How to Remove a Watermark in Excel

The steps in this article are going to show you how to remove a watermark in Microsoft Excel. This means the watermarks that are added to the background of the page, typically consisting of either a word or an image.

  1. Open your file in Excel.
  2. Select the Page Layouttab at the top of the window.
  3. Click the Delete Background button.

You can insert a picture or logo into the background of the pages in your Excel workbook using an option on the Page Layout tab. If your company often creates and distributes Excel files and wants people to know who created those files, then these background images can serve an important purpose.

But using a background image in an Excel worksheet can make it difficult to read some of the content contained within the spreadsheet cells. In cases like this it’s helpful to know how to remove the watermark from the Excel file. Our guide below will show you how.

How to Delete a Watermark in Excel

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel for Office 365. The first section of this guide assumes that you are removing a watermark that has been added as a background image (one of your own images, or wordart) to the worksheet. If these steps don’t remove the watermark, then it may have been added in a different way, which we discuss further in this tutorial.

Step 1: Open your file in MS Excel.

Step 2: Select the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.

select the Page Layout tab

Step 3: Click the Delete Background button in the Page Setup section of the ribbon.

how to remove a watermark in Excel

As mentioned earlier, it’s possible that a background watermark image has been added in a different way that won’t be resolved by the steps above. Instead, if the picture is in your header or footer, then you can follow the steps to open the header & footer menu below to remove it.

  1. Select the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click the small Page Setup dialog box at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the ribbon.
  3. Select the Header/Footer tab.
  4. Click the Custom Header or Custom Footer button, depending on whether the Excel watermark is located in the header section or the footer section of the document.
  5. Delete the &[Picture] text from the header or footer section, then click the OK button.

Another way that you may need to remove watermark data from an Excel sheet background is one where there is “Page 1”, “Page 2,” etc. data that appears on your screen, but not on the printed version of the file. This typically occurs when you are in Page Break Preview view mode. By switching to one of the other workbook views you can remove that watermark. If you would like to remain in this current view and just want to make sure that this information won’t be included when you print, simply open the Print menu and check the Print Preview to confirm that the page information isn’t there.

  1. Select the View tab at the top of the window.
  2. Choose the Normal view or the Page Layout view to switch to a different view mode without the page number watermark.

You can insert watermark images in Excel by reversing the header image or background image methods from above. Note that the header image method doesn’t provide any format picture options, so you may need to edit the image in an external application if you need to change its size or appearance.

Microsoft Word has a much more robust method for adding watermark images. Read our guide on Word watermarks and background images and see what your options are in that application.