Microsoft Excel Can’t Insert New Cells (11 Quick Methods)

While working on the Excel worksheet, you may encounter the issue of not being able to insert new cells. Well, this problem is quite common & can be fixed easily. Though in this optimized post, you will find a few feasible ways to fix the Microsoft Excel can’t insert new cells error along with the major factors behind it.

Below you can see the real interface of this error.

Microsoft Excel can't insert new cells

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Why is Excel Not Letting Me Insert Cells?

Well, such an error can be occurred due to numerous reasons. Though, we have shortlisted the major factors below: –

  1. If the cell protection is enabled
  2. Mistakenly formatted the entire row/column
  3. Merged rows or columns
  4. Due to the long file path
  5. Corrupted Excel file
  6. You’ve placed data in the last column or row
  7. When the freeze pane feature is ON

How to Solve Microsoft Excel Can’t Insert New Cells?

Follow the below step-by-step methods to troubleshoot can’t insert row or column in Excel.

Method 1- Disable the Cell Protection Feature

As it is already mentioned in the causes section, the enabled cell protection feature is one of the major factors for this issue.

Though, cell protection is an important feature in Excel that helps to keep your information safe. Nevertheless, if you need to insert new cells, then you have to disable this feature.

Simply follow the below steps to disable the cell protection in Excel.

  • First, press the Ctrl + A keys together to select all the cells in your workbook.
  • Go to the Home tab >> choose Format
  • Then, click on Format Cells in the Protection

Format Cells Excel

  • After this, select a Protection tab >> uncheck the “Locked” box >> hit OK.

How to Lock Cells in Excel

  • After this, go to Review tab >> choose Protect workbook or Protect Sheet.

Protect workbook or Protect Sheet

  • Now, you’ve to enter your password in order to remove the protection from a workbook.
  • At this time, press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file.
  • Lastly, open the Excel document again to add a new row or column.

Method 2- Unfreeze Panes

Another yet option that can be tried to tackle this problem is to unfreeze frozen/locked panes.

Although, the Freeze Panes is an excellent feature that prevents the insertion of a new row/column to the worksheet.

Therefore, simply follow the below steps for unfreezing this feature in MS Excel:

  • Initially, open the Excel
  • Next, click on View
  • After this, click on Freeze Panes

Microsoft Excel Can't Insert New Cells

  • From a menu, choose Unfreeze Panes.
  • Now, press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file & close it.
  • Finally, open the Excel document again to check if MS excel can’t insert new cells because it would push is solved.

Also Read: Fix Excel Cells Overlapping

Method 3- Unmerge the Rows or Columns to Fix Microsoft Excel Can’t Insert New Cells

In case, if you’ve combined all the cells in the row, then you would be unable to create another column. Correspondingly, if you’ve combined all the cells in the column, you would be unable to create another row.

However, to get rid of this problem, simply unmerge rows or columns. Here’s how you can do so:

  • Check your spreadsheet & find out merged columns or rows.
  • For the merged column, you have to select a columnheader. Then, go to Home tab >> Alignment & click on an option “Merge and Center”.

Microsoft Excel Can't Insert New Cells

  • Here, you must repeat the same step if you’ve more than 1 merged column.
  • For the merged row, you have to choose row header. Next, go to home tab & click on an option Merge and Center.
  • You can repeat the overhead step for other merged rows.
  • At this time, press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file & close it.
  • Now, open the Excel document again to check if you can insert new cells.

Method 4- Select a Shorter Path of the File

Since you are experiencing this error on your Excel then you must be aware of the file path.

The File path refers to an address of the document that is saved in your operating system. When it’s too long, then it could stop creation of the new cells.

In such a case, try saving a file in the location where the path will be shorter. Here is how you can do so:

  • Initially, open the Excel file you’re having trouble.
  • Then, go to File tab >> choose Save as

Recover Unsaved Excel File

  • When the dialogue box opens, choose the Desktop as a location to save the file >> click on Save.
  • Now, close the spreadsheet & open a newly saved document to check for the issue.

Method 5- Copy Your Excel Data to the New Excel Sheet

There is a huge possibility that you might be working with an Excel file that is corrupt. So, it could be more efficient if you copy your Excel data to a new file. Here is how to do so:

  • Firstly, open the Excel file you’re having trouble with.
  • Next, press the Ctrl + A keys together to choose your data.
  • After this, press the Ctrl + C keys to copy it.
  • Then, click File tab >> New & select the Blank Workbook.
  • At this time, click on Create.
  • In a Home tab >> click on a Paste dropdown arrow.
  • Now, click on ‘Paste Special…’ >> ‘Values’ >> click OK.

Microsoft Excel Can't Insert New Cells

  • Press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file & close it.
  • At last, open the Excel document again to check if you can add new cells.

Method 6- Modify a File Format

Most of the time, it happens that your file format isn’t supported by the Excel. In order to fix the Microsoft Excel can’t insert new cells because it would push non-empty cells off the end error, you can change your file format to another one.

Simply follow the below instructions carefully to change a file format.

  • Go to File tab >> choose “Save as” option.
  • In the second step, expand a “Save as type:
  • Choose your file format to another format (if the present format is CSV then change it to XLS)

Microsoft Excel can't insert new cells

  • Choose “Save” & close it.
  • Now, open the Excel document again to check if you can add new cells.

Also ReadExcel Cannot Shift Nonblank Cells Off The Worksheet Error

Method 7- Convert A Table to Range to Fix Excel Cannot Insert New Cells

Sometimes, it happens when you tend to use the Table in MS Excel, then you won’t be able to add/remove the rows or columns.

In such a situation, converting a table to range can assist you in dealing with this problem. To do so:

  • Click any place in the Excel table.
  • Go to Table Tools >> select the Design.

Excel Cannot Insert New Cells

  • In a Tools group >> click on “Convert to Range”.

Convert to Range

  • Then, save the file. And close the window.
  • Press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file & close it.
  • Open the Excel document again to check if you can add new cells.

Method 8- Set the Trusted File Source

As we all know, Excel is not supporting the execution of the files from unreliable sources. So, to avoid this, simply set the location of your Excel document as a trusted.

Follow the below steps to do this:

  • Firstly, open the Excel file you’re having trouble with.
  • Go to “File” tab >> choose the “Options“.
  • Once the Excel Options page launches, select Trust Center >> click “Trust Center Settings”.

Trust Center

  • Choose the Trusted Locations in the left side pane. Then, click on “Add new location”.
  • Now, a window opens with the Microsoft Office Trusted Location.
  • Choose “Browse” >> navigate to your Excel file location >> click “OK”.

Microsoft Office Trusted Location

  • After this, again click on “OK”
  • Finally, close Excel and try to add the new rows/columns.

Method 9- Use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

VBA is a programming language in the MS Excel specially used for applications. But sometimes, VBA helps to fix various issues including the MS excel can’t insert new cells because it would push problems.

Here, you need to follow the below steps for using the VBA:

  • Launch the troubling Excel worksheet.
  • Next, make a right-tap on a worksheet tab.
  • Then, click on an option “View Code”.

View Code

  • Now, press the Ctrl + G keys together to show the Immediate
  • After this, type “UsedRange” >> hit Enter.
  • Go to a File tab >> click the “Close and Return to Microsoft Excel” option.
  • Now, press the Ctrl + S keys to save your file & close it.

Also Read: Fixes For Excel No Cells Were Found Error

Method 10- Use the Office Online

Even after trying the above fixes, if you are still unable to insert cells in Excel, you can go for Office Online. This will eventually help you to solve the issue that you are currently facing.

Follow these instructions to do so:

  • Open your web browser >> login to OneDrive.
  • Next, click on Upload button then click on the Files.
  • After this, navigate to a location where the problematic Excel document is stored.
  • Choose the file & double click on it to open it.
  • Now, try adding the new rows or columns to your Excel workbook.
  • If successful, then simply download that file to your PC.

That’s it.

Methods 11- Repair Excel File If Corrupted

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Time to Conclude

So, this is all about how to solve Microsoft Excel can’t insert new cells error. Hopefully, the article has provided you the sufficient information & now you will be able to solve this problem successfully.

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Priyanka is a content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.