How to remove hidden data and personal information from an Excel workbook

Before you share an electronic copy of a Microsoft® Excel® workbook, it’s a good idea to review the workbook for hidden data or personal information that might be stored in it, or in its document properties. This could be information about your organization or about the workbook itself that you do not want to share such as comments, personal information, headers and footers, hidden rows/columns/ worksheets, document server properties and invisible content.

You can remove the information easily, however, if your workbook has been saved as shared you first need to copy and un-share it.

Note: Download the sample workbook to practice this exercise.

Applies To: Microsoft Excel  2010 and 2013

1. The sample workbook contains the following details:

a. Comments
b. Personal information
c. Headers and footers
d. Hidden rows

2. Save a copy of the workbook.

  • It is vital that you save the original workbook and work from the copy.
  • Because you are not able to undo the inspect document process.

3. Select the File menu then Info.






4. Select Check for Issues and Inspect Document as shown below.









5. Select Inspect.












6. To remove the personal information and hidden data click the Remove All buttons.(one at a time)













7. The personal information and hidden data will be removed.

8. Click the Close button.












You can now send your workbook without hidden row/columns and personal information that might be sensitive.