How to Fix Excel Data Not Showing in Cell?

Sometimes, when you open an Excel spreadsheet, you can’t see the text you have typed in a cell.

The text may be visible on the formula bar but not in the cell itself. For instance, in the image below, the data in cell C2 is not visible but you can see it in the formula bar.

Excel Not Showing Data in Cells

Figure 1 - Excel Not Showing Data in Cells

 Also Read: Data Disappears in Excel – How to Get it Back?

Workarounds to Fix ‘Excel Not Showing Data in Cells’

Note: Before trying these workarounds, make sure that your Office program is updated.

Workaround 1 – Check for Hidden Cell Values

If cell values are hidden, you won’t be able to see data when a cell is selected. But the data will be visible in the formula bar. To display hidden cell values in a worksheet, follow these steps:

  • Select a single cell or range of cells that doesn’t show the text.
  • Right-click on the selected cell or range of cells and choose Format Cells.
Excel Not Showing Data in Cells

Figure 2 - Select Format Cells

  • A ‘Format Cells’ window opens. On the Number tab, choose Custom and check if 3 semi-colons (;;;) appear in the Type textbox.
Check for Semi-Colons in Type Box

Figure 3 - Check for Semi-Colons in Type Box

  • If you can see the 3 semi-colons, delete them and then click OK. If you cannot see semi-colons in the ‘Type’ textbox, skip to the next workaround.

Workaround 2 – Change the Default Font

The font of cells in your Excel worksheet may be creating the problem. So, try changing the default font of cells or ranges:

  • Select a cell or cell range where the text is not showing up.
  • Right-click on the selected cell or cell range and click Format Cells.
  • From the pop-up window, click on the Font tab and then change the default font (usually Calibri) to any other font, like ‘Arial’ or ‘Times New Roman’. Press the OK button.
Format Cells Window

Figure 4 – Format Cells Window

If changing the default font doesn’t fix the ‘Excel data not showing in cell’ problem, proceed with the next workaround.

Workaround 3 – Disable Allow Editing Directly in Cell Option

Some users have reported that they were able to resolve the ‘Excel data not showing in cells’ issue by unchecking the ‘Allow editing directly in cells’ option. To do so, follow these steps:

  • In Excel, click on the File menu and then click on Options.

Excel Options

Figure 5 - Excel Options

  • From the Excel Options window, choose Advanced in the left pane and then uncheck ‘Allow editing directly in cells’.
Uncheck Allow Editing Directly in Cells

Figure 6 - Uncheck Allow Editing Directly in Cells

  • Click OK.

If you are unable to view the text in Excel cells, try the next workaround. 

Workaround 4 – Adjust Row Height to Make the Cell Data Visible

If you have cells with wrapped text, then try adjusting the row height of the cell or range to make the data visible. Here are the steps:

  • Select a specific cell or range for adjusting the row height.
  • On the Home tab, click Format from the Cells group.
Format Option in Cells Group

Figure 7 - Format Option in Cells Group

  • Under Cell Size, perform any of these actions:
  • Click AutoFit Row Height to automatically adjust the row height of your cell or cell range.
  • Click Row Height to manually enter a cell’s row height. This will open a ‘Row Height’ box. In the box, enter the row height that you want.
Cell Size Options

Figure 8 – Cell Size Options

Tip: You can also adjust a cell’s row height by dragging the bottom border of the row till the height when the wrapped text is visible.

Workaround 5 – Recover Missing Cell Content

Your Excel worksheet won’t display data in cells if it is corrupted. In other words, the cell values won’t display any result if the data in your Excel worksheet is damaged or corrupted. In that case, you can manually fix and recover corrupt Excel files or use an Excel repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Excel.

Free Download for Windows

Read this: How to Recover Corrupted Excel File?

Using the Excel file repair tool can help you retrieve all your worksheet data, including cell content, tables, numbers, text, rules, etc.

Wrapping Up

Oftentimes, when opening an Excel worksheet or while working on one, clicking on a cell or cell range doesn’t show any data. You may be able to see the data in the formula bar of your worksheet but not within the cells. This may prevent you from doing anything constructive in Excel. Try troubleshooting the issue by using the workarounds discussed in this article. If nothing works, chances are that corruption in the Excel file is causing it to behave oddly. Try repairing corrupt Excel file by using the built-in ‘Open and Repair’ feature or use Excel file repair software by Stellar to quickly restore your worksheet with all its data intact.

You might also be interested in reading:

[Fix] Excel formula not showing result

Easy Steps to Make Excel Hyperlinks Working

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Charanjeet Kaur linkdin Icon

Technical writer with over 7 years of experience

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