How to Remove Fill Color in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on June 10, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to remove a cell’s fill color in Excel and Google Sheets.

removefill intro

Cell Format

  1. Highlight the cell or cells where you want the fill color removed.

removefill select

  1. In the Ribbon, go to Home > Font > Fill Color > No Fill.

removefill remove color

This removes background colors from the selected cells.

Format Painter

Excel’s Format Painter is a useful feature for copying formatting from one cell to another. Here, use a cell without a fill color along with the format painter to “copy” the blank fill.

  1. First select a blank cell, and then in the Ribbon, go to Home > Clipboard > Format Painter.

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  1. Select the cell(s) where you wish the fill color to be removed.

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  1. Release your mouse to remove the fill color from the cells.

removefill fill color removed

“Turn On” the Format Painter

  1. You can double-click the format painter icon to switch it on.
  2. Then click each cell individually to remove its color.

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  1. Format Painter remains active until you click again on the format painter icon (in the Ribbon) to switch it off.

Tip: You can remove all formatting this way, too.

Remove Fill Color in Google Sheets

You can apply both methods above in Google Sheets to remove the fill color in a cell.

  1. Highlight the cells you wish to remove the fill color from, and then, in the Toolbar, click the Fill color icon.

removefill gs fill color

  1. Click Reset.

removefill gs removeall

This removes the fill color from all selected cells.

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Paint Format

Google Sheets has Paint format, which is the same as the format painter in Excel.

  1. In your worksheet, select a blank cell.
  2. Then in the Toolbar, click Paint format.
  3. Highlight the cells whose fill color you want to remove.

removefill gs format paint

  1. Release the mouse to show the results.

Note: Double-clicking on Paint format to “switch it on” does not work in Google Sheets.

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