How to Clear Conditional Formatting in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clearing conditional formatting in Excel can be a lifesaver when too many rules clutter your spreadsheet. To do this, go to the ‘Home’ tab, select ‘Conditional Formatting,’ and choose ‘Clear Rules’ from the drop-down menu. You can clear rules from the entire sheet or just the selected cells. Let’s break down the steps to ensure you get it right.

How to Clear Conditional Formatting in Excel

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to remove conditional formatting from an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll walk through each step to make sure you can easily follow along and clear up any cluttered formatting.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

Open the Excel workbook where you want to clear conditional formatting.

Ensure you have the file open with the data you need to clean up. This is the first step to making sure you’re working on the right spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the Range or Entire Sheet

Click and drag to select the range of cells you want to clear formatting from, or click the top-left corner to select the entire sheet.

Selecting the right range ensures you don’t accidentally remove formatting from cells you want to keep.

Step 3: Go to the ‘Home’ Tab

Navigate to the ‘Home’ tab on the Excel ribbon.

The ‘Home’ tab is where you’ll find the Conditional Formatting options.

Step 4: Click on ‘Conditional Formatting’

Click on the ‘Conditional Formatting’ option in the ‘Styles’ group.

This will open a drop-down menu with various options related to conditional formatting.

Step 5: Choose ‘Clear Rules’

In the drop-down menu, hover over ‘Clear Rules’ and choose either ‘Clear Rules from Selected Cells’ or ‘Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.’

Select the appropriate option depending on whether you want to clear formatting from the selected range or the entire sheet.

Step 6: Confirm Your Selection

Once you choose the option, Excel will clear the conditional formatting rules.

You should see the changes immediately, and the cells should revert to their default formatting.

After completing these steps, your selected cells or entire sheet will have the conditional formatting rules removed, and you’ll be left with a cleaner, more manageable spreadsheet.

Tips for Clearing Conditional Formatting in Excel

  • Always double-check the range of cells you’ve selected before clearing rules.
  • Use the ‘Clear Rules from Entire Sheet’ option cautiously; it removes all rules in the worksheet.
  • Save a backup of your workbook before making large changes.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Conditional Formatting Manager to review existing rules before clearing.
  • After clearing rules, apply new formatting if needed to maintain readability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does clearing conditional formatting delete my data?

No, it only removes the formatting, not the actual data in your cells.

Can I undo the action if I clear formatting by mistake?

Yes, you can use the ‘Undo’ feature (Ctrl + Z) to revert the changes.

Is there a way to clear only specific rules?

Not directly, but you can use the Conditional Formatting Manager to delete specific rules.

Will clearing rules affect cell references?

Clearing conditional formatting rules does not affect cell references or formulas.

Can I clear conditional formatting from multiple sheets at once?

No, you need to clear rules from each sheet individually.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Select the range or entire sheet.
  3. Go to the ‘Home’ tab.
  4. Click on ‘Conditional Formatting.’
  5. Choose ‘Clear Rules.’
  6. Confirm your selection.


Clearing conditional formatting in Excel is a straightforward task that can greatly enhance the clarity and manageability of your spreadsheets. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly remove any unwanted rules that might be cluttering your data. Remember, it’s always a good practice to save a backup before making significant changes and to verify the range of cells you’re working on. After you’ve cleared the rules, you can easily apply fresh formatting to better suit your needs.

For further reading, consider exploring more advanced features of Excel’s Conditional Formatting, such as creating custom rules or using formulas to set conditions. If you often work with large datasets, mastering these tools can save you a lot of time and help you present your data more effectively. So, go ahead, give your spreadsheets a fresh look, and keep learning more about Excel’s powerful features!

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