Why Can’t Insert Row in Excel – Simple Ways to Get it Working

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Have you ever been in a situation where you are unable to insert rows in Excel?

It often happens with almost everyone while working on an Excel sheet that you can’t insert rows, columns, or other values. A dataset does not always have consistent values; you must have to update them timely. So what would you do when you can’t insert a row in Excel?

This problem occurs because of many reasons you may encounter. Sometimes, improper configurations are one of the reasons you may have to face this issue. It could be because your data is corrupted, or you might be having outdated software. In this guide, you will get to know how would you tackle this issue smoothly.

Let’s get right into it!

Why Excel Doesn’t Let You Insert a Row?

As already explained, there come many reasons that restrict you from adding a row in an Excel sheet. Below you will find some of the most common reasons that let you face this issue:

Internal Bug

Some versions of Excel come up with a few bugs that could be a reason behind unable to insert a row in Excel.


Sometimes add-ins are the reasons that let you improve features of a program that’s why it often conflicts with the usual functioning of the program. Ultimately, you encounter errors and issues one by one.

Useless Values in the Last Row

In the last row of the Excel sheet, if you have useless colors, borders, or values, you will definitely face errors and one of them could be unable to add a row.

Frozen Panes

If the worksheet contains frozen panes, you will not be able to add rows in the Excel sheet.

Locked Workbook

Last but not the least, if the workbook is protected for safety reasons, Excel will not let you edit the sheet which ends up in several issues.

All the above reasons make you unable to insert row in excel. Let’s find out their solutions:

Fix 1: Restart Your System

No matter which software you are working on, whenever you face an issue, restarting the system is an ideal solution to it. Most of the time, it solves the issue and you start working normally. It allows your system to reload its resources and remove errors that hinder you from routine work.

To restart the system:

  • Press the Window key from the keyboard and Start Menu will open up.
  • Now, open the Power Options button.
  • Click on the Restart option and let the system restart.

restart pc

Open the Excel once again and check if the issue is resolved or not.

Whenever you are wondering why can’t i insert a row in excel, try this hack at the first place.

 Fix 2: Remove Last Row Values

As you know this could be a reason that stops you from adding another row in Excel. To solve this issue, you can follow the steps given below:

  • Select the last row of the data.
  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow key from the keyboard.
  • It will select all the cells from the dataset range.
  • Open the Home tab.

delete bottom row values

  • Open the Editing menu.
  • Choose the Clear option.

delete bottom row values2

  • Choose the Clear All option from the Clear drop-down menu.

delete bottom row values3

You will notice the content of the selected cells is removed.

Now, you can insert a new row and check if the issue is resolved or not.

You often face this issue because there might be an unwanted color, border, or value added in the cell of the last row. For this as well, you can follow the above-mentioned steps to clear formatting or the values that were added accidentally.

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Fix 3: Unfreeze Panes

Your sheet might be having frozen panes that’s why you are unable to insert rows in Excel. In that case, unfreezing those panes is the solution to add a new row in the Excel spreadsheet.

Let’s see how you can unfreeze panes:

  • Open the Worksheet and find if there are any frozen panes.
  • Highlight those panes with the help of the mouse cursor.
  • Open the File menu and click on the Freeze Panes menu.
  • Choose the Unfreeze Panes option.

unfreeeze panes

Refresh the worksheet and try adding rows once again. You cannot insert row in Excel, if the above steps are not followed properly that’s why each solution needs you to apply carefully.

Fix 4: Remove Protection

Locked workbooks often come up with a few limitations because you cannot edit the sheet until it is protected. To edit a sheet, you need to unlock it. Below you can see how to remove protection from a sheet:

  • Open the workbook.
  • Click on the Review tab given on the top toolbar.

remove protection

  • Choose the Unprotect Sheet option and then click on Unprotect Workbook Option.

remove protection2

When a workbook is protected, Excel will not let you edit sheets. It will simply stop you from working on the sheet no matter how large is the dataset. You have to unprotect the workbook first so that you can add whatever new details you need to the sheet.

Do you get why you can’t insert rows in excel? Hopefully, the solution above can help you in resolving this issue.

Fix 5: Disable Add-Ins

If the Add-ins are not disabled, you would encounter issues such as can’t insert a row in Excel sheet. Due to these add-ins, it is possible that your program stops working properly and you face issues.

You need to disable them first to continue working on the Excel sheet. Let’s see how you can do it:

  • Open the Excel workbook.
  • Click on the File menu.
  • Choose the More option and then click on Options.
  • Now, select the Add-Ins option and check whether the add-ins are active or not.

disable add ins

  • Go back to the workbook and check if the problem persists or if the issue is resolved.

Whenever you cannot insert new row in Excel, always find the main reason, so that you can apply the right solution to it. Otherwise, you will keep on finding the answer to why I can’t insert row in Excel.


In this post, you have learned how you can fix why I can’t insert row in Excel sheet. Before fixing an issue, you need to understand the cause that triggers it. This post explains everything including reasons as well as solutions. Try all of these solutions if you don’t know the real cause.

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