How to Fix Unhide Rows in Excel Not Working (An Easy and Effective Guide)

January 8, 2024 7.8K views

Hiding and unhiding rows in Excel can be a helpful way to organize and manage data.. It tidies up big lists and tangled sheets, helping us focus. But wait, there’s a twist! Sometimes, finding hidden rows turns into a head-scratcher. So, how do we crack this code? This guide has your back—explaining the row-rescue act in Excel, plain and simple.

Reasons Why Unhide Rows Not Working in Excel

  • Frozen Panes Impact: If you've frozen panes, unhiding rows might hit a roadblock.

  • Tiny or Zero Row Height: Rows with very small or zero height can thwart unhiding efforts.

  • Active Filter Mode: Active filters could clash with your attempts to unhide.

  • Sheet Protection Barrier: When sheets are protected, unhiding might be restricted.

  • Top Row Troubles: Unhiding the uppermost rows could prove to be trickier than expected.

How to Fix Unhide Rows in Excel Not Working

Unhide All Rows Not Working If Freezing Pans Option is Available

Step 1: Navigate to the View tab.

Step 2: Click the dropdown list for Freeze Panes and select Unfreeze Panes.

Or use the keyboard shortcut ALT + W + F + F.

Step 3: Your rows will be unhid, and future hiding/unhiding will function as expected.

When the Row Height is Very Small or Zero

Step 1: Increase the row height, right click on the Row > Row Height

Step 2: The adjusted row height will make previously hidden rows visible.

If the Filter Mode is Active

Step 1: Head to the Data tab.

Step 2: Clear filters by selecting Clear under the Filter option in the Sort & Filter ribbon.

Step 3: This action will remove any hidden rows caused by active filters.

Unhide All Rows Not Working When the Sheet is Protected

Step 1: Check sheet protection status using VBA.

Step 2: Create a module: Developer > Visual Basic > Insert > Module.

Step 3: Insert the provided VBA code to check protection status.

Step 4: If protected, unprotect sheet via Review > Unprotect Sheet.

Step 5: Choose Unhide after selecting the dataset.

Can’t Unhide Top Rows in Excel

Step 1: Navigate to the Home tab.

Step 2: Click on Find & Select in the Editing ribbon, select Go To.

Step 3: Input A1 as reference and press OK.

Step 4: Right-click and choose Unhide from the context menu.

Ways to Unhide Rows in Excel

#1. How to Unhide a Specific Row

Step 1. Open Excel Document:

Step 2. Spot Hidden Row:

Scroll down; if row numbers skip , the hidden row is between. Look for the double line between these numbers.

Step 3. Right-Click Gap:

Right-click the space between numbers. On Mac, hold Control and click.

Step 4. Click Unhide:

Choose "Unhide" from the menu to reveal the hidden row. Save with Ctrl+S (Windows) or ⌘ Command+S (Mac).

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#2. How to Unhide Top Rows

Step 1. Select Cell A1:

Locate the name box to the left of the formula bar. Type "A1" in the name box. Cell A1 will be selected.

Step 2. Access Format:

On the right side of the Home tab, find the "Format" option.

Step 3. Unhide Rows:

Hover over 'Hide & Unhide'. Click 'Unhide Rows'.

#3. How to Unhide Multiple Rows

Step 1. Select Visible Cells:

Go to the Home tab. Choose all the visible cells encompassing the hidden rows.

Step 2. Access Format Menu:

Click on the Format Menu.

Step 3. Navigate to Hide & Unhide:

Under Format, locate the Visibility option.

From the sub-options, choose 'Hide & Unhide'.

Step 4. Unhide Rows:

In the dropdown, click 'Unhide Rows'.

Shortcut Method:

Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl + Shift + (" to unhide rows.

Step 5. Confirm Unhiding:

After clicking 'Unhide Rows', the previously hidden rows will reappear.

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1. How do I check for frozen panes in Excel?

To keep a section of a worksheet visible while scrolling to another section, go to the View tab and select Freeze Panes to lock particular rows and columns in place, or Split Panes to create two windows of the same worksheet.

2. How to unhide all rows in Excel on MAC?

On both MAC and Windows, unhiding rows is the same. Drag your cursor over the hidden row to choose it. Then, using a right-click, pick the Unhide option.


In wrapping up, this article masterfully navigates the challenge of unhiding rows in Excel, offering step-by-step solutions for frozen panes, row height issues, active filters, and sheet protection. It also highlights the remarkable capabilities of WPS Office as a versatile suite, with cross-platform compatibility, support for diverse file types and languages, real-time collaboration tools, and an intuitive interface.

With the insights shared here and the power of tools like WPS Office, you're not only equipped to overcome the specific issue of unhiding rows, but also to seamlessly manage and analyze data in Excel's dynamic environment.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.