How to Hide and Unhide Columns and Rows in Excel

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You can hide columns and rows in Excel to make a cleaner spreadsheet without deleting data you might need later. However, you can't hide individual cells. As in all Microsoft programs, there is more than one way of accomplishing a task.

The directions below cover three ways to hide and unhide columns and rows in an Excel worksheet:

  • Using a keyboard shortcut
  • Using the right-click context menu
  • Using format options on the Home tab of the ribbon

These instructions apply to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and Excel for Office 365.

Data Use in Hidden Columns and Rows

When you hide columns and rows containing data, that doesn't delete the data, and you can still reference it in formulas and charts. Hidden formulas containing cell references will update if the data in the referenced cells changes.

Hide Columns in Excel Using a Keyboard Shortcut

The keyboard key combination for hiding columns is:

Ctrl+0
  1. Click on a cell in the column you want to hide to make it the active cell.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the 0 key without releasing the Ctrl key.
  4. The column containing the active cell should be hidden from view.

To hide multiple columns using the keyboard shortcut, highlight at least one cell in each column to be hidden, and then repeat steps two and three above.

Hide Columns Using the Context Menu

The options available in the context — or right-click menu — change depending upon the object selected when you open the menu. If the Hide option, as shown in the image below, is not available in the context menu it is likely that you didn't select the entire column before right-clicking.

Excel spreadsheet with column B highlighted, and Hide selected on the context menu

Hide a Single Column

  1. Click the column header of the column you want to hide to select the entire column.
  2. Right-click on the selected column to open the context menu.
  3. Choose Hide.
  4. The selected column, the column letter, and any data in the column will be hidden from view.

Hide Adjacent Columns

  1. In the column header, click and drag with the mouse pointer to highlight all three columns.
  2. Right-click on the selected columns.
  3. Choose Hide.
  4. The selected columns and column letters will be hidden from view.

Hide Separated Columns

  1. In the column header click on the first column to be hidden.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. Continue to hold down the Ctrl key and click once on each additional column to be hidden to select them.
  4. Release the Ctrl key.
  5. In the column header, right click on one of the selected columns.
  6. Choose Hide.
  7. The selected columns and column letters will be hidden from view.

When hiding separate columns, if the mouse pointer is not over the column header when you click the right mouse button, the hide option will not be available.

Hide and Unhide Columns in Excel Using the Name Box

This method can be used to unhide any single column. In our example, we will be using column A.

Excel spreadsheet with Unhide Columns selected on the Format menu
  1. Type the cell reference A1 into the Name Box.
  2. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to select the hidden column.
  3. Click on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click on the Format icon on the ribbon to open the drop-down.
  5. In the Visibility section of the menu, choose Hide & Unhide > Hide Columns or Unhide Column.

Unhide Columns Using a Keyboard Shortcut

The key combination for unhiding columns is:

 Ctrl+Shift+0
  1. Type the cell reference A1 into the Name Box.
  2. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to select the hidden column.
  3. Press and hold down the Ctrl and the Shift keys on the keyboard.
  4. Press and release the 0 key without releasing the Ctrl and Shift keys.

To unhide one or more columns, highlight at least one cell in the columns on either side of the hidden column(s) with the mouse pointer. For example, you want to unhide columns B, D, and F:

  1. To unhide all columns, click and drag with the mouse to highlight columns A to G.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl and the Shift keys on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the 0 key without releasing the Ctrl and Shift keys.
  4. The hidden column(s) will become visible.

The Ctrl+Shift+0 keyboard shortcut might not work depending on the version of Windows you're running, for reasons not explained by Microsoft. If this shortcut doesn't work, use another method from the article.

Unhide Columns Using the Context Menu

As with the shortcut key method above, you must select at least one column on either side of a hidden column or columns to unhide them.

For example, to unhide columns D, E, and G:

  1. Hover the mouse pointer over column C in the column header.
  2. Click and drag with the mouse to highlight columns C to H to unhide all columns at one time.
  3. Right click on the selected columns.
  4. Choose Unhide.
  5. The hidden column(s) will become visible.

Hide Rows Using Shortcut Keys

The keyboard key combination for hiding rows is:

Ctrl+9
  1. Click on a cell in the row you want to hide to make it the active cell.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the 9 key without releasing the Ctrl key.
  4. The row containing the active cell should be hidden from view.

To hide multiple rows using the keyboard shortcut, highlight at least one cell in each row you want to hide, and then repeat steps two and three above.

Hide Rows Using the Context Menu

The options available in the context menu — or right-click — change depending upon the object selected when you open it. If the Hide option, as shown in the image above, is not available in the context menu it is because you probably didn't select the entire row.

Hide a Single Row

  1. Click on the row header of the row to be hidden to select the entire row.
  2. Right click on the selected row to open the context menu
  3. Choose Hide.
  4. The selected row, the row letter, and any data in the row will be hidden from view.

Hide Adjacent Rows

  1. In the row header, click and drag with the mouse pointer to highlight all three rows.
  2. Right click on the selected rows.
  3. Choose Hide.
  4. The selected rows will be hidden from view.

Hide Separated Rows

  1. In the row header, click on the first row to be hidden.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. Continue to hold down the Ctrl key and click once on each additional row to be hidden to select them.
  4. Right-click on one of the selected rows.
  5. Choose Hide.
  6. The selected rows will be hidden from view.

Hide and Unhide Rows Using the Name Box

This method can be used to unhide any single row. In our example, we will be using row 1.

Excel spreadsheet with Unhide Rows selected from Format menu
  1. Type the cell reference A1 into the Name Box.
  2. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to select the hidden row.
  3. Click on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click on the Format icon on the ribbon to open the drop-down menu.
  5. In the Visibility section of the menu, choose Hide & Unhide > Hide Rows or Unhide Row.

Unhide Rows Using a Keyboard Shortcut

The key combination for unhiding rows is:

 Ctrl+Shift+9

Unhide Rows using Shortcut Keys and Name Box

  1. Type the cell reference A1 into the Name Box.
  2. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to select the hidden row.
  3. Press and hold down the Ctrl and the Shift keys on the keyboard.
  4. Press and release the number 9 key without releasing the Ctrl and Shift keys.
  5. Row 1 will become visible.

Unhide Rows Using a Keyboard Shortcut

To unhide one or more rows, highlight at least one cell in the rows on either side of the hidden row(s) with the mouse pointer.

For example, you want to unhide rows 2, 4, and 6.

  1. To unhide all rows, click and drag with the mouse to highlight rows 1 to 7.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl and the Shift keys on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the number 9 key without releasing the Ctrl and Shift keys.
  4. The hidden row(s) will become visible.

Unhide Rows Using the Context Menu

As with the shortcut key method above, you must select at least one row on either side of a hidden row or rows to unhide them.

For example, to unhide rows 3, 4, and 6:

  1. Hover the mouse pointer over row 2 in the row header.
  2. Click and drag with the mouse to highlight rows 2 to 7 to unhide all rows at one time.
  3. Right click on the selected rows.
  4. Choose Unhide.
  5. The hidden row(s) will become visible.