How to Move Columns in Excel: 2024 Guide for Easy Rearranging

Moving columns in Excel is a straightforward task that can be accomplished in a few simple steps. All you need to do is select the column you want to move, cut or copy it, select the location where you want to move it to, and then paste it. After reading this paragraph, you should have a basic understanding of how to move columns in Excel.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Move Columns in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand why you might need to move columns in Excel. Maybe you’re organizing data, or you need to rearrange columns for a better presentation. Whatever the reason, these steps will help you achieve your goal.

Step 1: Select the Column

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

Selecting the column is the first step in moving it. Make sure you click on the column header (the lettered cell at the top of the column) to select the whole column. If you only select a cell or a part of the column, you won’t be able to move the entire column.

Step 2: Cut or Copy the Column

Right-click and choose “Cut” or press Ctrl+X on your keyboard. Alternatively, to copy the column, press Ctrl+C.

When you cut a column, it’s removed from its original location and ready to be pasted elsewhere. If you copy the column instead, the original column will remain, and you’ll paste a duplicate of it in a new location.

Step 3: Select the Destination

Click on the column header where you want to move the column to.

This step is crucial because where you click will determine where the column is pasted. If you want to move the column to a specific location, make sure you select the column header to the right of where you want your cut or copied column to appear.

Step 4: Paste the Column

Right-click and choose “Insert Cut Cells” or “Insert Copied Cells,” or press Ctrl+V on your keyboard.

Pasting is the final act of moving your column. By choosing “Insert Cut Cells” or “Insert Copied Cells,” Excel shifts the other columns to the right to make space for the moved column, maintaining the integrity of your data.

After completing these steps, your column will be in its new location. If you cut the column, the original location will be empty. If you copied the column, there will now be two identical columns in your spreadsheet.

Tips for Moving Columns in Excel

  • Make sure no cells in the column are being edited before you try to move it.
  • If you’re moving multiple columns, select them all before cutting or copying.
  • Use the “Undo” feature (Ctrl+Z) if you make a mistake and need to reverse the move.
  • Be cautious when moving columns in a spreadsheet with formulas, as this can change the results or cause errors.
  • If you need to move a column to a new worksheet, first copy the column, then paste it into the new worksheet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to drag and drop columns in Excel?

Yes, you can click on the edge of the column and drag it to its new location while holding down the Shift key.

Dragging and dropping is an alternative method to moving columns in Excel. It can be faster than cutting and pasting, but it requires a bit more precision with the mouse.

Can I move multiple columns at once?

Absolutely, just select the range of columns you want to move, then cut or copy and paste them as described above.

Moving multiple columns is similar to moving a single column. Just make sure all the columns you want to move are selected before you cut or copy them.

What happens if I move a column with formulas referring to other cells?

The formulas will automatically update to refer to the new column’s location, maintaining the correct references.

Excel is smart enough to adjust formulas when you move columns around. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check your formulas after moving columns to ensure everything is still working as expected.

Can I undo a column move?

Yes, you can press Ctrl+Z to undo the move, or click the “Undo” button in the toolbar.

The undo feature is your best friend when you’re moving columns around. If you don’t like where you placed a column, or if you accidentally move the wrong one, just undo and try again.

Will moving columns affect my data’s formatting?

No, the formatting will move with the column. However, any conditional formatting might need to be adjusted if it’s based on the column’s original location.

When you move a column, all the formatting should move with it. However, conditional formatting might not update automatically, so you may need to adjust it manually.


  1. Select the column by clicking on its header.
  2. Cut or copy the column using right-click options or keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Click on the destination column’s header.
  4. Paste the column with the right-click options or Ctrl+V.


Moving columns in Excel doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the simple steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be rearranging your data like a pro in no time. Remember, the key to success is understanding the difference between cutting and copying, and knowing exactly where you want your data to go. Once you’ve mastered these steps, you’ll find that organizing your spreadsheets becomes a much more manageable and less time-consuming process. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how easily you can optimize your Excel experience. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a beginner, mastering how to move columns is an essential skill that will serve you well in all your data management endeavors.

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