Often you will need to rearrange your data when designing your spreadsheet solutions. You might need to move old data out of the way to make way for a new entry. Shifting cells down allows you to create space in your workbook and move any existing cells downwards so you don’t end up overwriting them. This post will show you all the ways to shift cells down in Excel.

Shift Cells Down from the Home Tab

The Home tab contains a variety of Insert commands that you can use to add new cells, rows, and columns to your workbook. Follow these steps to shift down cells from the Home tab. The range you select will be replaced with new blank cells in this method and any existing cells will shift down an equal amount to the selected area. The Insert command actually contains two buttons. Clicking on the upper half will automatically shift cells right from your selection. But when you click on the lower part of the Insert command, it will reveal options to insert cells, rows, columns, or sheets. Selecting the cells option gives you further options to shift right or down. You could also choose the Entire row option. The Shift cells down option will only shift the cells in the selected range whereas the Entire row option will shift down all the rows in your selected range. This will insert new cells in your selected range and shift the existing cells down.

Shift Cells Down from the Right Click Menu

The right-click context menu is another place where you will find the insert command. This is usually an easier option as there is no need to search for the command in the ribbon. Follow these steps to shift cells down with the right-click menu. This will open the same Insert menu as seen from the Home tab. You will see the same result as before with the selected cells being shifted down.

Shift Cells Down from the Right Click Menu

This shift cells down command can also be easily accessed with a keyboard shortcut. If you’re using the keyboard shortcut, you probably don’t want to go back to the mouse to interact with the Insert menu. This can also be used with your keyboard. You can use the accelerator keys which you’ll notice are underlined in the menu. When the Insert menu is open, you can press the d key to select the Shift cells down option or press the r key to select the Entire row option. When you’ve made your selection you can then press the Enter key instead of clicking on the OK button.

Shift Cells Down with Click and Drag

If you only need to shift your selected cells down and don’t need to move existing cells out of the way, then you can use the click and drag feature. When you select a range of cells, you will see the range has a dark green border around it. You can click and drag this to move around the selected range similar to a cut and paste action. You can then move the range to a new location down below its original location. Be aware this will overwrite anything already in the new location.

Shift Cells Down with Shift-Click and Drag

You can still use the click and grad method to shift cells and move the existing cells down out of the way. All you need to do is hold the Shift key while you perform the click and drag action. You will notice a green bar will display on the screen between cells. This indicates the location where the range will be placed when you release the left click. Notice that existing cells below the green bar are shifted down to accommodate the range.

Shift Cells Down with Right Click and Drag

There is one more click and drag trick you can use to shift cells down. Usually, you will use the left mouse button to perform a click and drag action. But for this, you will need to use the right mouse button instead. As you drag the range around the sheet, it will look like you will overwrite the range when you release the right click. But when you release the right click a menu will open that allows you to select from several options including Shift Down and Copy or Shift Down and Move. This will shift the existing cells down and out of the way of the range.

Shift Cells Down with Insert Copied Cells

If you are wanting to copy and paste cells and shift any existing cells down and out of the way there is an option for this. Follow these steps to shift cells down when copying and pasting. This will open the Insert menu, but with the Entire rows and Entire columns options removed since they aren’t relevant in this situation. The range is copied to the new location and the existing cells are shifted down and out of the way.

Shift Cells Down by Inserting Rows

Inserting rows in your spreadsheet is another way to shift cells down. When you insert a row it will automatically shift all the cells down which are below the new row. Insert rows can be done from the Home tab. This will insert your new rows and shift all the remaining rows down.


When you need to shift your cells down and out of the way, there are a lot of options. Options for shifting cells down can be found in the Home tab, the right-click menu, and using keyboard shortcuts. This can also be done using a few click and drag techniques. How do you shift your data down? Do you have any other tips for this? Let me know in the comments below!