How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clearing formatting in Google Sheets can be a breeze once you get the hang of it. Simply put, you’ll be selecting the cells you want to clear formatting from, and then you’ll be using the ‘Format’ menu or a keyboard shortcut to remove all the formatting. This will leave you with a clean slate, so you can start fresh with new formatting options.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. Clearing formatting in Google Sheets means removing any styles you’ve applied to your cells, such as bold, italics, text color, cell color, and borders. Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Select the Cells

Click and drag your mouse to select the cells from which you want to clear formatting.

When you select the cells, make sure you only select the ones you want to clear. If you accidentally select more, don’t worry! You can always click on an individual cell to deselect it.

Step 2: Open the ‘Format’ Menu

Click on the ‘Format’ menu at the top of your Google Sheets document.

The ‘Format’ menu is where all the magic happens! It’s your go-to place for all things related to cell appearance.

Step 3: Click on ‘Clear formatting’

In the ‘Format’ menu, scroll down and click on ‘Clear formatting’.

This is the final step that will remove all the formatting from the selected cells. It’s like hitting a reset button for your cell styles!

After completing these steps, your selected cells will be free from any formatting. They will return to the default font, size, and no background color or borders. It’s like giving your cells a fresh start!

Tips: How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets

  • To quickly select an entire row or column, click on the row number or column letter.
  • If you want to clear formatting from your entire sheet, click on the square where the row numbers and column letters meet to select everything.
  • You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+ (Cmd+ on a Mac) to clear formatting from selected cells.
  • Remember that clearing formatting will not clear any actual data or content in the cells, just the styles applied to them.
  • If you’ve applied conditional formatting, you’ll need to remove that separately through the ‘Format’ menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I only want to clear specific types of formatting?

You can manually change each formatting option back to the default by using the toolbar, but there is no feature to selectively clear formatting.

Does clearing formatting also clear my data?

No, it only removes the styles applied to the cells, not the content within them.

Can I undo clear formatting?

Yes, just like any other action in Google Sheets, you can undo clear formatting by pressing Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on a Mac).

Is there a way to clear formatting on multiple sheets at once?

Unfortunately, no. You’ll need to clear formatting sheet by sheet.

Can I clear formatting from a cell that has conditional formatting applied?

Yes, but you’ll need to remove the conditional formatting rules through the ‘Format’ menu separately.


  1. Select the Cells
  2. Open the ‘Format’ Menu
  3. Click on ‘Clear formatting’


So, that’s the lowdown on how to clear formatting in Google Sheets. Whether you’re looking to declutter your spreadsheet or just start over with a fresh design, knowing how to remove unwanted formatting is a crucial skill. With the steps outlined above, you can quickly and efficiently get your sheets looking exactly how you want them. And with our additional tips and answers to common questions, you’re well on your way to becoming a Google Sheets pro.

Keep experimenting with different formatting options to find the perfect look for your data. And remember, if you ever go a bit overboard with your formatting, you now have the tools to easily clear the slate and begin anew. Happy sheeting!