How to Select All Rows in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selecting all rows in Excel is a handy skill to have in your toolbox. Whether you’re dealing with a small dataset or a large one, knowing how to quickly highlight all your rows can save you time and effort. In short, all you need to do is click on the top-left corner button or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + A”. That’s it! After that, all rows in your Excel sheet will be selected.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Select All Rows in Excel

Before we dig into the step-by-step guide, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Selecting all rows in Excel allows you to perform actions like formatting, copying, or deleting on the entire dataset at once. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that can make your data management tasks more efficient.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

Open the Excel workbook that contains the data you want to select.

Opening your Excel workbook is where it all starts. Make sure you’ve got the right file open, and you’re good to go for the next steps.

Step 2: Click the Top-Left Corner Button

Click on the button in the top-left corner of your Excel sheet that looks like a small rectangle or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + A”.

This magical little button instantly selects all the cells in your worksheet. If you’re more of a keyboard shortcut fan, “Ctrl + A” will be your best friend.

After completing these steps, you should have all the rows in your Excel sheet selected. This means any action you now take will apply to the entire dataset. Whether you’re formatting, inserting, or deleting, you’ll be doing it across your whole Excel sheet.

Tips for Selecting All Rows in Excel

  • If you have a cell selected before hitting “Ctrl + A”, Excel will only select the current region of cells. Press “Ctrl + A” a second time to select the entire sheet.
  • If you’re using Excel on a Mac, use “Cmd + A” to select all rows.
  • Be careful when performing actions on all selected rows, as any changes will affect every single cell in your sheet.
  • If your dataset has blank rows or columns, “Ctrl + A” may not select everything on the first try. Clicking the top-left corner button is a more reliable method in this case.
  • If you only want to select all the rows but not the columns, click on the row number on the left side of your sheet, then drag to cover all the rows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “Ctrl + A” do in Excel?

“Ctrl + A” is a keyboard shortcut in Excel that selects all cells in a worksheet. If you have a specific cell selected, it first selects the current region of cells. Pressing it again selects the entire sheet.

Can I select all rows in Excel without including the columns?

Yes, you can select all rows without including the columns by clicking on the row number on the left side and dragging to cover all desired rows.

What if “Ctrl + A” doesn’t select all my rows?

If “Ctrl + A” doesn’t select all your rows, it may be because there are blanks in your dataset. Try clicking the top-left corner button for a more accurate selection.

Is there a difference in selecting all rows between Excel versions?

The basic method of selecting all rows remains consistent across different Excel versions. However, the appearance of buttons and shortcuts might slightly differ.

Can I select all rows in Excel Online?

Yes, you can select all rows in Excel Online using the same methods: clicking the top-left corner button or using the “Ctrl + A” shortcut.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Click the top-left corner button or use “Ctrl + A”.


There you have it, a straightforward guide on how to select all rows in Excel. This simple action is essential for anyone who works with data in Excel regularly. It’s a fundamental skill that forms the basis of many more complex tasks you’ll perform in your spreadsheets. Whether you’re a data analyst, an accountant, or someone who likes to keep meticulous records, mastering this function can streamline your workflow and save you an immense amount of time.

Remember that while shortcuts like “Ctrl + A” are convenient, Excel is a nuanced program with many layers to explore. Selecting all rows is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities at your fingertips. As you grow more comfortable with Excel, you’ll discover there’s an entire world of shortcuts and functions that can elevate your data management skills to new heights.

If you’re keen to learn more, consider diving into Excel’s various formulas and functions next. There’s a whole universe of possibilities waiting to be unlocked. And before you know it, you’ll be navigating Excel like a pro, transforming rows of data into compelling stories and impactful insights. So go ahead, take that first step, and select all rows in Excel with confidence. Happy spreadsheeting!

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