How to Unhide Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Unhiding columns in Excel is a nifty trick that’s easier than you might think. It’s all about knowing where to look and what to click. Whether you’re dealing with a spreadsheet that’s been passed down through colleagues or you’ve accidentally hidden a column yourself, fear not! In a few simple steps, you’ll have those columns back in plain sight.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Unhide Columns in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve here. When you unhide columns in Excel, you’re basically making hidden data visible again. This can be super helpful when you’re working on a large spreadsheet with lots of data.

Step 1: Select the Columns

To begin with, you need to select the columns on either side of the hidden column.

When you’ve got a column that’s out of view, it’s sandwiched between two visible columns. Think of it as a hidden treasure that you’re trying to uncover. So, what you have to do is click on the column header to the left of the hidden one, then press and hold the shift key, and click on the column header to the right. Voila! You’ve now highlighted the area that includes the hidden column.

Step 2: Right-Click and Choose “Unhide”

Once the columns are selected, right-click on the highlighted area and select “Unhide.”

After you right-click, a menu will pop up. Look through the options and click on “Unhide.” It’s like telling Excel, “Hey, I know there’s something here, show it to me!” And Excel will oblige, revealing the hidden columns to you.

Step 3: Enjoy Your Fully Visible Spreadsheet

That’s it! You’re done! The hidden columns should now be visible.

Now that you’ve successfully unhinged the columns, your spreadsheet should be back to its full glory. No more hidden data playing hide and seek with you!

After you complete the action, the columns that were previously hidden will now be displayed on your spreadsheet. This means you can access and edit the data in these columns just like any other data in your spreadsheet.

Tips for Unhiding Columns in Excel

  • If you have multiple hidden columns next to each other, the same steps apply. Just make sure to select the columns surrounding all the hidden ones.
  • Double-check that you’re not hiding columns when you intend to unhide them. It’s an easy mistake to make!
  • If you’re struggling to right-click, you can also find the “Unhide” option in the “Home” tab, under the “Cells” group, by clicking on “Format.”
  • Don’t forget that you can also use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process. For Windows users, the shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + 0.
  • Excel also allows you to hide or unhide rows. The process is similar, but instead of selecting columns, you select the rows on either side of the hidden one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find the “Unhide” option?

If the “Unhide” option is not appearing, it’s possible that you haven’t selected the columns correctly. Make sure that you’ve highlighted the columns on either side of the hidden one.

Can I unhide multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can unhide multiple columns at once. Just select all the columns that include and surround the hidden ones, then right-click and choose “Unhide.”

Are there any keyboard shortcuts to unhide columns in Excel?

Yes, for Windows users, pressing Ctrl + Shift + 0 will unhide selected columns. If this doesn’t work, you might need to adjust your keyboard settings to enable this shortcut.

Why can’t I unhide the first column in Excel?

If you’re unable to unhide the first column (Column A), it’s likely because there’s no column to the left of it to select. In this case, try selecting Column B and using the “Unhide” option, or go to the “Home” tab, then “Format,” and under “Visibility,” select “Unhide Columns.”

Can hiding and unhiding columns affect my Excel formulas?

No, hiding or unhiding columns will not affect your formulas. All cell references in formulas will remain intact regardless of the visibility of the columns.


  1. Select the columns surrounding the hidden one.
  2. Right-click and choose “Unhide.”
  3. Enjoy your fully visible spreadsheet.


And there you have it! Unhiding columns in Excel is a simple task that can make a world of difference when managing your data. Whether you’re a spreadsheet rookie or a seasoned pro, it’s a skill worth having in your arsenal. Remember that the key is to select the right columns and then find the “Unhide” option. With the tips provided, you should be tackling this task with confidence. And if you ever find yourself stuck, just refer back to the frequently asked questions for a quick solution.

So go ahead, give it a try, and watch those hidden columns reappear like magic. Happy Excel-ing!

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