Excel Tabs/Sheets Not Showing – How to Fix?

The default setting in Excel is to show all the tabs (also called sheets) below the working area.

But if you can’t see any tabs and are wondering where has it disappeared, worry not. There are some possible reasons that may have been the cause of missing tabs in your Excel workbook.

In this article, I will show you a couple of methods you can use to restore the missing tabs in your Excel Workbook.

If you can’t see any of the tab names, it is most likely because of a setting that needs to be changed.

And in case you can see some of the sheet tabs but not all the sheet tabs, one possible reason could be that the sheets have been hidden, and you need to unhide the sheets to make the sheet tabs visible.

Another less likely but possible reason could be that the scrollbar he’s hiding the sheet tabs (when there are more sheets that extends beyond where the scrollbar starts)

Let’s have a look at each of these scenarios.

When All the Sheet Tabs are Missing

Whenever you open an Excel workbook, it must have at least one sheet tab in it (even if it’s a new blank workbook).

Sheet tabs are visible

If you can’t see any tab, this most likely means that you need to change a setting that will enable the visibility of the tabs.

No sheet tabs

Below are the steps to restore the visibility of the tabs in Excel:

  1. Click the File tab
Click the file tab
  1. Click on Options
Click on Options
  1. In the ‘Options’ dialog box that opens, click on the Advanced option
Select Advanced in the Excel options dialog box
  1. Scroll down to the ‘Display Options for this Workbook’ section
  2. Check the ‘Show sheet tabs’ option
Check the show sheet tabs option

The above change would ensure that all the available sheet tabs in the workbook become visible (unless the user has specifically hidden some of the worksheets)

Note that this setting is workbook specific – which means that in case you enable this setting in one of the workbooks, it would only make the tabs reappear in that specific workbook

When Some of the Sheet Tabs are Missing

Sometimes, you may be able to see some of the tabs in the workbook, while some others may be missing.

In this section, I have some solutions when only some of the tabs are missing and some are visible.

Some of the Sheets are Hidden

The most likely reason that you cannot see some of the tabs in the workbook is that they have been hidden by the user.

When a worksheet is hidden in Excel, it continues to exist as a part of the Excel workbook, but you don’t see that sheet tab name along with other sheet tabs.

And this has a really simple solution – you need to unhide the sheets.

Below are the steps to unhide one or more sheets in Excel:

  1. Right-click on any of the existing sheet tab name
  2. Click on the Unhide option. In case there are no hidden sheets in the workbook, this option will be grayed out
Click on Unhide
  1. In the Unhide dialog box, click on the sheet name you want to unhide
Select the sheets you want to unhide
  1. Click on OK
Click OK

The above steps would unhide the selected sheet, and it would reappear as a tab in your workbook.

In case you want to unhide multiple sheets, you can select them in one go in the ‘Unhide’ dialog box. To do this, hold the Control key (or Command key if using Mac) and then click on the Sheet names that you want to unhide. This would select all the sheets on which you click and then you can unhide all these with one click.

But what if you do not see the tab name in the names listed in the Unhide dialog box?

Well, there is a way in Excel to hide a sheet in such a way that its name doesn’t show up in the Unhide dialog box.

Then how do you unhide these ‘very hidden’ sheets?

You can read my tutorial here where I show you how to unhide those sheets that have been ‘very hidden’. It’s easy and it will only take a couple of clicks.

Tabs are Hidden Because of the Scroll Bar

Another reason your tabs may be missing could be because of a large scroll bar that hides the tabs.

And it has a simple fix – resize the scroll bar to make all other tabs visible.

Below I have a screenshot of an Excel workbook where I have 8 sheets but only three sheet tabs are visible. This is because of a large scrollbar that hides those tab names.

Scroll bar covering sheet names

To get the sheet tabs to reappear, click on the three dots icon on the left of the scrollbar and drag it to the right. This will minimize the scroll bar and all the sheet tabs that were earlier hidden would now become visible.

Click in the three dots next to the scroll bar

In case you have a large workbook with a lot of sheets, even if you minimize the scrollbar, some sheet tabs would still be hidden.

In such a case, you can use the navigation icons (which are at the left of the first sheet tab) to make those sheet tabs visible.

So these are some of the ways you can use to fix the issue when the sheet tabs are missing and not showing in Excel. If you don’t see any sheet tab in the workbook, it’s most likely because of the setting in the Excel Options dialog box that needs to be changed.

And in case you see some sheet tab names but some are missing, then you need to check if some of the sheets have been hidden by the user or if they are hidden because of a large scroll bar.

Other Excel tutorials you may also like:

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Hello there! I'm Sumit Bansal, founder of trumpexcel.com and an Excel MVP. I started this website in 2013 with a simple goal: to share my love for Excel through easy to follow tips, tutorials and videos. I'm here to help you get the best out of MS Excel to save time and boost your productivity.

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