How to Delete Empty Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting empty columns in Excel can be a quick and simple process if you follow the right steps. Whether you’re tidying up a spreadsheet for work or organizing data for a project, removing those unnecessary empty columns helps make your data more readable and easier to manage.

How to Delete Empty Columns in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps to effectively delete empty columns in Excel. By the end, you’ll have a cleaner, more organized spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

Open the Excel file that contains the empty columns you want to delete.

Once your file is open, locate the spreadsheet with the empty columns. This is your starting point and ensures you’re working in the correct document.

Step 2: Select the Entire Worksheet

Select the entire worksheet by clicking the box in the upper left corner of the sheet, where the row numbers and column letters meet.

This action highlights the entire spreadsheet, making it easier to apply changes to all columns at once.

Step 3: Open the "Go To Special" Dialogue Box

Press Ctrl + G on your keyboard to open the "Go To" dialog box, then click on the "Special" button.

The "Go To Special" dialog box allows you to navigate to specific types of cells within your selection, such as blanks, which is what you’ll be focusing on next.

Step 4: Select "Blanks" and Click OK

In the "Go To Special" dialogue box, select "Blanks" and then click OK.

This highlights all the blank cells within your selected area, making it easy to identify which columns are completely empty.

Step 5: Delete the Empty Columns

Right-click on any of the highlighted blank cells and select "Delete." Choose "Entire Column" and then click OK.

This will remove all columns that are entirely empty, giving you a cleaner and more efficient spreadsheet.

After you complete these steps, your Excel spreadsheet will be free of any empty columns. This makes your data easier to read and more professional-looking.

Tips for Deleting Empty Columns in Excel

  • Double-check your data: Before deleting columns, ensure they are entirely empty. Sometimes data can be hidden or appear missing due to formatting.
  • Backup your file: Always save a copy of your original file before making major changes.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Excel shortcuts to speed up the process.
  • Conditional formatting: Use conditional formatting to highlight empty cells before deleting columns.
  • Practice on a sample: If you’re new to Excel, practice these steps on a sample spreadsheet to build confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I accidentally delete a column with data?

If this happens, use the Undo feature (Ctrl + Z) immediately to restore the deleted column.

Can I delete multiple empty columns at once?

Yes, the steps outlined above allow you to delete all empty columns in your selected area simultaneously.

How can I ensure a column is entirely empty?

You can sort the column to check for any hidden or unnoticed data before deleting it.

Is there a way to automate this process?

You can create a macro to automate the deletion of empty columns, but it requires a basic understanding of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).

Does this method work in all versions of Excel?

Yes, these steps should work in most recent versions of Excel, including Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Microsoft 365.


  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Select the entire worksheet.
  3. Open the "Go To Special" dialogue box.
  4. Select "Blanks" and click OK.
  5. Delete the empty columns.


Deleting empty columns in Excel doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps, you can quickly clean up your spreadsheet and make your data more manageable. Remember to always double-check your data before making any deletions and save a backup copy of your file. If you’ve found this tutorial helpful, consider exploring other Excel tips and tricks to become even more efficient in managing your data. Keep practicing, and soon removing empty columns will be second nature.

By mastering this and other Excel skills, you’ll find that you can work more effectively, making your spreadsheets not just cleaner but also more professional. So go ahead, open up that cluttered spreadsheet, and give it a tidy makeover!

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