How to Delete a Google Docs Citation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting a Google Docs citation is easy and quick. You just have to click on the citation text, find the “delete” option, and confirm your action. After reading this brief overview, you’ll know exactly what to do to get rid of that unwanted citation in your document.

Step by Step Tutorial – How to Delete a Google Docs Citation

Before we dive into the steps, understand that deleting a citation will remove it from your document’s reference list. This means there won’t be any trace of it, so ensure it’s what you want to do.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document

Open the document that contains the citation you want to delete.

When you open your document, make sure you’re logged into the correct Google account. Sometimes, we have multiple accounts for personal and professional use, so it’s crucial to be in the right one to make changes to your document.

Step 2: Locate the citation

Scroll through your document or use the ‘Find and Replace’ feature to locate the citation you want to remove.

If your document is long, using the ‘Find and Replace’ feature can save you a lot of time. You can access it by pressing Ctrl+F (or Command+F on Mac) and typing in a part of the citation to find it quickly.

Step 3: Click on the citation

Once you’ve located the citation, click on it to select it.

After clicking, you’ll see the text becomes highlighted, indicating it’s selected and ready for the next step.

Step 4: Press the delete or backspace key on your keyboard

With the citation text selected, press the delete or backspace key on your keyboard to remove it.

If you’re on a Mac, you might need to press the ‘fn’ key along with the backspace key, depending on your settings.

Step 5: Confirm the deletion

If prompted, confirm that you want to delete the citation.

Sometimes, especially if you’re using a citation addon or tool within Google Docs, it might ask you to confirm the deletion. This is a safety step to prevent accidental removal of content.

After completing these steps, the citation will be removed from your Google Docs document. Your reference list will be updated accordingly, and there will be no sign of the deleted citation.

Tips – Deleting a Google Docs Citation

  • Before deleting a citation, ensure it’s no longer necessary for your document.
  • Always double-check the citation you’re about to delete to avoid removing the wrong one.
  • Remember to update your reference list manually if the deletion doesn’t do it automatically.
  • Consider making a copy of your document before deleting anything, just in case you need to revert back.
  • Use the revision history feature in Google Docs to restore the citation if you delete it by accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I accidentally delete the wrong citation?

If you delete the wrong citation, you can use the ‘Undo’ feature (Ctrl+Z or Command+Z) to revert the action immediately. If you notice the mistake later, you can access the revision history to restore an earlier version of your document.

How do I delete multiple citations at once?

To delete multiple citations, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key (or ‘Command’ key on Mac) as you click on each citation to select them. Then, press the delete or backspace key to remove them all at once.

Can I delete a citation on the mobile Google Docs app?

Yes, you can delete a citation in the mobile app by tapping on the citation text and using the delete option on your virtual keyboard.

Will deleting a citation also remove it from the bibliography?

In most cases, yes, but it depends on how you inserted the citations. If you used a tool or addon that automatically generates a bibliography, it should update once you delete a citation. Otherwise, you may need to manually update it.

Is there a way to restore a deleted citation without using revision history?

Unless you have a copy of the citation saved elsewhere, it would be challenging to restore it without using the document’s revision history.


  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Locate the citation.
  3. Click on the citation.
  4. Press the delete or backspace key.
  5. Confirm the deletion.


Deleting a citation in Google Docs might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not familiar with the platform. But, as you’ve seen, it’s a pretty straightforward process. Whether you’re tidying up your document or removing unnecessary references, following the steps outlined will have your document looking clean in no time. Just remember to double-check before you delete anything and to use the revision history if you need to bring something back. And there you have it – a simple guide on how to delete a Google Docs citation. Now, go ahead and give it a try!

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