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When you type information into Excel and press the Enter key, the selection box moves to the cell below. This is the standard behavior of Excel, but you might find this frustrating. Fortunately, the default setting can be changed.

A quick and simple solution to stopping the selected cell from being changed is to press the “Ctrl” and “Enter” keys together, instead of only pressing “Enter.” Using the key combination ensures that the cell you typed the information into remains the active cell.

This is a nice quick solution for one-off instances, but you can also edit the Excel options to permanently stop Excel from moving the selection box.

Start by clicking the “File” tab on the Ribbon.

Next, select “Options” at the bottom of the list on the left.

Accessing Excel options

From there, click the “Advanced” button and then uncheck the “After Pressing Enter, Move Selection” box to disable all movement of the selected cell.

Stop movement of selected cell on pressing Enter

Alternatively, you could change the direction of the selected cell by using the “Direction” list.

Change the direction of selection box on Enter

These changes will affect all workbooks ensuring that Excel behaves how you need it to.

Profile Photo for Alan Murray Alan Murray
Alan Murray has worked as an Excel trainer and consultant for twenty years. On most days, he can be found teaching Excel in a classroom or seminar. Alan gets a buzz from helping people improve their productivity and working lives with Excel.
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