How to Move Columns in Google Sheets (3 Easy Ways)

We often feel the need to rearrange columns in our spreadsheet.

Sometimes as an after-thought, other times, we might want to bring two columns next to each other to just easily compare their values.

Whatever the reason, moving columns in Google Sheets is really easy. In this tutorial we are going to look at three ways to move columns, whether it’s a single column or a group of columns:

  • Using Drag-and-drop
  • Using the ‘Move left / ‘Move right’ tool
  • Using Cut, Insert, Paste and Delete

Let us take a look at how you can use each of these techniques to move column B in the dataset shown below to the place between columns D and E:

Column to move in Google Sheets

Using Drag-and-drop to Move Columns in Google Sheets

This is the quickest and easiest method as it only involves a swift movement with the pointer. To move column B and have it take the place between columns D and E, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the column or columns that you want to move. You can do this by selecting the column header, as shown below:Select the column or columns that you want to move
  2. Wait till the pointer/cursor turns into a hand icon.cursor turns into a hand icon
  3. Then, press down on your selected column with the left mouse pointer and drag it till you reach the column you want your selected column to move to. Use the translucent guiding bar to see exactly where your selected column is going to go. In our example, we drag column B and stop right between columns D and E.Drag the column to where you want to move it
  4. This will cause all the columns before and including column D to shift left, to make space for the column that has been moved.Columns adjust based on the movement

You should see the Product column (originally column B) now moved to the column between Delivery date and Price.

Note: If you are moving the column towards the left, then all the columns after and including your destination column will shift right to make space for the newly moved column.

In this example, we have moved a single column, but you can also select multiple consecutive columns and move them together in the same way.

Using the ‘Move left’ / ‘Move right’ Tool to Move Columns In Google Sheets

You can use this method to move your column either left or right by one column at a time. The method is ideal if you want to simply swap columns or a set of columns.

To move column B and have it take the place between columns D and E using this technique, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the column or columns that you want to move. You can do this by selecting the column header(s).Select the column or columns that you want to move
  2. From the ‘Edit’ menu, select the ‘Move column(s) right’ option.Select move column tot the right
  3. You will notice that column B and C swap places, where column B moves to the right and Column C shifts to the leftColumn swap places
  4. Repeat step 2 as many times as you need till your selected column(s) reaches the destination. In our example, we repeat step 2 one more time, so the Product column now moves from column C to column D.Repeat the process again to move column to the right

Because of all the shifting, in the end, the Product column (originally column B) should now be between Delivery date and Price.

Note: If you want to move your selected columns towards the left, then simply select ‘Move column(s) right’ from the Edit menu, in step 2. Repeat the step as many times as you need to till your selected column(s) reach(es) the destination. You should then find all the columns after and including your destination column(s) shift right to make space for the newly moved column(s).

In this example, we have moved a single column, but you can also select multiple consecutive columns and move them together in the same way.

Using Cut, Insert, Paste and Delete to Move Columns In Google Sheets

The first two methods are fine if you are working with a small number of columns. However, if you are working with large datasets where your data spans over multiple columns and across multiple screen scrolls, then these two methods might feel rather cumbersome.

Instead, you can try out the next method. Let us see how you can use cut, insert, paste, and delete to move column B and make it take the place between columns D and E.

  1. Select the column or columns that you want to move. You can do this by selecting the column header.Select the column or columns that you want to move
  2. Right-click on your selection and select ‘Cut’ from the context menu that appears. Alternatively, you could press the keyboard shortcut CTRL+X (on a PC) or CMD+X (on a Mac).Click on the Cut option
  3. Select the header of the column next to (to the right of) your destination column. In our example, select column E.Select the column where you want to insert the copied column
  4. Right-click on your selection and select ‘Insert 1 left’.Click on the Insert 1 Left option
  5. This will shift your selected column one place to the right, to make space for a new column.New column is inserted
  6. If you need to move more than one column, then repeat step 4 as many times as you need, to make space for your required number of columns.
  7. Now select column header(s) of your destination column(s) In our example, select column E.Select the newly inserted column
  8. Then press the keyboard shortcut CTRL+V (on a PC) or CMD+V (on a Mac). This should paste the column(s) that you had previously cut into the newly created space.Paste the previously copied column
  9. You should see that your original column(s) (that you had cut) would now be blank. You can remove them by right-clicking on the blank column(s) and selecting the ‘Delete column’ option from the context menu that appears.Delete the column that you have already moved

Your final dataset should look like this:

Final dataset after moving the column

Note: When moving multiple columns, a quicker way to insert multiple columns at once in steps 3 and 4 would be to select the same number of column headers (in step 3) as the ones you want to move.

Select multiple columns

Then, in step 4, you would see the option to insert that many blank columns to the left of your selected columns.

Click on the Insert 2 Left option

In this way, you can insert multiple blank columns at once, instead of inserting one column at a time.

two new columns inserted

In this tutorial, we showed you three ways to move single or multiple columns in Google Sheets.

It is important to note here that the above methods only work if you want to move single or multiple columns that are next to each.

At the moment, there is no way to remove non-consecutive columns at a time in Google Sheets.

I hope you found this Google Sheets tutorial useful!

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