How to Remove All of the Metadata From Excel Spreadsheet: A Step-by-Step Guide

Metadata in an Excel spreadsheet can reveal a lot about the document, including the author’s name, the company that created it, and even the location it was saved from. To remove all metadata from an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll need to access the ‘Inspect Document’ feature, which will allow you to check for and remove personal information. After completing this action, your document will be scrubbed of identifying details, making it safer to share with others.

Once you’ve removed all metadata from your Excel spreadsheet, you can rest assured that when it’s shared, your personal information won’t be going along for the ride. This is particularly important if you’re sending sensitive data or sharing documents with people outside of your organization.


In today’s digital age, data privacy is of paramount importance. Whether you’re a business professional, a student, or just someone who likes to keep their documents neat and tidy, understanding how to remove metadata from an Excel spreadsheet is a critical skill. But what exactly is metadata, and why should you care about removing it?

Metadata is essentially data about data. It’s the hidden information within your files that can include details like who created the document, when it was created, and where it was stored. This information can be incredibly useful for organization and searching, but it can also be a serious privacy concern. If you’re sharing a spreadsheet with sensitive information, the last thing you want is for hidden metadata to reveal more than you intended.

Removing metadata from Excel is relevant to anyone who shares documents electronically. In a business setting, it can help protect trade secrets or confidential company information. For individuals, it can prevent potential identity theft or unwanted exposure of personal details. Let’s dive into how to clean up your Excel documents and keep your information secure.

Step by Step Tutorial to Remove Metadata from Excel Spreadsheet

Before we start, it’s important to understand that following these steps will remove metadata from your document, ensuring a clean file devoid of personal information.

Step 1: Open the Excel File

Open the Excel spreadsheet from which you want to remove metadata.

This is the easy part, right? Just double-click your file, or open Excel and then open the file from within the application.

Step 2: Access the ‘File’ Tab

Click on the ‘File’ tab in the top-left corner of the Excel ribbon.

This will take you to the backstage area of Excel, where you can find all sorts of file-related options.

Step 3: Select ‘Info’

In the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Info’ from the sidebar to view document information.

You’ll see information about the document, but we’re looking for a particular feature that will help us scrub it clean.

Step 4: Click on ‘Check for Issues’

Under the ‘Info’ section, you will find a button labeled ‘Check for Issues’. Click it.

A drop-down menu will appear, giving you several options to inspect various elements of your file.

Step 5: Choose ‘Inspect Document’

From the drop-down menu, select ‘Inspect Document’.

This will launch the Document Inspector, which can look for various types of hidden content and metadata.

Step 6: Inspect for Metadata

A dialog box will pop up. Ensure all checkboxes are selected to thoroughly check the document, then click ‘Inspect’.

The Document Inspector will run through your file and identify all the metadata present.

Step 7: Remove Found Metadata

After the inspection, you’ll see a list of results. Click ‘Remove All’ next to each type of metadata you want to delete.

Be careful—once removed, this information cannot be recovered. So, ensure you really want it gone before you click.

Step 8: Save the Cleaned File

After removing the metadata, save the document. You might want to save it as a new file to preserve the original.

And bam! You now have a clean, metadata-free Excel document ready to send out into the world without the worry of over-sharing your personal information.


PrivacyRemoving metadata from an Excel spreadsheet enhances privacy by ensuring that personal information is not shared along with the file.
SecurityBy stripping metadata, you reduce the risk of inadvertently sharing sensitive data that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
ProfessionalismSharing clean files reflects well on your professionalism, showing that you are meticulous and respectful of data privacy concerns.


Loss of InformationMetadata can sometimes be important for document management and tracking changes. Removing it can lead to a loss of this useful information.
Irreversible ProcessOnce metadata is removed, it cannot be retrieved. If you accidentally delete something important, it’s gone for good.
Time-ConsumingManually inspecting and removing metadata from multiple files can be a time-consuming process, especially in large organizations.

Additional Information

When it comes to removing metadata from an Excel spreadsheet, there are a couple of additional tips you should keep in mind. First, always make sure to have a backup of your original document. While the removal process is straightforward, accidents happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Also, consider the implications of removing metadata in a collaborative work environment. Sometimes, details like who last edited the document or the document’s version history can be crucial for effective teamwork. In such cases, you might want to selectively remove metadata rather than stripping the document completely.

Finally, remember that while removing metadata makes a document safer for sharing, it doesn’t make it completely secure. Always ensure you’re sending files over secure channels and be cautious of who you’re sharing documents with. After all, data security is a multi-faceted issue that requires comprehensive measures.


  1. Open the Excel File.
  2. Access the ‘File’ Tab.
  3. Select ‘Info’.
  4. Click on ‘Check for Issues’.
  5. Choose ‘Inspect Document’.
  6. Inspect for Metadata.
  7. Remove Found Metadata.
  8. Save the Cleaned File.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is metadata?

Metadata is essentially data about data, such as the author’s name, the file creation date, and the location where it was saved.

Why should I remove metadata from an Excel spreadsheet?

Removing metadata is important for maintaining privacy and security, especially when sharing documents externally.

Is the metadata removal process reversible?

No, once metadata is removed from an Excel file, it cannot be retrieved.

Will removing metadata from Excel affect the content of the spreadsheet?

No, removing metadata does not affect the actual content or functionality of the spreadsheet.

Can metadata be removed in bulk for multiple Excel files?

While the process described is for individual files, there are third-party tools and software that can remove metadata in bulk from multiple files.


In a world where data breaches are all too common, knowing how to remove metadata from an Excel spreadsheet is a valuable skill. Remember, metadata is not your enemy; it’s there to make document management easier.

But, when it’s time to share that spreadsheet, stripping it of unnecessary personal information can save you a lot of potential headaches. Be smart, be safe, and always double-check your documents before sending them out into the digital world.

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