Unable to Unhide Columns or Rows in Excel

It may not be a protection issue

There are certain situations when you can’t “unhide” columns on the left and/or rows at the top and it is not a sheet protection issue.

It is also not an unhiding issue. It is caused by Freeze Panes. It depends where you are when you set your Freeze Panes.

Freeze Pane is in the View ribbon.

Freeze Panes keeps certain rows at the top and columns to the left as you scroll around. But it can also stop you from seeing certain rows and columns.

If you have scrolled to the right and then set your Freeze Panes then it can stop you seeing the columns on the left.

If you have scrolled down the sheet and then set your Freeze Panes it can stop you seeing the rows at the top.

The easy solution if you want to see or unhide the rows or columns is to remove the Freeze Panes. The easy way to do that is to press in sequence

Alt w f f

This is a toggle command so you can also use it to apply Freeze Panes.

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48 thoughts on “Unable to Unhide Columns or Rows in Excel

  1. Thanks a lot for posting this. Just the first line of article helped to unhide columns in a secons, for which I was going mad from last 2 hours wondering why unhide option was not working in my excel.

  2. I have 530 rows hidden and I don’t want to sit and double click 530 times to unhide ALL of them. Is there no a000 t a way to unhide a rediculous number of hidden rows all at once?

  3. I’ve tried everything I possibly could to no success however your Tip on Freeze / Unfreeze Panes proved just what I was looking for, thank you!

  4. Thanks a lot for this article. Extremely helpful or I would’ve been going for one hour trying to solve this problem.

  5. Thank you for this minor, but significant point about unfreezing panes. Do you think Microsoft could include this in their instructions? (sarcasm) Again, thanks a million!

    Like other users, been dealing with this for more than an hour until I came across your info.

        • Have sent you an email with the following suggestion.
          Have you tried selecting the columns and changing the column width to 8? You can right click the columns after selecting them to access column width.

  6. Hi,
    Use the following if above methods didn’t work:
    When the Go To window appears, enter A1 in the Reference field and click on the OK button.

  7. For anyone who has tried it all and nothing worked, try select all, then double click on the area where the rows are numbered/hidden cells indicated. It should unhide all

  8. Thank you. although mine wasnt a freeze pane issue it pointed me in the right direction. i realised i had a filter on and the cells that contained the ‘to be filtered from’ cells were also mysteriously in the hidden rows so i just removed the filter and hey presto i could then unhide cells.

    many thanks

  9. I have had this happen many times. When the proposed approaches mentioned previously did not work it was because I had a filter in place so when i cleared that filter, i was able to unhide the hidden rows.