How to Move Columns in Excel

By C. Taylor

Use Excel 2013's Insert Cut Columns function to move columns without overwriting existing data in the new location.

Using the familiar cut-and-paste functions of Excel 2013 indeed moves columns, but this method also overwrites existing data in the new location. Instead, use Excel's Insert Cut Columns function to move columns and shift existing data relative to the relocated columns.

Step 1

Click and drag your mouse over two or more column headers to select the columns. Alternatively, click a single column header to select it.


Although you can copy nonadjacent columns, you cannot cut them. If you need to move such columns, repeat the procedure on blocks of adjacent columns.

Step 2

Cut columns.

Right-click the selected columns and choose Cut from the pop-up menu. A dashed line appears over the selected columns, indicating they are marked for moving.


Alternatively, click the Cut button from the Home tab's Clipboard group or press Ctrl-C to cut the columns.

Step 3

Move the columns.

Right-click the column header located to the right of where the cut columns should appear and select Insert Cut Cells. As an example, if you need to move columns between columns E and F, right-click the F column header and select Insert Cut Cells.

The moved columns

The cut columns appear to the left of the right-clicked column and shifts existing columns to the left.


Excel automatically updates spreadsheet formulas to reflect the new column positions, so you need not manually change formulas.