How to Unhide All Columns in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Are you grappling with hidden columns in Excel and don’t know how to unhide them? Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty straightforward. In just a few steps, you’ll be able to see all your hidden columns again.

How to Unhide All Columns in Excel

Unhiding columns in Excel can seem tricky, but it’s easy once you know the steps. Follow these instructions to reveal any hidden columns in your spreadsheet.

Step 1: Select the Entire Sheet

Start by clicking the little triangle in the top left corner of your Excel sheet to select the whole sheet.

Selecting the entire sheet ensures that any hidden columns, no matter where they are, will be included when you unhide them.

Step 2: Right-Click Anywhere on the Selected Area

Next, right-click anywhere on the selected area to bring up the context menu.

This menu will give you various options, including the one you need to unhide the columns.

Step 3: Choose "Unhide"

From the context menu, pick the "Unhide" option.

By choosing "Unhide," Excel will reveal all hidden columns in the selected area.

Step 4: Use the Ribbon (Alternative Method)

Alternatively, you can go to the "Home" tab on the Ribbon, click "Format," then choose "Unhide Columns."

This method is handy if you prefer using the Ribbon instead of right-clicking.

Step 5: Check the Columns

Finally, scroll through your spreadsheet to check that all columns are now visible.

Make sure none of the columns are still hidden and everything looks the way you want it to.

After you complete these steps, all hidden columns in your Excel sheet should become visible, allowing you to see and use all your data.

Tips for Unhiding Columns in Excel

  • Always make sure you’re selecting the entire sheet if you want to unhide all columns.
  • If you only want to unhide specific columns, select the columns around the hidden ones before right-clicking and choosing "Unhide."
  • Use the Ribbon for a more visual approach to finding the "Unhide Columns" option.
  • Save your work regularly to avoid losing any changes.
  • Familiarize yourself with Excel shortcuts to make your workflow more efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if some columns still don’t unhide?

Ensure you’ve selected the entire sheet or the correct columns around the hidden ones. If that doesn’t work, there could be a setting or protection in place preventing it.

Can I unhide multiple columns at once?

Yes, by selecting the entire sheet or multiple columns around the hidden ones, you can unhide them all at once.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to unhide columns?

Yes, you can use Alt + H + O + U + L to unhide columns through the Ribbon.

Why were my columns hidden in the first place?

Columns can be hidden for various reasons, such as cleaning up the view or focusing on specific data. It’s often a temporary measure.

Can I prevent columns from being hidden again?

You can protect your sheet from changes by using the "Protect Sheet" feature under the "Review" tab, which will prevent columns from being hidden again.


  1. Select the entire sheet.
  2. Right-click on the selected area.
  3. Choose "Unhide."
  4. Use the Ribbon as an alternative.
  5. Check the columns.


Unhiding columns in Excel is a simple but essential skill that can save you a lot of headaches. Whether you’re dealing with a shared document where someone else has hidden data or you accidentally hid a column yourself, knowing how to bring those columns back can make your work far more manageable.

Remember, the key steps are selecting the entire sheet, right-clicking, and choosing "Unhide." You also have the option to use the Ribbon for an alternative approach. With these methods in your toolkit, you’ll be able to navigate Excel with more confidence and efficiency.

If you find yourself frequently dealing with hidden columns, consider looking into Excel shortcuts or additional features like "Protect Sheet" to make your workflow even smoother. Happy spreadsheeting!