Hide and Unhide a Worksheet in Excel

Hidden worksheets are not deleted, and their cells can still be referenced

An Excel worksheet is a single spreadsheet that contains cells. Each cell can hold text, a number, or a formula, and each cell can reference a different cell on the same worksheet, the same workbook, or a different workbook.

An Excel workbook contains one or more worksheets. By default, all open Excel workbooks display worksheet tabs on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, but you can hide or display them as needed. At least one worksheet must be visible at all times.

There is more than one way to hide and unhide Excel worksheets. You can:

  • Use the right-click contextual menu.
  • Use the Format options on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Data Use in Hidden Worksheets

Data located in hidden worksheets is not deleted, and it can still be referenced in formulas and charts located on other worksheets or other workbooks.

Hidden formulas containing cell references still update if the data in the referenced cells changes.

Hide an Excel Worksheet Using the Contextual Menu

Hide Worksheets in Excel
Hide Worksheets in Excel. © Ted French

The options available in the contextual menu — the right-click menu — change depending on the object selected when the menu is opened.

If the Hide option is inactive or grayed out, most likely the current workbook has only one worksheet. Excel deactivates the Hide option for single-sheet workbooks because there must always be at least one visible worksheet in a workbook.

How to Hide a Single Worksheet

  1. Click on the worksheet tab of the sheet to be hidden to select it.
  2. Right-click on the worksheet tab to open the contextual menu.
  3. In the menu, click on the Hide option to hide the selected worksheet.

How to Hide Multiple Worksheets

  1. Click on the tab of the first worksheet to be hidden to select it.
  2. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  3. Click on the tabs of additional worksheets to select them.
  4. Right-click on one worksheet tab to open the contextual menu.
  5. In the menu, click on the Hide option to hide all the selected worksheets.

Hide Worksheets Using the Ribbon

Excel has no keyboard shortcut for hiding worksheets, but you can use the ribbon to do the job. 

  1. Select a worksheet tab at the bottom of an Excel file.
  2. Click the Home tab on the ribbon.
  3. Select the Format icon.
  4. Click on Hide & Unhide.
  5. Select Hide Sheet.

Unhide an Excel Worksheet Using the Contextual Menu

The options available in the contextual menu — the right-click menu — change depending upon the object selected when the menu is opened.

  1. Right-click on a worksheet tab to open the Unhide dialog box, which displays all the currently hidden sheets.
  2. Click on the sheet you want to unhide.
  3. Click OK to unhide the selected worksheet and to close the dialog box.

Unhide a Worksheet Using the Ribbon

As with hiding worksheets, Excel has no keyboard shortcut for unhiding a worksheet, but you can use the ribbon to locate and unhide hidden worksheets.

  1. Select a worksheet tab at the bottom of the Excel file.
  2. Click the Home tab on the ribbon.
  3. Select Format.
  4. Click on Hide & Unhide.
  5. Select Unhide Sheet.
  6. View the list of hidden files that appears. Click on the file you want to unhide.
  7. Click OK.