Excel Data Tab Icons are Grayed Out Solved

If you are noticing that the Data tab’s icons are all grayed out in Microsoft Excel, try the following fixes:

Solution 1: Multiple Sheets Selected, Ungroup Them

Look at the title bar and see if the following text appears next to your file name: [Group]. If you see “[Group]” next to your file name, it means that multiple sheets are selected and thus Excel is not allowing the features under Data tab to function. Here are some pictures to help you out.



As you can see in the above pictures, the term [Group] appears next to the filename in the title bar. In addition, you can see that two sheets are highlighted in the bar listing the worksheets. 

The icons in the Data tab will become active if you select only one of the worksheets. To do this, click on any worksheet which is not selected, in the above example, it is Sheet3. Or, you can right click on the selected sheets and choose Ungroup Sheets (see image below).


Solution 2: Disable Protected Sheet Feature

When an Excel sheet is protected, various icons and features of the program will be disabled. With exception to few icons in the Data tab, most of them will be grayed out or not clickable. To ensure that your worksheet is not protected, click on Review tab > and see if an Unprotect Sheet icon is visible. A picture is given below.


If the Unprotect Sheet icon is visible, it means that the Sheet is currently protected. Click on the Unprotect Sheet icon and enter the password to make all the Data tab icons functional again.

Hope this helps. Please use the comments form to let us know if something else worked out for you.

8 thoughts on “Excel Data Tab Icons are Grayed Out Solved”

  1. When I have the “Freeze Pane” option in use in a spreadsheet, I can no longer access my “Draw” tools. why is this?

  2. Patricia Costello

    I have never seen this problem before, but I was using a spreadsheet created by someone else. Can you explain how the two sheets within the workbook were grouped together in the first place? Your solution worked perfectly. I found your webpage by googling “all options greyed out in excel.” I’ll be bookmarking your page now. Thank you!

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