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How To Move Rows in Excel [3 Simple Methods]

Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

Looking for a step-by-step guide on how to move rows in Excel? You’re in luck because this guide covers three simple methods to move rows in Excel with screenshots!

A quick rundown of the methods includes clicking the row header, moving the cursor until it changes to the four-arrow symbol, and dragging the row to the desired location while holding the Shift key.

Want to learn more about these methods? Read on for in-depth instructions on how to move rows in Excel.

How To Move Rows in Excel in 3 Ways

There are multiple ways in which you can move rows in Excel. It is a powerful tool when you know how to use it. Below, we’ll go through them all, starting with the most common and helpful method.

1. How To Drag Rows in Excel

One of the easiest ways to move a row in Microsoft Excel without overwriting it is to use the drag-and-drop feature, also known as “Fill Handle.” I use this method because it conveniently moves or duplicates rows or data to a different location, which is helpful when you have large datasets.

Follow the steps below to learn how to move an entire row in Excel:

  1. Open the Google Sheets platform with the spreadsheet data.
How to move rows in Excel—example spreadsheet
  1. Use your mouse pointer and click on the row number at the left-most part of the Excel interface.
    • For this example, the header for my table is in row 6.
    • I click on the row number to select it, highlighting the row with a green border around it.
Selected row in Excel
  1. Once the row is selected, I hover my cursor over the highlighted border’s top or bottom.
    • I can only move the rows in Excel if the cursor turns from a plus symbol (+) to a 4-arrow symbol.
    • This is indicated by the red outline in the screenshot below.
How to drag rows in Excel.
  1. To move the row, I press Shift and then left-click my mouse to drag the row to the desired location.

NOTE: If you do not hold down Shift when moving the rows, Excel may replace the existing data with the new data instead of moving it. Therefore, ensure you use the Shift button to move multiple rows.

Related: How To Swap Cells in Excel

How To Move Rows in Excel in Bulk

Alternatively, if you need to move multiple rows in Excel, there is a simple and efficient method. Just follow the steps below to move Excel rows in bulk:

  1. Select the rows you want to move, which are usually adjacent rows.
    • Click on the first and last row from the group of rows.
Multiple rows selected in Excel
  1. Press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard. Then, click on the last row from the group of rows that you want to select.
    • This will automatically select all the rows in between.
  1. Once the rows are selected, release the Shift key and hover your mouse cursor over the highlighted border until it becomes a 4-Arrow symbol.
  2. To move the rows, click on hold Shift and then click the left mouse button to drag the rows to your desired location.

Related: How To Insert Multiple Rows in Excel

2. How To Move a Row in Excel Using the Cut Feature

The Excel cut rows function is another way to move rows up and down to a new location in a spreadsheet. Like the previous drag-and-drop method, the cut method is equally as easy, even for beginners.

Using this method, I don’t need to position my cursor whenever I want to move a row. Instead, I must use the “Cut” and “Insert Cut Cells” commands. Here is how to move a row to a new position in Excel using the cut command:

  1. Select the row you want to move by clicking on the row number, which can be seen on the left side of the spreadsheet interface.
    • In this example, I will move row 7 to row 1 (the first row).
Excel's cut feature
  1. With the row selected, right-click the row number. This will open a drop-down context menu.
    • Here, I will click on the “Cut” option.
    • Alternatively, I can cut the row using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + X on Windows. For Mac users, press the shortcut keys Cmd + X.
Insert cut cells option in Excel
  1. Then, I click on the row number where I want to move the selected row by right-clicking on the row number.
    • The same drop-down menu will open. However, I clicked on the “Insert Cut Cells” option this time.

NOTE: I cannot paste the data here, as it will overwrite the original row. Therefore, if I make a mistake, I can use the Ctrl + Z shortcut to undo or edit it and choose “Insert Cut Cells” from the context menu instead. This method also retains any formulas I have already used in the row.

Related: How to Combine Rows in Excel

Are you in a hurry to learn how to move rows in Excel? Check out this 1-minute video to reposition your rows efficiently and quickly!

3. How To Move Entire Rows in Excel by Sorting

Many Excel users move rows and columns to sort them. Instead, I can use the built-in Sort function to organize the data in my worksheet. Here is how to shift rows down in Excel by sorting:

  1. Select the entire range of rows.
    Entire range of rows selected in Excel
  1. Once the data is selected, I click “Data” in the main toolbar at the top.
  2. I click “Sort” in the “Sort & Filter” section. This will open a new window in my Excel window.
Sort window in Excel
  1. I can select the “Column” I want to “Sort by.”
    • I can also choose the values I want to “Sort On.” In this case, these are the “Cell Values.”
    • Lastly, I will specify the “Order” of the values according to the rows. As my list contains names, I will sort it from A to Z.
  1. If the dataset from Step 1 contains a header, I must also select “My data has headers” at the top right of the window.
  2. Finally, I click the “OK” button to save the changes.

Related: Remove Blank Rows in Excel in a Few Easy Clicks

How to Move Rows in Excel Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are another great way to add, delete, and move Excel rows. Remember that some shortcuts will require me to select the entire row. Therefore, the results may vary.

Below are some of the most popular shortcuts in Excel to move rows:

  • Shift + Space: Select the entire row
  • Ctrl + Shift + ‘+’: Insert a new row above chosen row
  • Ctrl + ‘-’: Delete the selected row
  • Ctrl + Shift + Up arrow: Move row selection upwards
  • Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow: Move row selection downwards

Related: Ultimate Guide to the Best Excel Keyboard Shortcuts in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Move Rows Up in Excel Without Affecting Formulas?

The easiest way to move a row up without impacting the formulas is by selecting the row and clicking on the row number to select it. Then, hover the mouse cursor over the selected row’s border, turning it into a 4-arrow symbol. Press Shift and left-click to drag the row to the desired location.

How Do You Move Rows Down in Excel by Sorting Them

Sorting data in Excel is accessible.

  1. Click and drag your cursor to select the dataset.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab and then on “Sort.”
  3. Select the column you want to sort and click the “OK” button.

Wrapping Up How to Move Rows in Microsoft Excel

To summarize, there are three easy methods for moving rows in Excel: clicking and dragging row headers while holding Shift, cutting and inserting the rows, or sorting rows.

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