How to move rows in Excel – our guide to drag and drop a row

Move rows in Microsoft Excel, with our simple step-by-step guide

The Microsoft Excel logo on a white background, showcasing its ability to move rows within the spreadsheet.

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If you want to know how to move rows in Excel, we’ve got you covered.

One of the best things about Microsoft Excel is the ability to sort and adjust your data in countless ways. There’s pretty much no limit to the ways you can sort your information in Excel, but can you move rows around? The short answer is yes, you can – and we’re here to teach you how to drag and drop rows in Excel.

Some people also refer to rows as lines in Excel and in this simple step-by-step guide, we’ll show how to move rows up or down so you can have an easier time keeping track of your data. So, without any further ado, let’s discuss how to shift rows in Excel!

How you can move rows in Excel



Select the row you want to move

Begin by selecting the row you want to move. You can do this in a couple of ways.

  1. The easiest way is to select the row number on the left-hand side. This is the column of numbers descending from the top, with each number representing a row.
  2. Click on the row you want to move to select it – it will be highlighted by a green border.
    A screenshot demonstrating how to move rows in Excel.
  3. Alternatively, if you only want to move certain cells in a row, you can click and drag along the row to highlight individual cells.
  4. You can also select multiple rows to move at once. However, this only works if the two cells are already next to each other. For example, you can move rows 9 and 10 together, but not 9 and 11.
    A spreadsheet with a number of numbers in it that allows users to move rows in Excel.



Drag the row to where you want it to go

Now it’s time to move the row to its new position.

  1. Holding the Shift key on your keyboard, move your mouse cursor to the top edge of the highlighted border.
  2. When you hover over the edge, your cursor will change to a four-directional arrow icon.
    A screenshot demonstrating how to move rows in Excel using a screen name.
  3. Still holding down the Shift key, click on the selected row and drag it up to where you want to move it.
  4. As you move the row, you’ll see a black line between the rows your cursor is over.

This indicates where you’ll be placing the row you’re moving.



Drop the row into its new place

Once you’ve dragged the row to where you want it, you can release the left mouse button to drop it in place (but don’t stop pushing the Shift key just yet). This will drop the row in its new position.

A screenshot of a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel illustrating how to move rows.

It’s important that you haven’t let go of the Shift key when you move the row; if you aren’t pushing Shift, the row you’re moving will replace the other row instead of just changing places.

If you want to avoid accidentally deleting data from your spreadsheet, make sure you keep the Shift key pressed down. When you’re moving multiple rows at once, all of these will move into the same new space.

This means that if you were to move 5 rows between rows 2 and 3, row 3 will be pushed down to row 8.

This is important to bear in mind so you don’t affect the order of your spreadsheet.


And there you have it – now you know how to move rows in Microsoft Excel. This simple trick can come in very handy when you’re trying to organize your spreadsheet. And makes it easy to move and manage your data.

Learn more about Excel through these helpful guides:

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.