How to Hide and Unhide Columns, Rows, and Cells in Excel

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Individual cells cannot be hidden in Excel. To hide data located in a single cell, either the entire column or row the cell resides in must be hidden. As in all Microsoft programs, there is more than one way of accomplishing a task.

The instructions in this tutorial 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

Data Use in Hidden Columns and Rows

When columns and rows containing data are hidden, the data is not deleted and It can still be referenced in formulas and charts. Hidden formulas containing cell references will still update if the data in the referenced cells changes.

Hide Columns in Excel

Screenshot of Excel showing how to hide columns

Hide Columns Using a Keyboard Shortcut:

The keyboard key combination for hiding columns is:

Ctrl + 0
  1. Click on a cell in the column to be hidden 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 along with any data it contained 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 2 and 3 above.

Hide Columns Using the Context Menu:

The options available in the context — or right-click menu — change depending upon the object selected when the menu is opened. If the Hide option, as shown in the image above, is not available in the context menu it is most likely that the entire column was not selected when the menu was opened.

Hide a Single Column

  1. Click on the column header of the column to be hidden to select the entire column.
  2. Right-click on the selected column to open the context menu.
  3. Choose Hide from the menu.
  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 from the menu.
  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 from the menu.
  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 the right mouse button is clicked, the hide option is not available.

Unhide Columns in Excel

Screenshot of Excel showing how to hide/unhide columns

Unhide Columns Using the Name Box:

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

  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 > 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.

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 in order to unhide them.

To Unhide One or More Columns

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 from the menu.
  5. The hidden column(s) will become visible.

Unhide Columns in Older Versions of Excel

  1. Type the cell reference A1 in the Name Box and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  2. Click on the Format menu.
  3. Choose Column > Unhide in the menu.
  4. Column A will become visible.

Hide Rows in Excel

Screenshot of Excel showing how to hide rows

Hide Rows using Shortcut Keys:

The keyboard key combination for hiding rows is:

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

To hide multiple rows using the keyboard shortcut, highlight at least one cell in each row to be hidden, and then repeat steps 2 and 3 above.

Hide Rows Using the Context Menu:

The options available in the context menu — or right-click — change depending upon the object selected when the menu is opened. If the Hide option, as shown in the image above, is not available in the context menu it is most likely that the entire row was not selected when the menu was opened. The Hide option is only available when the entire row is selected.

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 from the menu.
  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 from the menu.
  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 from the menu.
  6. The selected rows will be hidden from view.

Unhide Rows in Excel

Screenshot of Excel showing how to unhide rows

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.

  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 > Unhide Row.
  6. Row 1 will become visible.

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

Unhide One or More Rows Using the Context Menu

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 from the menu.
  5. The hidden row(s) will become visible.

Unhide Columns in Older Versions of Excel:

  1. Type the cell reference A1 in the Name Box and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  2. Click on the Format menu.
  3. Choose Row > Unhide in the menu.
  4. Row 1 will become visible.