How To Swap Cells In Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to swap cells in Google Sheets.

How To Swap Cells In Google Sheets

When you’re working in Google Sheets, you may find you need to swap the contents of two cells.

It can be confusing to figure out how to do this, but below are some strategies that work

Swap Columns or Rows

If you need to swap entire columns or rows, you can use the dragging method:

Step 1

Click on the letter label at the top of one of the two columns you want to swap, then drag it horizontally to position it beside the column you’re swapping it with.

You’ll see where it will land by a vertical grey bar that moves as you drag

Step 2

Click on the letter of the other column, and drag it to the location where the first column used to be

Step 3

Your columns are now swapped

Step 4

If you want to swap rows instead, follow the above instructions but drag the rows by clicking on the row number

Swap Individual Cells

If you want to swap individual cells or ranges, and not an entire row or column, you have to use the Copy/Paste method

Step 1

If we immediately swap data from one range to the other, it will overwrite the data in that range and we won’t be able to access it anymore.

So the first step in swapping cells using copy/paste is to store the data in the first cell somewhere it won’t get overwritten.

To do this, select one of the cells or ranges you want to swap and hit Ctrl + X on Windows or Command + X on Mac to cut it

Step 2

Move the cursor to a location in your Google Sheet that has enough empty cells to temporarily store the copied data while you transfer data to another cell.

You can create a new sheet by clicking on the plus sign in the lower left corner of the screen if you need more space

Step 3

Hit Ctrl + V on Windows or Command + V on Mac to paste the selection into the blank cell(s)

Step 4

Now we can safely copy data from the other range into the first range because the data is stored elsewhere.

Select the second range you want to swap and cut it using the keyboard shortcuts listed above

Step 5

Move the cursor to the original location you cut data from and paste the new data

Step 6

Select the temporary cell or range you pasted into in Step 3 and cut it

Step 7

Move the cursor to the empty swap range and paste

Step 8

The data in the two cells or ranges is now swapped


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to swap cells in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.