Ctrl Y in Excel: What Does it Actually Do?

As we all know, there are multiple handy shortcuts in Excel. Among all of these, the undo and redo shortcuts are perhaps the biggest of lifesavers. Suppose, you’ve made a huge mistake, how would you rectify it? The answer would be, Ctrl Y.

Once you’ve pressed the undo button or Ctrl Z and you want things as they were before, the best option is to press Ctrl Y. It saves time from going all the way and clicking on the redo button.

In this one, we’ll be discussing both the theoretical and practical aspects of Ctrl Y in Excel. So, if you want to know how this unsung hero can save your day, I’d suggest you to read on every single detail. Let’s hop in.

What Does Ctrl Y Do in Excel?

Ctrl Y is basically the opposite of the Undo Shortcut Ctrl Z. It’s the keyboard shortcut of the Redo button. Suppose, you’ve accidentally performed an action or pressed a shortcut that’s incorrect, Ctrl Y can really save your day. Let me explain how:

  • This really proves to be helpful when you press undo and delete a row of data, if you want it back, all you have to do is, press Ctrl Y.
  • Also, if you’ve pressed the bold formatting button (Ctrl B) on a particular text and you want to have the original formatting back, you can just press Ctrl Y and you’ll get the desired results.

The Ctrl Y Alternate

Apart from pressing Ctrl Y, you can find the redo button just below the File tab of Excel. Clicking on it should bring up exact results.

How to Make the Redo Button Appear

If you want the Redo button to appear on the Quick Access Toolbar, just follow the steps I’ve laid out below:

  • Within the Ribbon, go to the File
  • Then, select Options under File.

How to Make the Redo Button Appear 1

  • One you’ve done that; The Excel Options window will appear.
  • Now, select the Quick Actions Toolbar go to the dropdown menu and select Commands Not in the Ribbon.

How to Make the Redo Button Appear 2

  • As you’ll see, the commands are arranged alphabetically.
  • Among them, select Redo, and click on Add.

How to Make the Redo Button Appear 3

  • This should make the Redo button appear in the Quick Access Toolbar.

Key Points

Here are some things to remember while using the Redo shortcut:

  • The Undo function has to be applied before we move forward and press the Ctrl Y buttons or Redo function. Without an action undone, it cannot be redone.
  • The buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar can be used to forward or return to a particular set of actions.


If you had any confusion regarding what Ctrl Y does, they should be cleared up by now. Some choose to use the redo button on the QAT while others rely on the keyboard shortcut. Which will you choose? That’s up to you entirely. However, pressing the keyboard shortcut is the faster way.

With that said, let’s wrap this one up for now. I hope all the info helped you out.

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