How to Rename Columns on Google Sheets on PC or Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Renaming columns on Google Sheets is a simple task that can be done in a few clicks. Just double-click the column header, which is the letter at the top of the column, type in the new name, and press Enter. Voila! Your column has a new name.

After renaming a column, any formulas or data validations that reference the old column name will automatically update to the new name. This ensures that your data remains consistent and accurate.


Oh, the joys of spreadsheets! They’re like the swiss army knife for data – they sort, they filter, they calculate, and they organize. One of the handiest tools in our digital toolkit, Google Sheets, is a go-to for anyone who needs to make sense of numbers. Whether you’re a student tracking grades, a marketer analyzing campaign data, or a manager budgeting for the next quarter, knowing how to maneuver your way around Google Sheets can save the day.

But what happens when you’re staring at a spreadsheet full of columns with names that don’t make sense? Or worse, no names at all! That’s right, we’re talking about those pesky default column labels that Google Sheets gives us – A, B, C, and so on. They’re not exactly helpful when you’re trying to navigate through a sea of data. That’s where renaming columns comes in handy. Renaming columns can help keep your data organized, make your sheets easier to read, and save you from a headache when searching for specific information.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Rename Columns on Google Sheets

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s set the scene. You’ve got your Google Sheets open, and you’re ready to give those columns some new identities.

Step 1: Open your Google Sheet

Open the Google Sheet that contains the columns you want to rename.

This is your starting point. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and have the right sheet pulled up.

Step 2: Double-click the column header

Double-click on the letter at the top of the column you want to rename.

By doing this, you’re telling Google Sheets, “Hey, I want to change this!” The column header will then become an editable textbox.

Step 3: Type the new name

Type the new name for your column into the textbox.

Here’s where you get creative. Choose a name that’s descriptive and makes sense for the data in that column.

Step 4: Press Enter

Press Enter on your keyboard to save the new column name.

And just like that, you’ve renamed your column! The new name will appear at the top of the column.


Organized DataRenaming columns helps keep data organized which makes it easier to navigate and understand your spreadsheet.
Time-savingOnce columns are properly named, you’ll spend less time searching for the data you need.
Improved CollaborationWhen sharing sheets with others, having descriptive column names makes it easier for everyone to understand and work with the data.


Potential for ErrorsIf you’re not careful, renaming columns can lead to confusion, especially if you have a lot of data or many collaborators.
Limited Character SpaceGoogle Sheets has a limit on the number of characters you can use in column names, which can be restrictive for some users.
No Automatic UpdatesIf you have other documents or sheets that reference the old column names, they will not automatically update. You’ll need to make those changes manually.

Additional Information

Renaming columns in Google Sheets is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, if you’re working with a large dataset, it’s a good idea to plan out your column names ahead of time to avoid confusion later on. Also, remember that column names in Google Sheets must be unique – no two columns can have the same name.

If you’re working with a team, it’s crucial to communicate any changes in column names to avoid any mix-ups. Maybe even keep a changelog if the sheet undergoes frequent modifications. Additionally, be mindful of the character limit for column names – it’s currently set at 50 characters, so keep it concise.

Another handy tip – if you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you can also rename a column by selecting it and pressing ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Enter’ on your keyboard. It’s a small time-saver, but it all adds up!

Finally, while we’ve focused on renaming columns, remember that you can rename rows in much the same way. Just click on the row number to the left and get typing.


  1. Open your Google Sheet
  2. Double-click the column header
  3. Type the new name
  4. Press Enter

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to formulas when I rename a column?

Formulas will automatically update to reflect the new column name.

Can I rename multiple columns at once?

No, columns must be renamed individually.

Is there a limit to how many characters a column name can have?

Yes, Google Sheets limits column names to 50 characters.

Will other people see the new column names if I share the sheet?

Yes, once you rename a column, the new name will be visible to anyone with access to the sheet.

What if I want to revert back to the original name?

You can always double-click the column header again and change it back to the original name or any other name you choose.


Renaming columns on Google Sheets is a game-changer for anyone looking to streamline their data management. It’s a straightforward process that can have a significant impact on your workflow. Whether you’re a spreadsheet newbie or a seasoned data analyst, taking the time to give your columns meaningful names will save you time, reduce errors, and make your work more accessible to others.

Next time you find yourself lost in a sea of letters at the top of your Google Sheet, remember that a few clicks and keystrokes can turn that confusion into clarity. Happy renaming!