A Line Won't Delete in Microsoft Excel

By Francine Richards

Trying to execute a command in Excel that will not work is very frustrating. When a line, also referred to as a row, will not delete there may be several causes to why this is occurring. Sometimes the cause is a user error, system error or hardware issue. Whatever the reason, taking a few steps to determine the issue should remedy the problem and lead to successful deletion of the line.

Step 1

Check to see if you are highlighting the correct line to delete in your document. Point your cursor on the line number on the right side and left-click to highlight. Once highlighted, you should be able to delete the line.

Step 2

Remove any document protections. If the Excel document is protected, this may prevent editing including removal of lines. On the "Review" tab, click to see "Changes" group to see if there are protections on the worksheet or workbook. These may have to be removed or a password inserted to continue.

Step 3

Investigate the explanation of any error messages you receive when attempting to delete a line in Excel. The error message may provide insight into why the command cannot be executed. If you do not understand the message, visit Microsoft Online to search for Excel help.

Step 4

Highlight all rows and press F5 and "Go To" and click "Special." Select "Visible Cells" and click "OK." This may now allow you to delete lines as necessary, especially if there are multiple or hidden lines.

Step 5

Close the Excel document and exit the application. Delete any temporary or extra files off your computer as you may have a memory or resource issue. Shut down your machine and reboot. Open your Excel document and retry to delete your line.