There is a Fill Color button in Microsoft Excel that you can typically use to add or remove a background color from some selected cells.
But you might encounter a situation where that’s not working.
This is because the creator of that spreadsheet is using something called “conditional formatting” to apply the fill color.
Our tutorial below will show you how to remove conditional formatting from a cell in Microsoft Excel if that is the reason that you have a fill color that you can’t get rid of.
You can remove fill color that won’t go away in Microsoft Excel by selecting the Home tab, selecting Conditional Formatting, clicking Clear Rules, then choosing Clear Rules from Selected Cells.
How to Remove Fill Color in Excel if the Regular Method Doesn’t Work
- Open your spreadsheet.
- Select the cells to modify.
- Choose the Home tab.
- Click Conditional Formatting.
- Choose Clear Rules.
- Select Clear Rules from Selected Cells.
Microsoft Excel is popular for handling data because it lets you do things like write formulas and use macros that can simplify the process of sorting, evaluating, and creating data. But it also has a number of formatting options that can help make your data look good and be easier to read.
Typically you can change the fill color in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using the “Fill Color” tool located in the “Font” section of the “Home” tab in Microsoft Excel 2010.
However, if you have received a spreadsheet that was created by another person, removing this fill color may occasionally be more complicated than that.
This is because the cells with the persistent fill color have “conditional formatting” applied to them, which requires you to make an adjustment to the cells from a formatting menu that you probably haven’t encountered very often.
If you need to apply some color to cells instead of taking it away, then our article on how to color Excel cells can help.
How to Remove the Fill Color from the Selected Cell in Excel
the steps in this section will assume that you currently have an Excel spreadsheet with at least one cell for which you would like to remove the fill color.
Step 1: Highlight the cells containing the fill color that you have previously been unable to remove.
Step 2: Click the “Home” tab at the top of the window.
Step 3: Click the “Conditional Formatting” drop-down menu in the “Styles” section of the ribbon.
Step 4: Click the “Clear Rules” option at the bottom of the menu, then click the “Clear Rules From Selected Cells” option.
Note that if you have a lot of different cells or groups of cells in your spreadsheet and don’t need to leave any of the conditional formatting in place, you could click the “Clear Rules From Entire Sheet” option instead.
Now that you know how to remove persistent fill color in Microsoft Excel by disabling conditional formatting rules, you will be able to resolve this and other similar issues that you might encounter in the future.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.