How to Group Rows in Excel: A Beginner's Guide

Hey there, Excel enthusiasts! Are you finding it hard to organize and sort through a large amount of data in an Excel spreadsheet? Fear not, because I'm here to teach you the tricks of grouping rows in Excel.

Keeping track of data in rows is one of the essential functions of Excel. It’s easy to add up columns with numbers, calculate averages or percentages, but when it comes to grouping those data points in a user-friendly format, that’s where things can get a little trickier.

1. Locate Your Data

The first step in grouping rows in Excel is to identify which rows you would like to group together. You can group any rows you want whether they contain numbers, letters, or empty cells.

Begin by opening your spreadsheet, scrolling down to the area where you want to group the rows, and clicking on the number of the row you want to group.

If you’re a keyboard shortcut lover, select the first row you want to group, hold down the Shift key and select the last row you want to group. Or, for a non-adjacent selection of rows, follow that same procedure, but hold down the Ctrl key instead. Magic!

2. Grouping Rows in Excel

Once you have selected those rows, right-click on any of them and then click the “Group” option from the drop-down menu. A dialog box will appear, similar to the image below:

You’ll be given two options of selecting Rows or Columns to group, in this case, select rows.

If you're feeling pretty good in your groupings after this step, it's time to do a little dance, shake your head and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just successfully grouped rows in Excel. Congrats!

3. Collapse and Expand Grouped Rows

It can be challenging to maneuver through a massive excel document, especially after grouping multiple rows. Excel understands the struggles we face, so they’ve got a solution for that too!

It’s simple to move around with big chunks of data. By clicking the minus (-) sign in the rows, you’ll collapse the view, and the grouped data will appear as one cell, as shown below:

To expand your data view again, click on the plus (+) sign in the header of the grouped row. So easy even I can do it!

4. Ungrouping Rows in Excel

You may decide to ungroup the rows you have previously grouped, perhaps because of a new data input or a change of heart, so don’t worry. Excel makes it super simple to do this as well.

At this point, it’s a good reminder to always save your work to avoid permanently losing any crucial data.

Right-click on the grouped row headers and select “UnGroup” as highlighted in the image below:

And that’s it! No more grouped rows. Super simple, super quick, and super effective.

5. Using the SUM Function on Grouped Rows

Finally, you can take grouping a step further by using the SUM function on grouped data. This function allows you to calculate the total values of any numeric data points in a grouped section.

First, select the first empty cell to the right of the grouped rows or select the empty cell in which you want to display your data.

Next, type in the formula “=SUM(” and then select the row header numbers (which should be highlighted in blue) of the rows you want to add.

And lastly, close the bracket and hit enter. Voila, the sum of the selected rows displayed in the selected cell. Let me tell you; there’s nothing more satisfying than watching some gorgeous numerical figures pop up in that empty cell.


There you have it folks, a complete beginner’s guide to grouping rows in Excel. By grouping your rows, you can simplify the process of referencing sets of information, control the visibility of data, and make navigating your spreadsheets much easier.

Remember the four easy steps:

  • Locate your data
  • Group the Rows in Excel
  • Collapse and Expand Grouped Rows
  • Ungroup Rows in Excel

And if you're brave enough, take it a step further and try using the SUM function to tally up all those wonderful data points.

I hope this guide has been as informative as it is painfully entertaining. Best of luck organizing your Excel spreadsheets.

Cheers to a well-organized future!

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