How to Increase Excel Column Limit (2 Possible Ways)

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If you are searching for a solution or some special tricks to increase the Excel column limit then you have landed in the right place. This article will show you each and every step with proper illustrations so, you can easily apply them for your purpose. Let’s get into the main part of the article.

What Is Excel Column Limit?

In Excel, there are 16,384 columns available to use in the latest versions. You will find the same number of columns in Excel 2007 version and later on. But in the Excel 2003 version, there was only 256 column.

Why Does Excel Have a Fixed Column Limit?

There are some reasons behind limiting the row and column limits. The primary purpose of Excel is not to store large data like a Database.

  • In Excel, you can store a pretty good amount of data but Database software like My SQL, MongoDB, Oracle, etc.
  • Excel’s main purpose is to make efficient calculations, format, organize, and store data. To increase efficiency and make a handy software for all computers, Excel has limited the column and row numbers.

Is There Any Real Way to Increase Column Limit in Excel?

Actually, Excel doesn’t allow the users to increase the column limit. But you have to deal with a larger dataset, there is a way. You can import the dataset as a PivotTable Report or you can insert the data into the data model then you can deal with more than 16,384 columns.

1. Import Large Dataset into PivotTable Report

If you have to import data from another file that is in text or CSV format, then you can use it this way. If you normally use the Get Data option to import the data, then it won’t display the complete dataset exceeding the row or column limit. Follow the steps below to import the dataset exceeding the column limit in the PivotTable report.

📌 Steps:

  • First, open a blank workbook in Excel.
  • Then, go to the Data tab and select the ‘From Text/CSV” option

Increase Excel Column Limit

  • Now, select the data file in CSV format and click on the Import

Increase Excel Column Limit

  • Then, another window will appear. Click on the drop-down arrow beside the” Load” button and select the “Load to…”

Increase Excel Column Limit

  • After that, the “Import Data” window will appear. Select the “Pivot Table Report” option and press OK.

Import Data

  • Now, you will see a new worksheet is created and a Pivot Table chart is in it. so, you can analyze a large dataset that contains columns more than the limit easily.

Pivo Table

Read More:  How to Limit Number of Rows in Excel

2. Open a Large Dataset by Using Data Model

Actually, Excel won’t allow showing a dataset that contains more columns than the limit. If you import it then it will show only the allowable limit of the column and eliminate the remaining part from the worksheet. So, you have to split the data set into a suitable number of parts so that Excel can import it easily. Or you can import it into “Data Model” to make a connection with the CSV file then you can analyze the dataset by the PivotTable easily.

Read More: How to Set the End of an Excel Spreadsheet


In this article, you have found 2 possible ways to increase the Excel column limit. I hope you found this article helpful. You can visit our website ExcelDemy to learn more Excel-related content. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

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Osman Goni Ridwan
Osman Goni Ridwan

I am Ridwan, graduated from Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Dept, BUET, currently residing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And my passion is to grow up my skillsets with industry demands. My prime goal is to be a data analyst as I do love to solve problems and play with data.

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