instead of moves the active selection to another cell.

This can be annoying when you were in the middle of navigating around the spreadsheet with arrow keys and then suddenly the sheet starts moving instead. The problem is scroll lock is on, and you need to switch it off again.

Scroll Lock on a Mac Extended Keyboard

A PC keyboard has a scroll lock key, but a Mac one doesn’t appear to. If you are using an Apple Extended Keyboard it does, and the super secret scroll lock key is… F14

I personally have the “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” enabled in the system preferences, but found whether this was switched on or off that F14 on its own or FN+F14 would switch scroll lock on and off (on OSX Mavericks).

Scroll Lock on a MacBook Pro / MacBook Air / Wireless Keyboard

I don’t have an answer for this one, because the keyboard only has function keys from 1 to 12. I’ve done a fair amount of Googling for a solution but none of the shortcuts people have suggested work.

Given there doesn’t seem to be a scroll lock equivalent on these smaller keyboards, you’re unlikely to be able to trigger scroll lock anyway, so hopefully don’t have my random shortcut issue!