Mastering Excel – A Comprehensive Guide on How to Move Rows

how to move a row in excel

Microsoft Excel is a versatile and powerful spreadsheet application that is used by millions of people worldwide for various data management tasks. One common task in Excel is moving rows within a worksheet, whether it’s for reorganizing data, sorting information, or simply making your spreadsheet more organized. In this article, we’ll explore different methods to move rows in Excel, catering to various scenarios and user preferences.

Cut and Paste

The simplest and most straightforward method for moving rows in Excel is by using the “Cut” and “Paste” commands. Here’s how you can do it

  • Select the Row Click on the row number to select the entire row you want to move.
  • Cut the Row You can either right-click on the selected row and choose “Cut” or press `Ctrl+X`.
  • Select the Destination Click on the row number where you want to move the selected row to.
  • Paste the Row Right-click and choose “Insert Cut Cells” or press `Ctrl+V`. This will insert the cut row above the row where you clicked.

This method is quick and easy for moving rows within the same worksheet.

Drag and Drop

If you prefer a more interactive approach, you can use the drag-and-drop method to move rows

  • Select the Row Click and hold the left mouse button on the row number of the row you want to move.
  • Drag the Row While holding the mouse button, move the row to the desired location within the worksheet.
  • Release the Mouse Button Release the mouse button to drop the row in its new location.

This method is intuitive and especially useful for reordering rows within the same worksheet. However, be cautious when working with large datasets, as it can be less precise than other methods.

Using the “Sort” Feature

If you need to move rows while maintaining a specific order based on a column’s values, the “Sort” feature is your best option

  • Select a Cell in the Column Click on any cell within the column by which you want to sort the rows.
  • Access the Sort Dialog Go to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon and select “Sort.” This will open the “Sort” dialog box.
  • Configure Sorting Options In the “Sort” dialog, choose your sorting criteria. You can sort in ascending or descending order.
  • Apply Sorting Click “OK” to apply the sorting. The entire worksheet will be rearranged based on your chosen column’s values.
  • Revert to Original Order To return to the original order, use the “Undo” command (`Ctrl+Z`).

Using the “Sort” feature is excellent for organizing your data based on specific criteria while moving rows. It’s particularly useful when you have large datasets and want to keep your information organized.

Using a Helper Column

Another method for moving rows in Excel is by adding a helper column with numbers to establish a specific order for your data. Here’s how

  • Insert a New Column Right-click on any column letter and choose “Insert.” This will add a new column to your worksheet.
  • Number Rows In the new column, enter numbers to represent the order in which you want the rows to appear.
  • Sort by Helper Column Select any cell in the helper column, go to the “Data” tab, and use the “Sort” feature as described in Method 3.
  • Remove the Helper Column After you’ve sorted the rows, you can delete the helper column if you no longer need it.

Using a helper column gives you more control over the order of your rows, and it can be useful in various scenarios.

Advanced Filter

For more advanced users, Excel offers the Advanced Filter feature to move rows based on specific criteria

  • Define a Criteria Range Create a separate range with the criteria you want to use to filter your data.
  • Go to the “Data” Tab Select the “Advanced” option in the “Sort & Filter” group.
  • Set Up the Advanced Filter In the Advanced Filter dialog, specify the range of your data and the criteria range you created.
  • Choose an Action Select “Copy to another location” and specify the destination where you want the filtered rows to be copied.
  • Click “OK”Excel will copy the rows that meet your criteria to the specified location.

The Advanced Filter is a powerful tool for moving rows based on specific conditions. It’s useful when you need to extract specific data from a large dataset.


What is Ctrl Shift R in Excel?

Ctrl + Shift + R: Fills the selected cells with the contents of the cell to the left. 34. Ctrl + Shift + S: Saves the active workbook.

What is Ctrl Shift E in Excel?

Ctrl+E is a keyboard shortcut used to activate the “Flash Fill” feature in Excel. Flash Fill is a powerful tool that can quickly and easily format, fill, or extract data based on a pattern that you specify.


Moving rows in Excel is a fundamental task that comes in handy when working with spreadsheets. Whether you prefer the simplicity of cut-and-paste, the interactive nature of drag-and-drop, the precision of sorting, the organization of helper columns, or the flexibility of advanced filtering, Excel provides various methods to suit your needs.

Choose the method that best fits your data management requirements and level of expertise. With these techniques, you’ll be able to manipulate your Excel data efficiently and keep your worksheets well-organized.

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