Why is the Scrollbar Slider Suddenly Tiny?

August 31, 2021 - by Bill Jelen

Why is the Scrollbar Slider Suddenly Tiny?

Problem: I have a worksheet with two or three screens of data. I can easily grab the vertical scrollbar and move to the top or bottom of the data set. Something happened, and now the huge scrollbar slider has become really tiny. Further, if I move it just one pixel, instead of jumping to the next screen of data, Excel will move to row 4500.

This is a normal scroll bar. The data ends in row 41. The scroll bar is about 25% of the size of the whole window. Scroll a short distance to move to the top or bottom of the data. Contrast this with the next image...
Figure 66. Normally, the slider will take you to the last row with data.

Strategy: Someone pressed End+Down Arrow key to move to row 1048576.

... now, the scrollbar is very tiny. Scroll all the way to the bottom, and you are at row 1,038,729. Even though the data ended at row 41, Excel thinks there is something useful down here in the million-row territory.
Figure 67. Accidentally activate a cell at the bottom. The slider is tiny.

You can often restore the size of the slider by moving it completely to the top of the spreadsheet. If this does not work, then there is one rogue cell way below your data that has become activated. Perhaps someone pressed the Spacebar or applied text formatting or something. Follow these steps:

  • 1. Note the last row that you believe to contain data.

  • 2. Press the End key and then press the Home key. Excel will jump to the intersection of the last active row and the last active column. This row is usually way beyond the row that you believe to be the last row.

  • 3. Delete all rows from the bottom of your data set to the rogue last row.

  • 4. Save the workbook. The scrollbar slider will return to full size.

Saving the workbook is the key. Even after you delete the extra rows, Excel will not restore the size of the scrollbar.

Problem: I have 100 rows of data and then 50 rows of charts. When I drag the scrollbar to the bottom, it only shows my data, not the charts.

Strategy: This is fixed in Office 365, but if it is still happening to you, go to a row below the charts, type a few spaces. That row will now become active and the scroll bar should adjust.

This article is an excerpt from Power Excel With MrExcel

Title photo by Fahad Bin Kamal Anik on Unsplash

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of:
MrExcel 2020 - Seeing Excel Clearly

This is a 4th edition of MrExcel LX. Updates for 2020 include: Ask a question about your data, XLOOKUP, Power Query's Data Profiling tools, How Geography Data Types decide which Madison, A SEQUENCE example for descending 52 weeks, Exchange Rates support in Stock Data Types, How to collapse the Search box, How to leave effective feedback for Microsoft, How to post your worksheet to the MrExcel Board using XL2BB.