[Solved:] Excel Is Opening CSV Files in One Column (3 Solutions)

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When we open a CSV file in Excel, that file may not be distributed to the columns. This happens when the delimiter is not properly set up. In this article, we will see probable solutions to the issue: Excel is opening CSV files in one column.

There will be three solutions to the problem of this article. To start with, we will correct the issue by modifying the regional settings in the Control Panel. Secondly, we will edit the CSV file using Notepad. Finally, we will show you how to import CSV files into Excel.

  • Now, we have opened the CSV file in Notepad, which shows the data are comma delimited.

3 Suitable Solutions If Excel Is Opening CSV Files in One Column

  • However, if we open it in Excel, the data will be in column A only.

Now, let us demonstrate the possible solutions to this problem.

1. Changing Regional Settings to Prevent Opening CSV Files in One Column in Excel

In the first solution, we will change the regional settings from the Control Panel. Mainly, we will change the list separator from semicolon (;) to comma (,). We will be using Windows 10 to demonstrate this process. However, it should be similar to other versions of Windows.


  • Firstly, open the Control Panel.
  • Secondly, click on Clock and Region. Make sure, view by category is selected. Otherwise, you will need to select Region.
  • So, a new window will appear.
  • Thirdly, select Change data, time or number formats under the Region section

Changing Regional Settings in Excel Opening CSV in One Column

  • Then, the Region window will pop up.
  • After that, select “Additional settings…”.

  • So, the Customize Format window will appear.
  • Then, type comma (,) in the List separator field. Our CSV file is comma delimited, if yours is different, then use it accordingly.
  • After that, press OK.

  • Then, if we open that CSV file, it will be on multiple columns.

  • Lastly, we have modified the data to make it better.

Read More: How to Open CSV File in Excel with Columns Automatically

2. Editing CSV File

If Excel can recognize the data separators, it can show them in multiple columns. In order to identify the delimiter in Excel, we will insert a single line in this solution. The syntax is “sep=delimiter”. We have used a tab in our file, so we will need to add a tab in place of the delimiter.


  • To begin with, we can see the data file is tab-delimited.

Editing CSV File in Excel Opening CSV in One Column

  • After that, open that file in a text editor. We have opened it in Notepad.

  • Then, insert the following lines at the top. As usually tab means four spaces, we have typed four spaces after the equal sign. If the delimiter were a comma, then we would have written “sep=,”. So, change it according to your needs.


  • Afterward, if we open that file in Excel, the data will be in multiple columns. Thus, we have shown you the second solution to the problem: Excel opens CSV files in one column.

Read More: How to Open CSV File with Columns in Excel

3. Importing CSV File to Prevent Opening CSV Files in One Column in Excel

In this method, we will import the data from the CSV file into Excel. This solution should work if the other two do not work for you. The importing feature of the CSV file is on the Data tab, and from there we will use the From Text/CSV option.


  • Firstly, from the Data tab, select From Text/CSV.

Importing CSV File in Excel Opening CSV in One Column

  • So, the Import Data window will appear.
  • Secondly, navigate to the file location.
  • Thirdly, select the CSV file and press Import.

  • Then, another window will pop up.
  • Afterward, from the Load dropdown menu, select “Load To…”.

  • Then, the Import Data dialog box will appear.
  • After that, select Existing worksheet and point to the output cell. We have selected cell B4 as the output location.
  • Then, press OK.

  • So, this action will import the CSV data into Excel. Moreover, we can see our parser from the second solution is still there. You can simply delete row 5.

  • Finally, we remove that row and perform some modifications to the dataset. Thus, this concludes the three possible solutions to the issue of Excel opening CSV files in one column.

Final Output of Excel Opening CSV in One Column

Read More: How to View CSV File in Excel

Download Practice Workbook

  • You can download the Excel output file from the link below.
  • Additionally, you can download the CSV file from the link below. This is a semicolon-delimited file.


We have shown you three quick solutions to the issue: Excel is opening CSV files in one column. If you face any problems regarding these methods, feel free to comment below. Moreover, you can also leave any feedback for us, so we can serve you better.

However, remember that our website implements comment moderation. Therefore, your comments may not be instantly visible. So, have a little bit of patience, and we will solve your query as soon as possible. Thanks for reading. Keep excelling!

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Rafiul Haq
Rafiul Haq

Rafiul Haq worked as an Excel and VBA Content Developer in Exceldemy for over two years and published almost 200 articles for the website. He is passionate about exploring new aspects of Excel and VBA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering (MPE) from the Islamic University of Technology. Rafiul furthered his education by obtaining an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the University of Dhaka. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

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