Excel Guides

Unhiding Columns that are Persistently Hidden in Excel

If you've ever hidden a column in Excel and then found that you can't unhide it, even when you right-click and choose "Unhide", you're not alone. It's a common problem, and one that has a few different causes.

The first thing to check is whether the column is actually hidden or just very narrow. To do this, select a cell in a row to the right of the hidden column. If you can see the cell contents, then the column is just very narrow and you can unhide it by dragging the column boundary to the left.

If the column is truly hidden, there are a few possible causes:

  • The column is part of a group. If you've grouped columns together, you'll need to ungroup them before you can unhide any of the columns in the group. To do this, select any cell in a hidden column and then click the "Ungroup" button on the "Data" tab of the ribbon.
  • The worksheet is protected. If the worksheet is protected, you'll need to unprotect it before you can unhide any columns. To do this, click the "Review" tab of the ribbon and then click "Unprotect Sheet" in the "Changes" group. You'll be prompted for a password if the sheet is password-protected.
  • The workbook is shared. If the workbook is shared, only certain users will be able to unhide columns. To stop sharing the workbook, click the "Review" tab of

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