Microsoft Office Software

How do I reveal hidden columns in Excel?

Reveal hidden columns in Excel
Hide and seek: restore missing columns

This happens to me ALL THE TIME. I open a familiar Excel spreadsheet and columns appear to have gone missing (such as in the screenshot below, where C has just disappeared). How do you reveal hidden columns in Excel?

Excel hidden column

Reveal hidden columns in Excel

Thankfully, it’s dead easy to get missing columns back. There are a couple of ways to do it.

By far the easiest way is to select the two columns adjacent to the missing column. You do this by clicking on, say, the B at the top of the column and then (keeping the left-mouse button clicked) dragging across to the D. When both columns are selected, open the Home tab, go to the Cells section on the far right of the screen and choose the Format drop-down menu.

From that, select Hide & Unhide and then choose Unhide Columns. Once clicked, your missing column should be restored.

Excel unhide column

The process is exactly the same for rows – just select the relevant rows and options, obviously.

How do you hide a column again, if you want to tuck it away after all? Right-click on the column header (the “C” in the example above) and choose Hide. It will disappear from view once more…

Now read this: is Airtable an Excel killer?

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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  • Barry, once you’ve selected the columns straddling the hidden column, it’s much quicker to right click and then choose ‘Unhide’… Similarly to hide a column.

    (I’m guessing this doesn’t work on a Mac though!)