How to Make the Enter Key in Excel Move a Different Direction

Ben Stegner 11-10-2017

Working in Excel spreadsheets is all about saving time 14 Tips to Save Time in Microsoft Excel If Microsoft Excel has consumed a lot of your time in the past, let us show you how to get some of it back. These simple tips are easy to remember. Read More . You don’t want to have any slowdowns in your workflow that decrease your productivity. To that end, you’ve hopefully set up your own Excel keyboard shortcuts How to Make Your Own Excel Keyboard Shortcuts the Easy Way Looking to make Excel your own? Here are the best ways to create custom keyboard shortcuts. Read More and know the best ways around the software.


There’s a small but useful change you can make to how the Enter button functions. Out of the box, pressing Enter will move the highlighted box down by one cell. But if you prefer, you can change this so Enter moves the selected box one cell to the right instead.

Start by clicking File in the top-left corner of Excel. In this menu, click the Options tab on the left sidebar. You’ll see Excel’s preferences — choose the Advanced tab on the left.

At the top, you’ll see the Editing options header. The first option is After pressing Enter, move selection, with a dialogue box. By default this is set as Down, but you can change it to Right.

How to Make the Enter Key in Excel Move a Different Direction Excel Enter Key Option

Though it’s a bit unnatural, you can also set this to Up or Left if you prefer. In fact, if you uncheck the After pressing Enter box, you can completely disable Enter‘s functionality. With this unchecked, pressing Enter does nothing.


That’s all there is to it. Click OK after you’ve made your selection, and Excel will immediately apply the changes. For more tips like this, check out quick Excel timesavers that you might not know 10 Easy Excel Timesavers You Might Have Forgotten These ten tips are sure to minimize your time performing menial Excel tasks and boost your spreadsheet productivity. Read More .

Which direction do you prefer Enter to move your cell? Tell us your preference down in the comments!

Image Credit: i3alda/Depositphotos

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, Microsoft Excel.

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  1. Amalie
    October 16, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Wow, that is great, thanks! Will def be using from now on :-)

  2. Amalie
    October 16, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks, that is great!! I often work with large spreadsheets and this will def be used from now on :-)

  3. Tim
    October 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Why would you want the Enter key to move right? You have Tab for that. And if you Tab across multiple cells, then press Enter, it will place it at the next row in the first column you Tabbed from. Seems much more productive this way.

  4. miaousse
    October 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

    i use default.
    If you use shift + enter the move goes to the previous cell .
    If you use control+enter no move done.