by Svetlana Cheusheva, updated on
The tutorial shows three different ways to hide rows in your worksheets. It also explains how to show hidden rows in Excel and how to copy only visible rows.
If you want to prevent users from wandering into parts of a worksheet you don't want them to see, then hide such rows from their view. This technique is often used to conceal sensitive data or formulas, but you may also wish to hide unused or unimportant areas to keep your users focused on relevant information.
On the other hand, when updating your own sheets or exploring inherited workbooks, you would certainly want to unhide all rows and columns to view all data and understand the dependencies. This article will teach you both options.
As is the case with nearly all common tasks in Excel, there is more than one way to hide rows: by using the ribbon button, right-click menu, and keyboard shortcut.
Anyway, you begin with selecting the rows you'd like to hide:
With the rows selected, proceed with one of the following options.
If you enjoy working with the ribbon, you can hide rows in this way:
Alternatively, you can click Home tab >Format > Row Height… and type 0 in the Row Height box.
Either way, the selected rows will be hidden from view straight away.
In case you don't want to bother remembering the location of the Hide command on the ribbon, you can access it from the context menu: right click the selected rows, and then click Hide.
If you'd rather not take your hands off the keyboard, you can quickly hide the selected row(s) by pressing this shortcut: Ctrl + 9
As with hiding rows, Microsoft Excel provides a few different ways to unhide them. Which one to use is a matter of your personal preference. What makes the difference is the area you select to instruct Excel to unhide all hidden rows, only specific rows, or the first row in a sheet.
On the Home tab, in the Cells group, click the Format button, point to Hide & Unhide under Visibility, and then click Unhide Rows.
You select a group of rows including the row above and below the row(s) you want to unhide, right-click the selection, and choose Unhide in the pop-up menu. This method works beautifully for unhiding a single hidden row as well as multiple rows.
For example, to show all hidden rows between rows 1 and 8, select this group of rows like shown in the screenshot below, right-click, and click Unhide:
Here is the Excel Unhide Rows shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + 9
Pressing this key combination (3 keys simultaneously) displays any hidden rows that intersect the selection.
In many situations, the fastest way to unhide rows in Excel is to double click them. The beauty of this method is that you don't need to select anything. Simply hover your mouse over the hidden row headings, and when the mouse pointer turns into a split two-headed arrow, double click. That's it!
In order to unhide all rows on a sheet, you need to select all rows. For this, you can either:
Please note that in Microsoft Excel, this shortcut behaves differently in different situations. If the cursor is in an empty cell, the whole worksheet is selected. But if the cursor is in one of contiguous cells with data, only that group of cells is selected; to select all cells, press Ctrl+A one more time.
Once the entire sheet is selected, you can unhide all rows by doing one of the following:
To unhide all rows and columns, select the whole sheet as explained above, and then press Ctrl + Shift + 9 to show hidden rows and Ctrl + Shift + 0 to show hidden columns.
Depending on which rows you want to unhide, select them as described below, and then apply one of the unhide options discussed above.
For example, to unhide rows 3, 7, and 9, you select rows 2 - 10, and then use the ribbon, context menu or keyboard shortcut to unhide them.
Hiding the first row in Excel is easy, you treat it just like any other row on a sheet. But when one or more top rows are hidden, how do you make them visible again, given that there is nothing above to select?
The clue is to select cell A1. For this, just type A1 in the Name Box, and press Enter.
Alternatively, go to the Home tab > Editing group, click Find & Select, and then click Go To… . The Go To dialog window pops up, you type A1 in the Reference box, and click OK.
With cell A1 selected, you can unhide the first hidden row in the usual way, by clicking Format > Unhide Rows on the ribbon, or choosing Unhide from the context menu, or pressing the unhide rows shortcut Ctrl + Shift + 9
Aside from this common approach, there is one more (and faster!) way to unhide first row in Excel. Simply hover over the hidden row heading, and when the mouse pointer turns into a split two-headed arrow, double click:
As you have just seen, hiding and showing rows in Excel is quick and straightforward. In some situations, however, even a simple task can become a challenge. Below you will find easy solutions to a few tricky problems.
To hide rows that contain any blank cells, proceed with these steps:
This method works well when you want to hide all rows that contain at least one blank cell, as shown in the screenshot below:
If you want to hide blank rows in Excel, i.e. the rows where all cells are blank, then use the COUNTBLANK formula explained in How to remove blank rows to identify such rows.
To hide and show rows based on a cell value in one or more columns, use the capabilities of Excel Filter. It provides a handful of predefined filters for text, numbers and dates as well as an ability to configure a custom filter with your own criteria (please follow the above link for full details).
To unhide filtered rows, you remove filter from a specific column or clear all filters in a sheet, as explained here.
In situations when you have a small working area on the sheet and a whole lot of unnecessary blank rows and columns, you can hide unused rows in this way:
In a similar fashion, you hide unused columns:
If you decide to unhide all cells later, select the entire sheet, then press Ctrl + Shift + 9 to unhide all rows and Ctrl + Shift + 0 to unhide all columns.
If your worksheet contains hundreds or thousands of rows, it can be hard to detect hidden ones. The following trick makes the job easy.
This will select all visible cells and mark the rows adjacent to hidden rows with a white border:
Supposing you have hidden a few irrelevant rows, and now you want to copy the relevant data to another sheet or workbook. How would you go about it? Select the visible rows with the mouse and press Ctrl + C to copy them? But that would also copy the hidden rows!
To copy only visible rows in Excel, you'll have to go about it differently:
If you have troubles unhiding rows in your worksheets, it's most likely because of one of the following reasons.
Whenever the Hide and Unhide features are disabled (greyed out) in your Excel, the first thing to check is worksheet protection.
For this, go to the Review tab > Changes group, and see if the Unprotect Sheet button is there (this button appears only in protected worksheets; in an unprotected worksheet, there will be the Protect Sheet button instead). So, if you see the Unprotect Sheet button, click on it.
If you want to keep the worksheet protection but allow hiding and unhiding rows, click the Protect Sheet button on the Review tab, select the Format rows box, and click OK.
Tip. If the sheet is password-protected, but you cannot remember the password, follow these guidelines to unprotect worksheet without password.
In case the worksheet is not protected but specific rows still cannot be unhidden, check the height of those rows. The point is that if a row height is set to some small value, between 0.08 and 1, the row seems to be hidden but actually it is not. Such rows cannot be unhidden in the usual way. You have to change the row height to bring them back.
To have it done, perform these steps:
This will make all hidden rows visible again.
If the row height is set to 0.07 or less, such rows can be unhidden normally, without the above manipulations.
If someone has hidden the first row in a sheet, you may have problems getting it back because you cannot select the row before it. In this case, select cell A1 as explained in How to unhide top rows in Excel and then unhide the row as usual, for example by pressing Ctrl + Shift + 9.
When the row numbers in your worksheet turn blue, this indicates that some rows are filtered out. To unhide such rows, simply remove all filters on a sheet.
This is how you hide and undie rows in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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