How to Hide Columns in Google Sheets from Certain Users: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hiding columns in Google Sheets from certain users is a handy feature for when you want to keep some data private while still sharing the document. By setting up permissions and using the "hide" function, you can easily control who sees what. After following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to share your spreadsheet with confidence, knowing that sensitive information is kept under wraps.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Hide Columns in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s get the lay of the land. Hiding columns in Google Sheets from certain users involves playing around with sheet permissions and using the hide function. This ensures that only people who need to see the data can access it. Let’s break it down into easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Open your Google Sheet

Open the Google Sheet that contains the columns you want to hide.

When you have your Google Sheet open, ensure you’re logged into the account that has editing permissions. This is crucial because only users with editing rights can change sharing settings.

Step 2: Select the columns to hide

Click on the letter at the top of the column you wish to hide, and drag to select multiple columns if needed.

Selecting the correct columns is key. Make sure you don’t accidentally include columns with information that should stay visible to all users.

Step 3: Right-click and choose "Hide column"

After selecting the columns, right-click on the highlighted area and select "Hide column" from the dropdown menu.

Hiding the column doesn’t delete any data; it simply makes it invisible to those viewing the sheet. You can always "unhide" later if needed.

Step 4: Click on "Share" and then "Advanced"

Go to the top-right corner of the screen, click on "Share," and then select the "Advanced" option at the bottom right of the sharing window.

This step is where you’ll manage the permissions for who can view or edit the spreadsheet.

Step 5: Set permissions for users

In the sharing settings, set the permissions for each user or group. You can choose whether they can edit, comment, or only view the spreadsheet.

Remember, users with "Can edit" permission will be able to see the hidden columns. Make sure to give only "Can view" or "Can comment" permissions to those from whom you want to hide columns.

Once you complete these steps, the selected columns will be hidden from users who have "Can view" or "Can comment" permissions. Users with "Can edit" permissions will still be able to see the hidden columns, so share wisely!

Tips for Hiding Columns in Google Sheets

  • Tip 1: Always double-check which columns you are hiding to avoid any unnecessary confusion or errors.
  • Tip 2: Use descriptive titles for your Google Sheets to easily identify them when managing permissions for multiple documents.
  • Tip 3: Consider creating separate sheets for sensitive data if you’ll be sharing the document with a large group of users.
  • Tip 4: Keep a record of which columns are hidden and from whom, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of data and users.
  • Tip 5: Regularly review the sharing settings to ensure that permissions are up to date, especially when team members’ roles change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hidden columns in Google Sheets be seen by anyone?

Hidden columns cannot be seen by users with "Can view" or "Can comment" permissions. Only those with "Can edit" permissions have access to view hidden columns.

What happens if I accidentally hide the wrong column?

No worries! You can easily unhide the column by selecting the columns adjacent to the hidden one, right-clicking, and choosing "Unhide column."

Can I hide columns in the Google Sheets mobile app?

Yes, you can hide columns in the Google Sheets mobile app by selecting the columns, tapping the three dots in the top right corner, and choosing "Hide column."

Will hiding columns affect the data in the spreadsheet?

Hiding columns does not delete or alter the data. It simply hides it from view. All the data remains intact and can be unhidden at any time.

How can I tell if a column is hidden in my Google Sheet?

You’ll notice a small arrow icon where the hidden column should be. Clicking this arrow will unhide the column.


  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Select the columns to hide.
  3. Right-click and choose "Hide column."
  4. Click on "Share" and then "Advanced."
  5. Set permissions for users.


Mastering how to hide columns in Google Sheets from certain users is an essential skill for anyone looking to share their data responsibly. Whether it’s financial figures, contact details, or internal metrics, keeping sensitive information under wraps is paramount in our data-driven world. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’re well-equipped to manage your spreadsheet’s visibility like a pro. Remember, with great data comes great responsibility. So, share smartly, and may your most sensitive columns remain hidden from prying eyes.