How to Show Tabs in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Missing Tabs

If you’re wrangling with Excel and can’t seem to find those elusive worksheet tabs, you’re in the right place. Showing tabs in Excel is a cinch, and you’ll be back to navigating your spreadsheets like a pro in no time. Here’s how to do it quickly: Open Excel, go to the "File" tab, click on "Options," select "Advanced," and ensure the "Show sheet tabs" box is checked. Voila! Your tabs should be visible again. Ready for a detailed walkthrough? Let’s get into it.

How to Show Tabs in Excel

This section will guide you step-by-step on how to make those worksheet tabs reappear, making your Excel navigation smooth as butter.

Step 1: Open Excel

First things first, open up Excel on your computer.

Make sure you have the Excel file you’re working on ready. It’s like needing a canvas before you start painting.

Step 2: Click on the "File" Tab

Navigate to the top-left corner and click on the "File" tab.

This "File" tab is your gateway to all the behind-the-scenes settings and options in Excel. Think of it as the backstage pass to your spreadsheet concert.

Step 3: Go to "Options"

In the "File" menu, scroll down and click on "Options."

The "Options" menu is where you can tweak Excel to your heart’s content. From here, you can adjust numerous settings, including our target today—showing tabs.

Step 4: Select "Advanced"

In the "Options" dialog box, click on the "Advanced" category on the left side.

The "Advanced" section might sound intimidating, but it’s where all the cool, detailed settings hang out.

Step 5: Find and Check "Show sheet tabs"

Scroll down until you find the "Display options for this workbook" section. Check the box that says "Show sheet tabs."

This checkbox is the key to your kingdom of tabs. Ensure it’s checked to unlock all your worksheet tabs.

Step 6: Click "OK"

Finally, click "OK" to apply the changes.

By clicking "OK," you’re confirming your settings tweak, making Excel show those tabs again.

After following these steps, your worksheet tabs should be visible at the bottom of your Excel window, making it easy to switch between different sheets.

Tips for Showing Tabs in Excel

Here are some additional tips to help you manage your worksheet tabs more effectively:

  • Check Display Settings: If your tabs are still missing, make sure your Excel window isn’t maximized beyond your screen size.
  • Update Excel: Sometimes, glitches can cause tabs to disappear. Ensure your Excel is updated.
  • Unhide Sheets: If you still can’t see some tabs, they might be hidden. Right-click on any tab and select "Unhide."
  • Resize Tab Bar: Drag the divider just above the tabs to resize the tab bar, giving more space to see all tabs.
  • Restart Excel: When all else fails, a quick restart of Excel can sometimes solve the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I see the tabs in my Excel file?

Your tabs might be hidden due to settings in the "Advanced" options. Check the "Show sheet tabs" box as described above.

What should I do if my tabs are still missing?

Ensure Excel is updated and your window isn’t stretched beyond your screen. Restart Excel if necessary.

How do I unhide a specific sheet?

Right-click any existing tab, select "Unhide," and choose the sheet you want to display.

Can I rename my tabs?

Absolutely! Just double-click the tab name and type in your new name.

What if I want to color-code my tabs?

Right-click on the tab, select "Tab Color," and pick your desired color.


  1. Open Excel.
  2. Click "File."
  3. Go to "Options."
  4. Select "Advanced."
  5. Check "Show sheet tabs".
  6. Click "OK."


Showing tabs in Excel is straightforward once you know where to look. By following the steps above, you can quickly bring back those tabs and regain control over your worksheets. Remember, Excel is a powerful tool, and little tips like these can make your life so much easier. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone looking to get organized, mastering this small skill can save you a lot of time and frustration.

For further reading, explore Excel’s other customization options like creating custom views or using keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work. Improving your Excel skills can lead to better productivity and efficiency. Now that you know how to show tabs in Excel, why not explore more features and become an Excel wizard?

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