How to remove all dashes from Social Security Numbers (SSN) in Excel?

Are you working with Social Security Numbers (SSNs) in Excel and need to clean them up by removing dashes? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re dealing with a small dataset or a large one, Excel offers several methods to simplify this task. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through a couple of efficient methods to remove dashes from SSNs in Excel.

Method 1: Using Find and Replace

This method involves Excel’s built-in Find and Replace feature, which allows you to quickly locate specific characters, such as dashes, and replace them with nothing.

1. Select the Range: Open your Excel spreadsheet containing the SSNs. Select the range of cells that contain the SSNs from which you want to remove dashes.

2. Access Find and Replace: Navigate to the “Home” tab on the Excel ribbon. Locate the “Editing” group, and click on “Find & Select.” From the dropdown menu, choose “Replace” or simply press Ctrl + H.

3. Input Dash: In the “Find what” field, type a dash -.

4. Leave Replace with Blank: Ensure that the “Replace with” field is empty. This tells Excel to replace the dash with nothing, effectively removing it.

5. Execute Replace All: Click on the “Replace All” button. Excel will swiftly scan through the selected range and remove all dashes from the SSNs.

6. Review and Confirm: Excel will provide a summary of the number of replacements made. Review the changes to ensure accuracy, and then click “OK” to confirm.

Method 2: Using Excel Formulas

Another approach involves leveraging Excel formulas to manipulate the data and remove dashes from SSNs.

1. Insert Helper Column: Insert a new column next to the column containing the SSNs. This column will serve as a helper column where we’ll perform the necessary operations.

2. Enter Formula: In the first cell of the helper column (next to the first SSN), enter the following formula: =SUBSTITUTE(A2,”-“,””). Here, A2 represents the cell containing the SSN with dashes.

3. Copy Formula: Once you’ve entered the formula, press Enter to apply it to the cell. Then, click on the bottom right corner of the cell (the fill handle) and drag it down to fill the formula for all SSNs in the column.

4. Values Only (Optional): If you prefer to keep only the cleaned SSNs without the formulas, you can copy the helper column, then right-click on the first cell of a new column and choose “Paste Special” > “Values” to paste the values only.

5. Delete Helper Column (Optional): Once you have the cleaned SSNs in the new column, you can delete the helper column containing the formulas if you wish.

VBA code to remove all hyphens from SSN numbers

Sub RemoveHyphensFromSSN()
Dim cell As Range
Dim ssnRange As Range

' Define the range containing SSNs
Set ssnRange = Range("A1:A100") ' Change this range to match your data

' Loop through each cell in the range
For Each cell In ssnRange
' Check if the cell is not empty and contains a hyphen
If Not IsEmpty(cell) And InStr(cell.Value, "-") > 0 Then
' Remove hyphens from the SSN
cell.Value = Replace(cell.Value, "-", "")
End If
Next cell
End Sub
  1. Press Alt + F11 to open the VBA Editor.
  2. Go to Insert > Module to insert a new module.
  3. Copy and paste the above code into the module window.
  4. Modify the ssnRange variable to specify the range containing your SSNs.
  5. Close the VBA Editor.
  6. Run the macro by pressing Alt + F8, selecting RemoveHyphensFromSSN, and clicking Run.

This macro will remove hyphens from all SSNs within the specified range. Make sure to adjust the ssnRange variable to match the range of your SSNs in your Excel sheet.


Removing dashes from SSNs in Excel is a straightforward task that can be accomplished using either the Find and Replace feature or Excel formulas. Whether you prefer a quick solution or more control over the process, Excel offers versatile options to suit your needs.

By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can efficiently clean up SSNs in your Excel spreadsheets, ensuring data accuracy and consistency. Whether you’re managing personal records, conducting data analysis, or preparing reports, having clean and properly formatted SSNs is essential for smooth operations.

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