How to Move Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Moving Columns in Excel

Moving columns in Excel might seem tricky at first, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. All you need to do is select the column you want to move, cut it, and then paste it where you want it to be. Voilà, you’ve got your columns exactly where you need them!

How to Move Columns in Excel

In this section, we’re going to cover the step-by-step process to move columns in Excel. By following these steps, you will be able to rearrange your data columns with ease.

Step 1: Select the column

Click on the letter header of the column you want to move.

When you click on the letter header at the top of the column, the entire column will be highlighted. This means Excel has selected the entire column, making it ready for the next step.

Step 2: Cut the column

Press Ctrl + X on your keyboard or right-click and select "Cut."

Cutting the column will make the column content temporarily disappear from its original location, and it will be copied to the clipboard, waiting to be pasted elsewhere.

Step 3: Select the destination

Click on the letter header of the column to the right of where you want to move your selected column.

Choosing the destination column’s header ensures that your cut column will be inserted just before this column, shifting the current columns to the right.

Step 4: Insert the column

Right-click and select "Insert Cut Cells."

By inserting the cut cells, Excel will place the column you cut earlier into the new location you selected, while adjusting the other columns accordingly.

Step 5: Adjust if necessary

Check to see if the columns are in the correct order and make any adjustments as needed.

Sometimes, you might need to move more than one column or adjust the positioning. Repeat the steps if necessary until all columns are in their desired locations.

In a matter of seconds, your columns will be rearranged, making your data organized just the way you want it.

Tips for Moving Columns in Excel

  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts: Utilize Ctrl + X to cut and Ctrl + V to paste for quicker actions.
  • Practice on a Copy: Always practice on a copy of your data to prevent any accidental data loss.
  • Undo Mistakes: If you make a mistake, use Ctrl + Z to undo the last action.
  • Use the Drag-and-Drop Method: Click and drag the column header to move it directly, but this might be trickier for beginners.
  • Save Your Work: Frequently save your Excel file to ensure no data is lost during rearrangement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I move multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can move multiple columns by selecting several column headers before cutting and pasting.

What if my data gets messed up after moving a column?

If your data gets messed up, use the Undo function (Ctrl + Z) immediately to revert to the previous state.

Is there a way to move columns without using the mouse?

Yes, you can use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + X to cut and Ctrl + V to paste.

Can I move a column to a different worksheet?

Yes, you can cut the column from one worksheet and paste it into another worksheet.

Will moving columns affect my formulas?

Moving columns can affect your formulas if they reference the moved columns. Make sure to double-check your formulas after moving columns.


  1. Select the column.
  2. Cut the column.
  3. Select the destination.
  4. Insert the column.
  5. Adjust if necessary.


So, there you have it—moving columns in Excel is easier than you thought, right? With these simple steps, you can quickly and efficiently rearrange your data. Whether you’re cleaning up a messy spreadsheet or organizing your data for a presentation, knowing how to move columns will save you a ton of time and headaches.

Remember to use keyboard shortcuts, practice on a copy, and save your work frequently. And don’t worry if you make a mistake; the Undo function is your friend. If you have any more questions or need additional help, there are plenty of resources and tutorials online to guide you.

Now that you’re an Excel column-moving pro, what’s next? Maybe dive into more advanced Excel features or share your newfound knowledge with colleagues. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become, making you an Excel whiz in no time. Happy Excel-ing!

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