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

Hiding columns in Excel can be handy when you’re working with a lot of data, and you need to focus on specific information. But what happens when you need to bring those hidden columns back into view? Don’t worry, unhiding columns in Excel is a simple process that can be done in just a few clicks. Let’s dive into how you can unhide columns easily and get back to analyzing your data without any hiccups.

Step by Step Tutorial: Unhide Columns in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. These steps will help you reveal those sneaky hidden columns in your Excel spreadsheet. The process is straightforward, so you’ll be an unhide pro in no time!

Step 1: Select Columns

Click on the headers of the columns that are immediately to the left and right of the hidden column.

When you have a hidden column, Excel leaves a small gap between the two columns that are still visible. By selecting the columns on either side of this gap, you’re telling Excel, “Hey, there’s something between these two that I need to see!”

Step 2: Right-Click

Right-click on the selected column headers.

Once you’ve selected the columns, a right-click will bring up a handy menu full of options. This is like knocking on Excel’s door and saying, “I need more options here!”

Step 3: Choose ‘Unhide’

From the menu, choose the ‘Unhide’ option.

This is the moment of truth! Clicking ‘Unhide’ is like telling Excel, “I’m ready to reveal the secrets you’ve been keeping from me.” And just like that, the hidden columns will be visible again.

After completing these steps, the columns that were once hidden will now be visible on your spreadsheet. It’s like magic, but you know, the Excel kind.

Tips for Unhiding Columns in Excel

Unhiding columns in Excel is pretty straightforward, but here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re dealing with a spreadsheet with a lot of hidden columns, try selecting the entire worksheet by clicking the triangle at the top-left corner before you right-click to unhide.
  • When right-clicking doesn’t seem to work, there’s another way! Simply go to the ‘Home’ tab, click ‘Format’ in the ‘Cells’ group, and then under ‘Visibility,’ click ‘Hide & Unhide’ and then ‘Unhide Columns.’
  • Did you know you can also use a keyboard shortcut? Press Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero), and voilà, the columns will appear!
  • If the ‘Unhide’ option is greyed out, it might mean that the entire sheet is protected. You’ll need to unlock the sheet first before you can unhide the columns.
  • Lastly, remember to save your spreadsheet after unhiding the columns. You wouldn’t want to go through the process again because you forgot to save, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the ‘Unhide’ option is greyed out?

This usually means that the sheet is protected. You need to remove sheet protection by going to the ‘Review’ tab, clicking on ‘Unprotect Sheet,’ and entering the password if required.

Can I unhide multiple columns at once?

Absolutely! Just select the range that includes all the hidden columns you want to unhide, then right-click and select ‘Unhide.’

Why can’t I see the hidden columns after clicking ‘Unhide’?

Make sure you’ve selected the correct columns on either side of the hidden ones. If you still can’t see them, your spreadsheet might be protected or the columns might be set to a very small width.

What does it mean when a column won’t unhide?

If a column still won’t unhide after following these steps, double-check if there’s a possibility that the column width is set to ‘0.’ You can manually adjust the width by selecting the column and dragging the boundary line.

Is there a way to prevent columns from being hidden accidentally?

To avoid accidental hiding of columns, you can protect the sheet by going to the ‘Review’ tab and selecting ‘Protect Sheet.’ This way, you can restrict certain actions like hiding or unhiding columns.


  1. Select Columns
  2. Right-Click
  3. Choose ‘Unhide’


Unhiding columns in Excel may seem like a small task, but it’s one of those essential skills that can make data management much smoother. Whether you’re working on a complex financial report or organizing a simple list, knowing how to reveal hidden columns is a basic but powerful tool in your Excel toolkit. Remember to always double-check your spreadsheet before sharing it with others; you never know what important data might be lurking in those hidden columns. As you become more comfortable with Excel, you’ll find that these quick and easy actions can significantly improve your workflow. Happy unhiding!

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