How to Move Rows in Excel Without Replacing

Microsoft Excel is a powerful software to project all kinds of data in an analytical environment. Amidst many, moving row(s) is one of the most frequently used functions. To move cells or an entire row to a designated location, Excel replaces the previous data occasionally. If you can use the commands in an effective way, you can avoid these undesirable actions. This article will provide you with five methods, by which you can easily make your work done. This article portrays all the methods to move rows in Excel without replacing them graphically, descriptively, and chronologically.

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Learn to Move Rows in Excel Without Replacing with 5 Approaches

The article is going to introduce its readers with five methods to move rows in Excel without replacing them. Users will get this versatile walkthrough of this most wanted function in Microsoft Excel which includes cursor drag, Insert, Insert Cut Cells, keyboard shortcuts, and Sorting.


1. Use of Shift Key

Pressing the Shift key while dragging the cursor is one of the easiest methods. But it is a slightly tricky method. It doesn’t require any keyboard shortcut or ribbon tools.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️

  • To start with, you need to select the row, which you need to move. After the selection, you will get a four-directional arrow icon on the tip of your mouse pointer, as you go along the upper or lower edge of the row.

  • After you get the icon over your cursor, you need to press and hold the Shift key and keep dragging the cursor, while holding down the left-click button. You need to station the cursor right where you need to move your desired row.
  • Upon the stationing of the pointer, you can release the left click and Shift key altogether. This action will immediately move your row without replacing or overwriting any of your existing data

Using shift key - move rows without replacing


2. Applying Manual Insert

Inserting a blank new cell beforehand makes the move easy in this method, just using Cut-Paste keyboard shortcuts.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️

  • Initially, you need to select the row heading where the new row will be moved.
  • Next, right-clicking on the heading, you will select Insert. This will add a new row to the worksheet.

Manual insert - move rows without replacing

  • According to the following image, you can Insert Sheet Row(s) from the cell section, under home ribbon as well.

  • In addition to inserting a new row, you need to Cut – Paste the row which you need to move. In the case of the picture below, B5, C5, and D5 are the cells that the following table got new and the 9th row will be Cut (from the ribbon or using Ctrl+X).

  • Finally, you can paste it on the 5th row (where you will insert the new row). This will get you done with the successful movement of the row, without replacing.

Applying insert - move rows without replacing


3. Utilizing Insert Cut Cells

Although this method title sounds like an extension of the 2nd method, you can rest assured that it isn’t. Indeed this method only uses the Cut command and accessing Insert Cut Cells immediately fulfills the action.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️

  • To begin with this method, you need to Cut the row that will be moved to a new location. For this action, you can use Ctrl+X.

  • In the next step, a row heading should be selected. You will be moving the previously chosen row to this row. Right-clicking on anywhere within the row you should get a context menu as shown below. From the menu, you need to click on Insert Cut Cells.

Inset cut cells - move rows without replacing

  • Clicking on Insert Cut Cells will eventually move the row to this new location and shifting all the existing rows downwards.

Utilizing insert cut cells - move rows without replacing


4. Moving Multiple Non-Adjacent Rows

It is one of the complex row movements among other methods. Apart from the series of actions this method briefs, it is quite unlikely to move multiple non-adjacent rows altogether for maximum Excel users.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️

  • At first, you should select the row above which moved rows will be settled. Upon selection, you can insert the number of rows equal to that of the number of rows you will be moving in the end.

  • As you can see in the picture given, rows 5, row 6 have been inserted. For the sake of example, let us assume you will be moving non-adjacent rows named row 8 and row 10. You will use Ctrl+C to copy the rows.

Non- adjacent rows moving - move rows without replacing

  • After that, you can use Ctrl+V to paste the rows from the clipboard to the newly inserted row 5 and row 6.
  • As for the rows that were copied to move, you can select them and choose Delete from the context menu or the ribbon tools.

Multiple non-adjacent rows insert - move rows without replacing

  • You can move both non-adjacent rows one after another using this method.


5. Use of Sorting

Often, we need to move rows to maintain order for a specific column. In the case of text or number sorting in terms of ascending or descending, manual move tools mentioned in the previous four methods can be hectic. You can easily work on Sort and move rows accordingly.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️

  • The first action required here is to select a range of cells, along with their headers. After selecting the range (say B4:D8), you will get the Sort option under the Data Clicking Sort, you will get a dialogue box that will ask for detail in order to sort among the rows.
  • From the options, you can choose how to sort (on the basis of the Column name). As well as that, you need to decide on the order how it will be sorted. Since the chosen column is Name, the order is alphabetic (ascending or descending).

Sorting - move rows without replacing

  • Therefore, completing the selection, Excel will move starting order of alphabets automatically in the upper area of the dataset and vice versa.

📝 Takeaways from This Article

The article allows the readers to visualize many available options to move row(s) without replacing.

📌  We can use the cursor to drag the row, using Shift to move without replacing. In this case the cursor must be visible with a four-directional arrow.

📌  Manually Insert a new row and Cut (Ctrl+X) – Paste (Ctrl+V) the required row to the new row is a classic solution to it.

📌  Insert Cut Cells starts with Ctrl+X for the previous row. The method successfully moves the row with the Insert Cut Cells option finally.

📌  In order to move multiple non-adjacent rows, you need to insert an equal number of rows. You should copy the non-adjacent rows with Copy (Ctrl+C) and Delete them after the move action.

📌  Sort can be viable if you require the move according to any ascending or descending order for text or number data.


To move row(s) without replacing, cursor drag with the Shift key, Manual Insert Row, Insert Cut Cells, InsertCopyPasteDelete for multiple non-adjacent rows and Sort can be used as shown throughout the article. In case of further queries, the author requests the readers to leave a comment. I will try my best to come up with a suitable solution. Don’t forget to visit our Excelden page to get more Excel-related content.

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