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Fix: Alt+Enter is not working in Excel

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  • 5 min read

Microsoft Excel is an indispensable tool for countless professionals, students, and individuals. Its versatility and features make it the go-to application for data management, analysis, and visualisation. However, Excel is not immune to occasional glitches or issues like any software. One common frustration is the malfunctioning of the Alt+Enter key combination, which is typically used to insert line breaks within cells.

This article discusses the reasons why Alt + Enter is not working in Excel and five methods to help you resolve the issue.

Below we have discussed:

Also read: How to right-click from the keyboard?

Why Alt + Enter is not working in Excel?

Here are a few common reasons that might cause this issue:

  • Using the wrong combination.
  • Temporary technical glitches.
  • Issues with the workbook.
  • Faulty add-ins.

How to fix the issue?

Here are five methods to help you fix the issue:

Many users are not aware that the Microsft has changed the combination and are unable to figure out what’s happening. Microsoft has changed the key combination from Alt + Enter to Windows + Alt + Enter keys. If the combination doesn’t work for you then you can try the below fixes.

Restart Excel

Sometimes, simple glitches can prevent shortcuts from working correctly. Close Excel completely and then reopen it to see if the issue is resolved.

Test the combination in a new workbook

To determine if the problem is specific to your current workbook, try using Alt+Enter in a new Excel workbook. If it works in the new workbook, the issue may be related to the original file.

Check keyboard functionality

Try using Alt+Enter in other programs like Word. If it doesn’t work there either, you might have a hardware issue. Consider using a different keyboard with your system.

What is Keylogging? How to protect yourself from it?

Disable add-ins

Add-ins can sometimes interfere with keyboard shortcuts. Open Excel in Safe Mode, hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard while starting to open Excel in safe mode and try Alt+Enter. If it works, disable add-ins one by one to identify the problematic ones. Here’s how to disable add-ins:

Step 1: Click on the File tab.

Step 2: Click on the More option available at the bottom in the sidebar and then in sub-menu click on the Options.

Step 3: In the Excel options window, click on the Add-ins option and then make sure Excel Add-ins is selected beside the Manage and then click on the Go button.

Step 4: Unmark the check box beside the add-in to disable it and to enable it check mark the box again. After you are done click on the OK button.

Repair Microsoft Office

In extreme cases, consider repairing your Office installation through the Control Panel. This is a more involved solution, but if none of the above methods work, it could resolve underlying issues within the software. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the Control Panel and click on Programs.

Step 2: Then, click on Programs and Features.

Step 3: Find and right-click on Microsoft Office. A few options will appear at the top, click on the Change option.

Step 4: Click on the Quick Repair option to select it and then click on the Repair button.

Also read: How to stop Excel from rounding?

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here:

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