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How do I start a number with 0 in Excel the easy way

Excel removes the leading 0 in number formats by default. If you need to keep the leading zeros for the purposes of phone numbers, social security numbers, ID numbers, etc., we'll show you how to do it the easy way.

How do I start a number with 0 in Excel the easy way
Step 1

Entering the number

Select a cell and start writing the numbers that start with a zero.

While you are writing in the numbers, everything seems to be fine, but as soon as you press Enter, the zero disappears.

Step 2


Position your cursor on the cell with the number, make a right click on it (or press CTRL + 1 if using Windows and command + 1 if using Mac).

Select Format Cells.

Step 3


Select the Custom option.

In the Type field, you need to write in as many zeros as needed until the Sample field writes the desired number format.

For example, if you have a number consisting of 10 characters (0915299677), you will need to write in 10 zeros. So you need to write in as many zeros as there is a number of characters.

Once you confirm by clicking OK, your number entry will start with a zero.

Step 4

One more way to do it

If you don’t care about the custom formats and all you need to do is enter one number, you can change the cell format to Text.

Once you have selected the Text format for the desired cell, you will be able to enter leading zeros.

However, be aware that the text cell format doesn’t allow you to apply any formulas and functions, so make sure to switch back the cell format to General.

If you have any questions, you can always ask Daisy for help

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