How to Hide Rows, Columns, Tabs & Cells in Google Sheets

Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Jake Sheridan

Struggling to keep your Google Sheets tidy? In this tutorial you will learn how to hide (+ unhide) rows, columns, tabs & cells.

8 Ways to Hide (and Unhide) Stuff in Google Sheets

Let’s go:

1. How To Hide Rows

Here’s how you can hide rows in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Step 1

First, open the Google Sheets spreadsheet containing the row you want to hide.

In this example, we want to remove the fourth row in our sheet.

Step 2

Next, click on the row number of the row you want to hide. This action will automatically select the entire row.

Step 3

Right-click on the selection and select the Hide row option from the context menu.

Step 4

The selected row or rows should now be hidden.

Step 5

Another way to hide rows is by minimizing a group of rows. Google Sheets allows you to create groups of rows or columns. Each group can be collapsed and expanded as needed.

Select the group of rows you want to collapse as a group.

In this example, we’ll create a group from rows 2 to 6.

To create a group, select View > Group > Group. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Shift + Right Arrow.

Grouped rows are indicated by a small icon and bracket found in the row headers area on the left.

You can click on the “-” icon to collapse a group.

Click on the “+” icon to expand a group or rows.

2. How To Unhide Rows

Here’s how to unhide rows in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Step 1

First, open the document containing hidden rows. In Google Sheets, you can detect hidden rows by looking for arrow indicators in the row headings.

Typically, hidden rows also cause a break in the row number sequence. For instance, if you notice that the row numbers jump from 5 to 11, rows 6 through 10 are likely hidden.

Step 2

Select the rows above and below the hidden rows.

In this example, we’ll select rows 8 and 10.

Step 3

Right-click on the selection. In the context menu, click Unhide rows.

Step 4

You should now be able to see the previously hidden row.

Step 5

Google Sheets also allows you to view hidden rows with a single click. Simply hover your cursor over the two arrow indicators found in the row header.

Click on this indicator to view the hidden rows.

Step 6

You may also encounter hidden rows that are hidden by a filter.

In the example above, a quick look at the row numbers shows that there are a lot of rows that are hidden. Looking at row 1, we can see that columns A through F have a filter applied. Specifically, the credit_card_type column has a filter applied.

Click on the Filter funnel icon and click Select all. This will ensure that all values will be displayed. Click on OK to proceed.

Step 7

You should now be able to see all rows previously hidden by the filter.

3. How To Hide Columns

Here’s how to hide columns in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Open the Google Sheets document where you want to hide columns.

In this example, we want to hide the first name and last name columns (columns A and B) in our transaction dataset.

Step 2

Use the column headers to select one or more columns to hide.

Step 3

Right-click on the selection and select the “Hide column” or “Hide columns…” option.

Step 4

The selected columns should now be hidden. Google Sheets will show small arrow indicators in the adjacent columns to indicate that one or more hidden columns exist between these visible columns.

Step 5

Similar to grouped rows, we can also hide or collapse grouped columns. Select the columns you want to hide and select View > Group > Group columns,

There should be a bracket and icon above the group of columns. Click on the “-” icon to collapse the group and hide it from view.

Click on the “+” icon to expand the group of columns.

4. How To Unhide Columns

Here’s how to unhide columns in a Google Sheets document.

Step 1

Open the Google Sheets spreadsheet containing hidden columns.

You can find out if a spreadsheet has hidden columns if there are letters in the column header that are skipped over. For example, the sheet above skips over column B and C.

Google Sheets also adds arrow indicators in the column headers for users to quickly identify hidden rows.

Step 2

Select the two columns adjacent to the hidden columns.

Step 3

Right-click on the selection and click Unhide columns in the context menu.

Step 4

You should now be able to see the hidden columns in your spreadsheet.

Step 5

Google Sheets allows you to view hidden columns with a single click. Simply hover your cursor over the two arrow indicators found in the column header.

Click on this indicator to reveal the hidden columns in this part of your spreadsheet.

5. How to Hide a Tab

Follow these steps to learn how to hide a tab in Google Sheets

Step 1

Select the tab in your Google Sheets document you want to hide.

Do note that if your document only has a single tab, you will not be able to hide it.

Step 2

Right-click on the tab and select Hide sheet from the context menu.

Step 3

Your selected tab should now be hidden from view.

Step 4

To hide multiple tabs at the same time, first select multiple tabs using the Shift or Ctrl keys. Right-click on the selection and click Hide sheets.

6. How to unhide a tab

Here’s how to unhide a tab in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Open the Google Sheets document containing hidden tabs you want to unhide.

Step 2

Click on View > Hidden sheets to see all hidden sheets/tabs in your document. Click on any of the sheets to unhide it.

In this example, we’ll click “Show Sample Tab” to unhide the Sample Tab sheet.

Step 3

The selected sheet should now reappear.

Step 4

Another way to view hidden tabs is by clicking on the All Sheets icon.

The All Sheets option will show a list of all sheets that are part of the current Google Sheets document. Hidden sheets are shown as grayed out options. You can click on any of these hidden sheets to unhide them.

In the example above, only “Sample Tab 2” is not hidden from the user. Let’s try clicking on the hidden Sample Tab option to unhide it.

7. How to Hide Cells

To hide cells in Google Sheets, we can perform the following steps:

Step 1

Open the spreadsheet containing the cells you want to hide.

Step 2

Determine the cells you want to hide. This can be a range of cells, an entire column, or an entire row.

In this example, we want to hide cell B6 from view.

Step 3

Hiding individual cells is not directly possible in Google Sheets. We’ll need to either select the cell’s row or column and hide our selection.

Right-click on the selection to access the context menu. Click on either Hide row or Hide column.

In this case, we’ll right-click on our cell’s row and select Hide row.

Step 4

Your cells should now be hidden from view.

8. How to Unhide Cells

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to show hidden cells in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Open the Google Sheets document with cells you want to unhide.

Step 2

We can unhide cells by selecting the adjacent rows or columns and using the Unhide command.

If we want to see cell A5, we can select row 5 and row 7 together since these are the two rows adjacent to the row where our hidden cell is located.

Right-click on this selection and select Unhide rows / Unhide columns.

The hidden cells should now reappear in your document.

Step 3

To unhide rows and columns, we can also click on the arrow indicators found in the row or column heading.

Clicking on the indicator will reveal the hidden rows or columns between the visible rows or columns.

Step 4

Sometimes, cells may be hidden due to an existing filter option.

You can either choose to either adjust the filter options or to remove the filter itself.

To reveal filtered rows, identify which columns in your data are filtering your data. These columns will have headings with a filter icon (funnel shaped icon). Click on this filter icon and choose “Select all” to remove the filter.

This action will reveal any rows that were previously hidden due to the filter settings. If multiple columns have filters applied, you may need to adjust each one to completely reveal all hidden rows.

Step 4

To reveal all rows in a filtered range, we can remove the filter itself.

Head to the sheet containing your filtered data and click Data > Remove filter.

All previously-hidden rows should now reappear.

 

FAQs

What is the Hide function in Google Sheets?

The Hide feature in Google Sheets allows you to temporarily remove rows, columns, or entire sheets from view without actually deleting them. This could help reduce clutter, focus on specific parts of your spreadsheet, and even prevent other users from accidentally changing values in certain parts of your sheet.

Hidden rows and columns can be detected by the presence of small arrows between column letters or row numbers. To know if a document has hidden sheets, users can check View > Hidden sheets.

How do I hide rows in Google Sheets from certain users?

Hiding rows in Google Sheets from certain users isn’t straightforward because Google Sheets does not offer row-level permissions or visibility settings. However, there are some workarounds you can consider:

Protect selected ranges

You can protect specific rows, which prevents users with view or comment access from seeing the contents. Users with edit access can still see the rows, but you can limit who has this level of access.

To protect a range, select the rows, go to “Data” > “Protected sheets and ranges,” and set the permissions.

Once these rows have protection, anyone without the necessary protection will be unable to unhide them.

Create a Filter View

Filter views can help in showing different views of the data to different users. However, this doesn’t strictly hide rows from users; it just allows users to focus on specific data.

To create a filter view, go to Data > Filter views > Create new filter view.

In the example above, we made a filter view for a transaction table that only shows transactions of a certain type.

Create a separate spreadsheet

A practical approach is to create different versions of the sheet for different users or groups. Only include the data relevant to each user or group in their respective sheet.

You can make a copy of the current sheet by selecting File > Make a copy.

Can Google Sheets be private?

Yes, Google Sheets can be private, and you have control over who can view, edit, or comment on your sheets. By default, when you create a new Google Sheet, it is private to your Google account

Here’s how you can make sure that your current spreadsheet is private to you or just a certain group of users.

Step 1

Access the Google Sheets document you want to make private.

Step 2

Click on the Share button to manage the current document’s sharing settings. This button can be found in the upper-right corner of the Google Sheets interface

Step 3

The dialog box will show all people with access to the current document. If you want to keep a sheet private, you’ll need to change the general access options.

If the sheet is set to “Anyone with the link”, then that means anyone with the URL can access the sheet.

Set the general access link to “Restricted” to make the current document accessible to only users you explicitly share it with.