How to Exit Header and Footer in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating Microsoft Excel can feel like a maze at times, especially when you’re dealing with headers and footers. If you’ve ever been stuck in the header or footer section, this guide will help you exit with ease. Soon, you’ll be back to working on your spreadsheet without any hassle.

How to Exit Header and Footer in Excel

Exiting the header and footer in Excel is simple once you know the steps. This section will guide you through each step to ensure you can easily switch back to editing your main content.

Step 1: Open the View Tab

First, make sure you’re in the “View” tab on the ribbon at the top of Excel.

The “View” tab is home to various options, including the ability to toggle between different views of your worksheet. This is where you start to exit the header and footer mode.

Step 2: Switch to Normal View

Next, click on "Normal" under the "Workbook Views" group.

Switching to Normal View will remove the header and footer from your current view, bringing you back to your main content area. This is the easiest and most straightforward way to exit.

Step 3: Click Anywhere in the Main Worksheet

Simply click anywhere within the main body of your worksheet.

By clicking outside the header or footer area, you signal to Excel that you’re done editing those sections.

Step 4: Double-Click the Current Cell

Double-click on any cell in your worksheet to make it active.

Double-clicking a cell ensures that you’re fully back in the main worksheet and ready to start your data entry or editing.

Step 5: Save Your Work

Don’t forget to save your work by clicking the "Save" icon or pressing Ctrl + S on your keyboard.

Saving your work ensures that any changes, including those made in the header or footer, are preserved.

After you follow these steps, you will find yourself back in the main worksheet, free of the header and footer view. You’re ready to continue your work as usual.

Tips for Exiting Header and Footer in Excel

  • Use the "Normal" button in the View tab for a quick exit.
  • Always click outside the header/footer area to ensure you’re out of that mode.
  • Double-clicking a cell helps you to re-enter the main worksheet.
  • Utilize keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + S to save time.
  • Familiarize yourself with the View tab options to enhance your Excel skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if the header and footer don’t disappear?

Try switching between different views in the View tab. If that doesn’t work, save your file and restart Excel.

Can I still edit the header and footer after exiting?

Absolutely! Simply go back to the "Insert" tab and click "Header & Footer" to re-enter.

Why doesn’t clicking outside the header/footer work sometimes?

Make sure you’re clicking in an empty area of the worksheet, not on a cell with a formula or data.

Can I exit the header and footer without using the mouse?

Yes, you can press the Esc key to exit the header and footer mode quickly.

Is there a way to prevent accidental edits in the header and footer?

You can lock your worksheet, although this will prohibit all edits without unlocking it first.


  1. Open the View Tab
  2. Switch to Normal View
  3. Click Anywhere in the Main Worksheet
  4. Double-Click the Current Cell
  5. Save Your Work


Navigating through Excel can sometimes feel like a labyrinth, especially when you’re stuck in the header or footer section. However, as you’ve learned, exiting this mode is straightforward once you know the steps. With just a few clicks, you can seamlessly return to your main worksheet. Keep these tips in your back pocket to avoid any future hiccups.

Excel is a powerful tool that can significantly boost your productivity, and mastering small tasks like exiting the header and footer can make a big difference. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the various views and options available – it’ll pay off in the long run. Happy Excel-ing!

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