When I search the current sheet using Ctrl+F in a Google Sheet, hidden rows aren't searched.

I know I can manually unhide all the hidden rows and then do the search, but then I would have to remember which ones were hidden and hide them again, which is annoying. Also, if I was sharing the spreadsheet with others, they would see the rows being unhidden and then hidden again, which is not necessarily ideal.

5 Answers 5


As of today, you can do a simple Ctrl-F and find it across sheets. In case it's hidden, you get a notification saying that the search result matches a hidden cell.


Copy the spreadsheet, or a selected area of it, and paste it into a new spreadsheet. Highlight the rows or columns you want to search, right-.click and choose Unhide. Do your search, and then delete the copy.

There should be an easier way! But this is the best I know of.

  1. Press Ctrl+F to bring up the Find in sheet popup window
  2. Enter your text to find
  3. Click the three vertical dots icon (kebab menu) to open a popup window which replaces the first one
  4. Click Find
  5. If found only in a hidden cell it will say, e.g.

No More results found, looping around

A match was found in hidden cell B169 with value "....

  1. Clicking Find again moves to the next match and so on

  2. You can leave the popup open while you open each hidden cell to check what's been found


Another way to do it is to unhide the selection, then do the search but make sure not to make any changes or do anything else. When you finish the search, simply undo (ctl + z or command + z for mac) and this should rehide the selection without you needing to remember exactly which rows were selected. It worked well for me :)


Go to File -> Download as -> Comma-separated values in the menus (the Google Sheets menus, not the web browser's menus!). Whichever platform you are on, you will definitely be able to find some free software or web application that will open .csv files. For example, you can open them in a text editor and use the text editor's Find functionality, or just use grep on Linux, or even import them back into a new Google Spreadsheet.

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