Excel Row and Column Limit (with Limit Increasing Tips)

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In this article, we will learn in detail about Excel row and column limits including context menu, format feature, Power Query, and VBA properties.

We used Microsoft 365 to prepare this article. But you can apply the operations in Excel versions from Excel 2007 onwards.

In order to work with a specific set of cells, limiting operation is done for rows and columns enabling working efficiently for a large dataset. This limitation work is crucial for managing data to avoid truncating them. Understanding these limits will help you to manage and structure your data efficiently.

In the following, you will find an overview of Excel row and column limit.

Overview of Excel row and column limit

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How to Set Excel Row and Column Limit?

There are several ways to set Excel row and column limit.

  1. Using context menu
  2. Applying format feature
  3. Using VBA properties

1. Can We Use Context Menu Feature to Limit Excel Row and Column?

You can use the Context Menu feature to limit row and column in Excel. By right-clicking on row and column headers, you can quickly hide or unhide specific rows and columns as needed.

  • First, opening the workbook, select a column (F).
  • Then, press CTRL+SHIFT+Right arrow(→) to select all the columns in the workbook starting from the selected one.

Using keyboard shortcut to select all columns

  • Second, click the right button of the mouse to open the Context Menu.
  • From the Context Menu press the Hide option.

Pressing Hide from the Context menu

  • Next, select a row (15).
  • Press CTRL+SHIFT+Down Arrow(↓) to select all the rows downwards.

Using keyboard shortcut to select all rows

  • Similarly, from the Context Menu, we will choose the Hide option to hide the selected rows.

Selecting Hide from the Context menu

  • Finally, we have successfully limited our Excel row and column in the workbook. It’s that simple.

Final output limiting row and column in Excel

2. How to Apply Format Feature to Limit Excel Row and Column?

You can also use the Format feature to limit Excel row and column. Using this feature you can control the appearance and layout of rows and columns effectively limiting their visibility and improving data presentation.

  • Similar to the previous method, we will start with choosing all the columns.
  • For this, select a column and press CTRL+SHIFT+Right Arrow(→) to select all the columns.
  • Then, click the Hide Columns feature from the Format option.

Using Format feature to hide selected columns

  • After that, select all the rows by hitting CTRL+SHIFT+Down Arrow(↓).
  • Hence, choose Hide Rows from the Home tab.

Using format feature to hide rows in Excel

  • As a result, we have limited Excel row and column within a blink of an eye.

Final output with limiting row and column in Excel

3. Can We Use VBA Properties to Limit Excel Row and Column?

You can use VBA properties to limit row and column in Excel. This feature is used when you need to limit row and column in a way so that they won’t be changed.

  • Simply, open the VBA window by right-clicking on the sheet name
  • Then, put a cell range in the Scroll Area to lock the cell range.
  • This way, you won’t be able to insert or change values outside the provided range.

Using VBA properties to limit row and column in Excel

What Happens When Excel Loads More than One Million Rows?

The main problem you will face while loading more than one million rows in Excel is data loss. This happens due to inadequate system capability resulting in truncating the additional rows or freezing Excel application. To handle larger datasets, alternative software like Microsoft Power BI or database management systems are recommended.

How to Overcome Row Limit in Excel?

You can use the Power Query feature to overcome row limit in Excel. This feature is useful when you are handling large datasets, to get rid of data loss and freezing problems.

  • To combine data from another workbook simply choose the Data tab.
  • From there click Get Data>>From File>>From ExcelWorkbook.

Visiting Data tab to import data from another source

  • Hence, Select your desired file and press Import.

Selecting a new worksheet to import data

  • Finally, the Power Query editor will open where you can manipulate and transform large sets of data.
  • Now, we will choose the Load to option from the Navigator.

Selecting Load to option to import data using power query

  • Choose PivotTable Report to quickly create a pivot table.
  • Checkmark the Add this data to the Data_Model.

By using the PivotTable Report you can handle more than 1M rows because you can use filters there.

Selection of PivotTable Report to import data as report

  • Or you can choose Only Create Connection to add them in a Power Query to deal with multiple sheets that have 1M rows.

Choosing Only Create Connection to make connections only

  • From the right pane, double-click the query to open it.

Double clicking to open the queries with data

  • In this way, you can import data from multiple worksheets to handle them in Power Query.

Final result power query to overcome row limit in Excel

Advantages of Limiting Rows and Columns in Excel

Excel does offer some advantages with limiting rows and columns. Of them, some important advantages are mentioned below.

  1. By limiting the number of rows and columns, Excel can process data more efficiently, leading to faster performance.
  2. To reduce the overall file size, manage and share files in a short time there is no other alternative except limiting row and column.

Which Things to Remember While Limiting Excel Row and Column?

  • While limiting row and column in Excel ensure that the important data is not truncated or cut off.
  • You need to check your print settings before limiting rows and columns, as hidden data won’t show up in printed documents unless you adjust the settings accordingly.
  • If you’re using filters, hidden rows can affect your filtering results. In that case, be aware of how hidden rows impact your filter criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the maximum number of rows and columns in Excel?

Answer: The maximum number of rows in Excel is 1,048,576 and the maximum number of columns is 16,384. You can not increase the row and column limit as it is set by the application.

2. Can I combine multiple Excel files to handle more data?

Answer: Yes, you can combine multiple Excel files using tools like Power Query or formulas like VLOOKUP or INDEX-MATCH to work with larger datasets.

3. How can I handle larger datasets that exceed the row and column limit?

Answer: For larger datasets, consider using alternative software such as database management systems or specialized data analysis tools like Microsoft Power BI.


In conclusion, with proper techniques, you can handle Excel row and column limit to work with more productivity. Be careful of data truncating and data loss while limiting row and column. You can limit specific rows and column by setting the scroll area in VBA properties. Please inform us in the comment section about your experience. We, the Exceldemy team, are always responsive to your queries. Stay tuned and keep learning.

Excel Row and Column Limit: Knowledge Hub

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Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram holds a BSc degree in Industrial and Production Engineering from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology. Over the past 2 years, he has been actively contributing to the ExcelDemy project, where he has authored more than 150 articles. Now, he is working as an Excel VBA and Content Developer. He likes learning new things about Microsoft Office, especially Excel VBA, Power Query, Data Analysis, and Excel Statistics. He is also very interested in machine learning and... Read Full Bio

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