Excel won’t allow insert row: Troubleshooting guide

Microsoft Excel offers tables as a means to structure our data and accelerate the process of adding additional data. Unfortunately, this does not always operate correctly- sometimes in such a way that we can’t find a cause. That much is true for your newfound inability to insert new rows (or perhaps even columns) to your tables. 

MethodDescription
File saveSaving the file under a particular type and reopening it
Deletion methodClear/deleting all columns/row beyond the active area

If you are looking for a guide on preventing row insertion failures, then this post is ideal. Here we will be providing a step-by-step guide with pictures for two solutions to this problem.

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The file save method to insert a row in Excel

Step 1 – Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet

  • Open the worksheet with which you’re experiencing difficulties inserting new table rows.

Step 2 – Open the file menu

  • Open the file menu via the tab ribbon by selecting File.

Step 3 – Choose where to save your file

  • So long as you can get back to your file later, it doesn’t really matter where you save it. In this case we will be using our OneDrive documents folder for the demo.

Step 4 – Save your file with the Excel 97-2003 Workbook format

  • After inputting a memorable filename, you’ll need to use the filetype dropdown below the filename text box. After clicking the dropdown, you will need to find and select the option Excel 97-2003 Workbook. After doing so, you may select the Save button.

Step 5 – Re-open your file via the file menu

  • First repeat step 2 to open the file menu. Follow up by opening your worksheet via the recent files section. If you can’t find it select Open and manually find your file. To open a file form your recent files section, simply click it.

Step 6 -Try insert a new row to your table

  • Assuming everything went well, this solution has worked for you, and you are able to insert a new row (or column) to your table.

The deletion method to insert a row in Excel

Step 1 – Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet

  • Open the worksheet with which you’re experiencing difficulties inserting new table rows.

Step 2 – Select the inactive space below the active area of your table

  • If the last used row (with content) in your table is row 4, you would select row 5. Select the entireity of the row by using ctrl+shift+right twice, followed by ctrl+shift+down twice.

Step 3 – Select Delete via the context menu

  • Access the context menu by right clicking your selection. From the resulting context menu find and click Delete. This will ensure any saveable space is made available by erasing any content within the selected area.

Step 4 -Try insert a new row to your table

  • Assuming everything went well, this solution has worked for you, and you are able to insert a new row to your table.

End note

Recap

If you’re having issues inserting new rows to your Excel tables, you may be able to resolve the issue via one of two methods. The first being, saving your file and opening it with the Excel 97-2003 Workbook format. The latter being the deletion of inactive table space.

Farewell

As usual, this section is dedicated to thanking readers for their support. We’d be pleased to know you found this post useful and/or informative. If you have any more Office 365 related queries, please consult our related articles (listed below). However, if you have other queries, consider looking at the rest of the site. We’re frequently posting new stuff each week and may just have the guide or troubleshooting tips you need. Regardless, we wish you a good day/night. Farewell readers. 

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Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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