How To Delete Multiple Rows In Excel

Mastering Excel can save you countless hours of complex calculations and number crunching, but sometimes the simple things are what elude you for the longest.

To learn how to delete multiple rows in Excel, whether on your computer or on your phone, just follow our step-by-step guides below.

For any additional information, or if you have any other queries, please direct your attention to our FAQs at the end of this article.

How to delete multiple rows in Excel (PC)

  1. Open up the Microsoft Excel application on your PC, and load the document you wish to delete rows from (or a blank one to test out the technique on)
  2. Now, let’s select the multiple rows for deletion by clicking the number of the first row on the left hand side, and then either holding the click and dragging to cover your selection, or holding SHIFT on your keyboard and using the UP and DOWN arrows to cover your selection.
  3. Lastly, simply right-click anywhere in the grey-highlighted selection, and from the options, select ‘Delete’
    1. Note: pressing DELETE on your keyboard does not have the same effect; doing so will only clear the contents of the selected rows, rather than actually deleting them

How to delete multiple rows in Excel (mobile)

  1. Open the Microsoft Excel application on your mobile or tablet device, and load the document you wish to delete rows from (or a blank one to test out the technique on)

2. Now, let’s select the multiple rows for deletion by tapping somewhere within the first unwanted row on the left side of the screen

Note: unlike with the PC version, do not tap the number of the first row

3. Next, hold and drag the highlighted box via the two circular adjustment toggle up and down over the sheet until you’ve covered the selection of multiple rows you wish to delete

Note: this does not have to cover everything in these rows, one cell from each will suffice

4. Finally, tap the upward pointing arrow in the bottom left to enlarge the menu, from ‘Home’, tap on ‘Insert & Delete’, and then lastly hit ‘Delete Rows’

And there you have it! Now you’ve mastered the art of deleting multiple rows in Excel, go out and master the rest of it!

If you’d like to read any additional information, or if you have any further queries, see our FAQs below. 

Frequently asked questions

Why would I want to delete multiple rows in Excel?

Microsoft Excel, one of the world’s leading programmes for data entry, finance, calendar planning, and accountancy (among a whole host of other things), is a fantastic application. Master it, and you can crunch numbers faster than any calculator could (be they human or machine), and keep yourself organised to within an inch of your life.

Still, no matter how masterful your use of Excel, the accidental insertion of multiple blank rows, or the discovery of multiple duplicate rows, can throw anybody off. Whether they mess up your calculations, confuse you, or just look bad (especially frustrating if you’re planning to present an Excel sheet to a colleague or boss), nobody wants to go through each row, painstakingly deleting them one at a time.

Here, we teach you a few simple tricks for quickly, efficiently, and safely deleting multiple rows in Excel, without posing a threat to the rest of your work.

Can I recover accidentally deleted rows in Excel?

Sure! If you’ve suddenly deleted multiple rows, accidentally or not, you can always bring them right back with a quick click of the Undo button (looks like a leftward/backward pointing arrow at the top of the page), or by pressing CTRL + Z on your keyboard. Just bear in mind that the further away from the initial deletion you get (by carrying out more work/actions), the more work you’ll have to undo in order to get back to the point before you accidentally deleted those rows.

If you’re at all unsure about deleting multiple rows at once, it’s good practice to save your document regularly, and especially to do so before making any big deletions. If you have the ‘Autosave’ feature turned ON, then it might be a good idea to turn this OFF before deleting multiple rows, so that your save isn’t immediately overwritten once you delete the rows. This way you can quickly load your earlier save to restore the document to its pre-deletion state.

What happens to the rows surrounding those I delete?

Since you’re not simply clearing multiple rows of data, but actually deleting them, you can expect to see some shifts occur in your document’s format once you hit that delete button. Typically, the rows positioned below the rows you’re deleting will move upward to fill the space the deleted rows leave.

In terms of your calculations, fear not – Microsoft Excel is a smart bit of kit, and should take into consideration any and all deletions made so as to keep your calculations correct and adjusted to reflect the changes. As always, though, it’s worthwhile making doubly sure by clicking on the cell(s) with the calculations in them which pertain to the deleted rows, and ensuring that the calculations have adjusted appropriately.