How to Remove Alternating Colors in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing alternating colors in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. You just need to select the range of cells you want to clear formatting from, click on the "Format" menu, and then select "Alternating colors." From there, you can click "Remove alternating colors" to get rid of the color bands. Now let’s dive into the detailed steps to make sure you can do this with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Remove Alternating Colors in Google Sheets

Before you start removing the alternating colors, it’s important to understand why you might want to do this. Maybe the color scheme doesn’t fit your presentation anymore, or perhaps you just prefer a cleaner look. Whatever the reason, following these steps will help you achieve the desired result.

Step 1: Select the Range of Cells

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that have the alternating colors you want to remove.

Selecting the right range of cells is crucial. If you don’t select all the cells with the alternating colors, you’ll end up with an incomplete job. Make sure you include every cell that’s been formatted before moving to the next step.

Step 2: Click on the "Format" Menu

Navigate to the "Format" menu at the top of your Google Sheets document.

The "Format" menu is where you’ll find all the options for changing how your cells look, including fonts, text alignment, number formats, and, yes, colors!

Step 3: Select "Alternating colors"

Once you have the "Format" menu open, find and click on "Alternating colors."

This step opens up a new window where you can customize or remove the color formatting. Be careful not to click on other formatting options if you want to keep those intact.

Step 4: Click "Remove alternating colors"

In the "Alternating colors" window, you’ll see a preview of your selected range. There’s a button that says "Remove alternating colors" – click it.

After clicking "Remove alternating colors," the color bands will vanish immediately. If you’ve done everything correctly, your sheet should now have no alternating colors.

After completing these steps, your Google Sheet will revert to its default color scheme. If you had other formatting in place, such as bold or italic text, that will remain unchanged. Only the alternating colors will be removed.

Tips for Removing Alternating Colors in Google Sheets

  • Make sure you’re working on the correct sheet. It might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get mixed up if you have multiple sheets open.
  • Double-check your cell selection. If you select too few cells, you’ll have to repeat the process to remove all the alternating colors.
  • Remember that removing alternating colors will not affect other formatting like text styles or borders.
  • If you change your mind, you can always press Ctrl + Z (Cmd + Z on a Mac) to undo the removal of the alternating colors.
  • Consider making a copy of the sheet before making changes, just in case you want to revert to the original design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove alternating colors from multiple sheets at once?

No, you’ll need to repeat the process for each sheet individually.

What happens if I accidentally remove alternating colors?

Don’t panic! You can simply press Ctrl + Z (Cmd + Z on a Mac) to undo the action.

Will removing alternating colors affect my data?

No, your data will remain intact. Only the color formatting will be removed.

Can I customize the alternating colors instead of removing them?

Yes, in the "Alternating colors" window, you can choose new colors instead of removing them entirely.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to remove alternating colors?

No, there isn’t a shortcut for this specific action. You’ll need to follow the steps in the menu.


  1. Select the range of cells with alternating colors.
  2. Click on the "Format" menu.
  3. Choose "Alternating colors."
  4. Click "Remove alternating colors."


Removing alternating colors in Google Sheets is a breeze once you know where to look. Whether you’re prepping for a presentation or you just prefer a more minimalist look, the ability to modify your sheet’s appearance is essential for anyone looking to maintain a professional or organized document. By following the step-by-step tutorial above, you can quickly remove these color bands and achieve the specific look you’re aiming for.

Remember, the "Format" menu is your friend for all things visual in Google Sheets, and the "Alternating colors" option is just one of many tools at your disposal. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formatting options to find what works best for you. After all, personalizing your spreadsheets can not only make them more visually appealing but can also help you and others understand and use your data more effectively.

As we wrap up, keep in mind that Google Sheets offers a range of features to help you manage your data efficiently. From creating charts to applying filters, there’s a lot you can do beyond alternating colors. So, dive in, get familiar with the various options available, and take full control of your spreadsheet game. And if you ever find yourself stuck with formatting or any other Google Sheets feature, remember that help is just a few clicks away. Happy sheeting!