Excel Fixed Objects will Move Error: 7 Working Solutions

The Fixed objects will move error in Excel puts you in one of the most annoying situations. Sometimes, it just keeps popping up. Other times, it freezes your document completely. To make things even worse, there is more than one definite reason that may cause this problem. To improve the situation, we are going to discuss 7 working solutions in this guide that will remove this error.

In Excel, the fixed objects in question can refer to so many things including shapes, controls, pictures, comments, etc. When they are added in Excel, they are inserted in a specific cell or range of cells that define the object’s location. Excel’s default option is to always keep those objects in their location despite changes happening in the worksheet.

The problem mainly occurs when you have a workbook with filters in them. As you try to remove those filters, this troublesome error message shows up. In this guide, we will demonstrate 7 fully working solutions which will get rid of it. We are also sharing with you the workbook we have used for this guide. We recommend you use it if it helps you learn faster.

Let’s begin.

7 Best Solutions for Excel’s Fixed Objects will Move Error

To solve any problem or error in Excel, it is usually the best practice to identify the source of the problem before anything else. However, since there are many possibilities behind the Excel Fixed objects will move error messages, locating the specific cause behind the error will take too much time.

For this reason, trying out the best solutions one after another is the way to go. It is a trial-and-error approach that does not take long, but it works all the time. We are going to discuss 7 solutions in this guide. Start from the first one and then move on to the next remedy if a solution does not remove the error.

Now let’s start with Solution 1 in this guide.

Solution 1: Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects

For the first solution, we are going to show how you may solve the problem of fixed objects by allowing those objects to move. This technique releases objects that are tied to their respective cells and lets them change positions.

The objects shown below are from the worksheet that we will be using for this guide. It has all types of objects that cause the fixed object error to show in Excel.

Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects 1

Let’s see the process.

1. Right-click on your object. Then from the menu, select the Format… option. Depending on what object you are clicking on, the following word in the option Format… may vary. For instance, we clicked on a control button here and the Format Control option is shown.

Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects 2

2. Now, in the Format window, click on the Properties tab first. Then under the Object positioning, usually you will see the Don’t move or size with cells option selected. You need to change it to the Move and size with cells option. Finally, click OK.

Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects 3

This will release your locked object and allow them to move freely with its cells.

3. For Shapes and Pictures, the Format option may look different in the updated Excel versions and show up in a sidebar. Right-click on your shape object or picture, then click on the Format Shape option.

Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects 4

4. You will see a sidebar opening up on the right (if all settings are default in your Excel program). Then in this sidebar, click on the Size & Properties button marked (1) in the picture below. Then click Properties and select the Move and size with cells option from below.

Allowing Excel to Move Fixed Objects 5

And that’s it! You should not get the error anymore when you open your file. If the problem persists, see and try the next solution.

Solution 2: Using the Freeze Panes

Frozen rows and columns in Excel trigger the “Fixed Objects will Move” error in many cases. Therefore, unfreezing them may stop showing you the error and fix your problem. Usually, frozen rows show a thin horizontal line and frozen columns show a vertical line. See the picture below.

Using the Freeze Panes 1

Now, to unfreeze those rows and columns, follow the steps demonstrated below.

1. First, click on the View tab to activate the ribbon. Then, in the Window group, find the Freeze Panes button marked (2) in the image here. It will open a drop-down menu. From that, click Unfreeze Panes to release frozen rows and columns.

Using the Freeze Panes 2

2. You will see that the frozen lines are gone. With that, you may also find that the Excel error regarding fixed objects is not showing anymore.

Using the Freeze Panes 3

If you keep getting the error after following Solution 1 and Solution 2, let’s move on to the next one.

Solution 3: Finding and Removing Fixed Objects

If allowing objects to move and unfreezing cells don’t work, the Fixed objects will move error may require you to remove all the objects in your sheet. But locating every object manually in an Excel worksheet feels like finding a needle in a haystack.

But there is a way in Excel to find all those objects in one go. It will help you select all of them and then delete them with ease. Keep a backup of your Excel workbook before you proceed with this solution.

1. Under the Home ribbon, go to the Editing group. In there, click on the Find & Select button. It will open a drop-down menu. Click Go To Special… in it.

Finding and Removing Fixed Objects 1

Alternatively, you can press the F5 button on your keyboard and then click the Special button to bring up the same options window.

Finding and Removing Fixed Objects 2

2. In the Go To Special window, select Objects and then click OK.

Finding and Removing Fixed Objects 3

3. Afterward, you will be taken back to your worksheet. You will see that all the objects have been selected. Now, simply hit the Delete button on your keyboard to remove all of them.

Finding and Removing Fixed Objects 4

4. You should see that all the objects have been removed from your worksheet!

Finding and Removing Fixed Objects 5

Easy as pie!

Solution 4: Inspecting the Excel Workbook

If you still encounter the “Fixed Objects will Move” error after following the discussed solutions so far, it means that there might be other things within your workbook that are causing the error. To find possible irregularities in your document, the Inspect Document option in your Excel may prove useful.

But this solution involves making some permanent changes in your workbook. Therefore, we highly recommend that you keep a backup of your document before you follow this solution to use the Inspect Document option. Only then follow the steps we are demonstrating below.

1. Go to the File menu in your workbook.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 1

2. From the menu tabs on the left, click on Info.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 2

3. You will see a big Check for Issues button (marked in the picture below). Click on it to bring up the drop-down menu.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 3

4. From the menu, click the Inspect Document option.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 4

5. The Document Inspector window will pop open. Make sure that all the contents are selected in the list and then click the Inspect button.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 5

6. Note that the items that may be causing the error will have red exclamation points accompanying them. They will show buttons with the option to remove them from your document. Use those buttons to solve the problem and finally, click Close to get out of the Document Inspector window.

Inspecting the Excel Workbook 6

This should get rid of the Excel “Fixed Objects will Move” error from your document. But if it still does not go away, try the next solution.

Solution 5: Using the Cut, Copy, and Sort Option

In Solution 1, we saw how you can let objects in your worksheet move by allowing them to move with cells. Sometimes, that may not work. The reason is that an option called Cut, copy, and sort inserted objects with their parent cells may be unchecked in your Excel option.

Enabling this option has solved the Excel error for fixed objects many times in the past. So now, we are going to show how you can ensure that this option is working in your Excel program too. It just may be the thing that is holding you back from eliminating the error.

1. Go to the File menu in your Excel.

Using the Cut, Copy, and Sort Option 1

2. Click on Options.

Using the Cut, Copy, and Sort Option 2

3. Now first, click on the Advanced tab. Then scroll down a bit on the right till you find the Cut, copy, and paste section. Notice the Cut, copy, and sort inserted objects with their parent cells option.

Using the Cut, Copy, and Sort Option 3

4. Be sure to put a check in the box for this option as marked (1) in the picture below and finally, click the OK button.

Using the Cut, Copy, and Sort Option 4

The objects in your Excel sheet are now free to move if their properties allow them to do so (see Solution 1). This should solve your problem in most cases. If it doesn’t, follow the next solution.

Solution 6: Saving the Workbook As XLS or XLSX

Sometimes, your workbook format causes the Excel Fixed objects will move error. Usually, workbooks are saved in XLS format (with .xls extension, the Excel 97-2003 Workbook format), or in XLSX format (with .xlsx extension, the Excel Workbook format for Excel 2007 and onwards).

When your workbook is saved in a different format (like XLSM, XLM, etc), the fixed object’s error may pop up. Therefore, simply saving the file in a standard Excel workbook format (with XLS or XLSX) may solve the problem.

Let’s see how you can save your document in those standard Excel formats and possibly remove the error.

1. Click on File.

Save the Workbook As XLS or XLSX 1

2. Now from the menu on the left, click on Save As.

Save the Workbook As XLS or XLSX 2

3. A Save As window will open. In there, click on the drop-down menu next to Save as type.

Save the Workbook As XLS or XLSX 3

4. You will see a long list with file formats for your workbook. Select Excel Workbook or Excel 97-2003 Workbook from the list.

Save the Workbook As XLS or XLSX 4

5. After selecting, the Save as type should show your chosen format. Finally, click OK.

Save the Workbook As XLS or XLSX 5

Now go to the location where you have saved your workbook and open it. The error should no longer pop up.

Solution 7: Using the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

For the 7th and final solution in this guide for the Fixed Objects will Move error, we will demonstrate how you can use Visual Basic for Application (VBA) in Excel. You will use a few lines of code to get rid of the error from your document.

1. Go to the Developer ribbon in your workbook. If you don’t find this tab, follow the direction we discuss in the last part of this solution.

Next, in the Code group, click the Visual Basic button. You may also press the Alt+F11 buttons for this option.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications 1

2. In the newly-opened VBA window, click on the Insert menu, and in it, click Module.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications 2

3. A Module editor for writing codes will open.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications 3

Now copy the entire code from below.

Sub FixedObjects

Dim wsh As Excel.Worksheet
Dim wbk As Excel.Workbook
Set wbk = ActiveWorkbook

For Each wsh In wbk.Worksheets
For Each cmnt In wsh.Comments
cmnt.Shape.placement = xlMoveAndSize
Next cmnt
Next wsh

End Sub

4. Go back to the Module editor, and paste the copied code into it. Then press the green Play button marked (2) in the picture below. You can also press the F5 button to run your code. Afterward, close the VBA window and save your file.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications 4

This will remove the error regarding fixed objects from your document.

Adding the Developer Tab in Excel

To enable the Developer option in your Excel program, go to File and then click Options. You can also press the Alt+F+T button combinations for it.

When the Excel Options window opens up, click Customize Ribbon on the left. Then, in the right-most column, make sure to put a check beside the Developer option. Finally, press OK.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications 5

This will add the Developer tab in your Excel.

Final Words

The Excel error with the Fixed Objects will Move message is pretty irritating. It causes Excel to freeze and makes it impossible for you to continue with your work. Since many reasons can cause this problem, we discussed the best 7 working solutions for you.

We suggest you apply all the solutions starting from Solution 1 until the problem resolves. For this particular error in Excel, you have to be experimental and try everything you can. You have to be determined to get rid of this tedious error and apply each solution.

Keep composed, be patient, and you will make your workbook free from this Fixed Objects will Move error in no time!

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