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How to Remove Watermarks in Excel & Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove watermarks in Excel and Google Sheets.


remove watermarks in excel


Watermarks in Excel can be created as a background picture, header or footer, or as an object (WordArt).

Remove a Background Watermark

The first possibility is that the watermark has been inserted as a background picture. You can recognize that the image is inserted as a background as it’s repeating on the sheet (on each page), and you also have the option to delete a background in the Page Layout tab.

To delete the watermark, in the Ribbon, go to Page Layout > Delete Background.


remove background watermark


The watermark is now removed.


remove background watermark 2


Remove a Watermark From a Header or Footer

If the watermark wasn’t added a background image, it might be in the sheet’s header or footer. To check if the watermark is inserted as header or footer, go to View > Page Layout.


remove background header and footer


Here you can see that this watermark repeats at the top of each page; this means that it was inserted as a header.

1. In the Ribbon, go to Insert > Header & Footer.


remove background header and footer 2


2. In this view, you can see the watermark, but it doesn’t appear directly in the header box. Instead, the image is represented as “&[Picture]”. To remove the watermark, just delete “&[Picture]” from the header box.


remove background header and footer 3


As you can see below, the watermark is removed when you delete “&[Picture]” from the box.


remove background header and footer 4


Remove a WordArt Watermark

Another possibility for adding a watermark is to add it as an object, like WordArt. If the watermark was added this way, you can delete it by following these steps:

1. In the Ribbon, go to Home > Find & Select > Go To Special.


remove background object


2. In the Go To Special Window, select Objects, and click OK.


remove background object 2


3. Now the watermark is selected, since Excel considers it an object. Just press Delete on the keyboard.


remove background object 3


As in the previous two methods, the watermark is now removed from the sheet.

Remove Watermarks in Google Sheets

In the past, Google Sheets didn’t provide the functionality for adding a watermark to a worksheet. The closest workaround solution is to create a watermark as a drawing with text (WordArt), as pictured below.


google sheets watermark object


To delete the watermark, (1) click on the object to select it, (2) click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the object to display the menu, and (3) choose Delete.


google sheets watermark object 2


Now the watermark is removed from the worksheet in Google Sheets.


remove background watermark 3

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