How to Collapse Rows in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Collapsing rows in Google Sheets can be a useful way to organize your data and make your spreadsheet easier to navigate. In essence, it’s hiding rows that you don’t need to see all the time, but can easily access when needed. So, if you’ve got a bunch of data that’s just creating clutter, collapsing those rows can clean things up in a jiffy.

Step by Step Tutorial: Collapsing Rows in Google Sheets

Before you start collapsing rows, it’s important to understand that this function is part of Google Sheets’ grouping feature. Grouping allows you to bundle rows together, which can then be collapsed or expanded as needed. Let’s dive into the steps.

Step 1: Select the Rows You Want to Group

Click on the row numbers on the left side of the sheet to highlight the rows you want to group.

Selecting the rows you want to collapse is the first step. This tells Google Sheets exactly which data you want to be able to hide or show with the click of a button.

Step 2: Right-Click and Choose "Group Rows x-xx"

After selecting the rows, right-click on one of the highlighted row numbers and choose "Group rows x-xx" from the dropdown menu.

This step is how you tell Google Sheets to create a group. The "x-xx" will be the numbers of the first and last row you’ve selected. For example, if you’re grouping rows 5 through 10, the option will read "Group rows 5-10."

Step 3: Collapse the Group Using the Grouping Bar

Once your rows are grouped, you’ll see a small minus sign (-) in a box on the left side of the rows. Click it to collapse the group.

When you click the minus sign, the rows disappear from view, leaving only the plus sign (+) in the same box. Clicking the plus sign will expand the rows back into view.

After completing these steps, your selected rows will be collapsed, greatly reducing the visible size of your spreadsheet and making it easier to focus on the data that matters most.

Tips for Collapsing Rows in Google Sheets

  • Ensure you have the correct rows selected before grouping. Accidentally grouping the wrong rows can lead to confusion.
  • Use the grouping feature for large datasets that don’t need to be viewed constantly.
  • Remember that collapsing rows doesn’t delete the data; it just hides it.
  • You can also use keyboard shortcuts to group rows: Alt+Shift+Right Arrow to create a group, and Alt+Shift+Left Arrow to ungroup.
  • If you’re sharing the sheet with others, make sure to inform them about the collapsed rows to avoid any oversight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I collapse columns in Google Sheets?

Yes, the same steps apply for columns. Instead of right-clicking row numbers, you’d right-click the column letters and choose "Group columns x-xx."

Will collapsing rows affect my data?

No, collapsing rows only hides the data; it doesn’t delete or alter it in any way.

Can I collapse multiple groups of rows at once?

Yes, you can create several groups and collapse or expand them independently.

How do I ungroup rows if I no longer need them collapsed?

Right-click on the grouped rows and choose "Ungroup rows" from the dropdown menu.

Can I still edit data in collapsed rows?

Yes, you can expand the rows, edit the data, and then collapse them again.


  1. Select the rows you want to group.
  2. Right-click and choose "Group rows x-xx."
  3. Collapse the group using the grouping bar.


Mastering the art of collapsing rows in Google Sheets can transform the way you organize and interact with your data. Gone are the days of endless scrolling through irrelevant information. With a few simple clicks, your spreadsheet can be transformed into a neat, navigable document that makes data analysis a breeze.

Remember, the key to efficiency in any data-driven project is organization. Collapsing rows is just one of the many features Google Sheets offers to help you achieve this. And who knows? Once you get a hang of grouping and collapsing rows, you might just find yourself exploring other advanced features like conditional formatting, data validation, or even scripting with Google Apps Script.

So go ahead, give your spreadsheets a clean-up with collapsing rows and watch your productivity soar. Happy organizing!