How to Remove an Excel 2010 Watermark: Step-by-Step Guide

Removing a watermark from an Excel 2010 document can be a bit of a puzzle if you’re not familiar with the process. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems. A watermark is typically used to indicate that a document is a draft or contains confidential information. However, there may come a time when you need to remove it, and knowing how to do so can save you a headache. After removing the watermark, your Excel 2010 document will appear as a clean, unmarked sheet, perfect for presentations or final submissions.

After you remove the watermark from your Excel 2010 document, it will no longer display the faint image or text that was previously in the background. This can be particularly useful if you’re finalizing a document for a presentation or professional submission and want to ensure a clean and clear appearance.


Ever found yourself staring at an Excel 2010 spreadsheet with a watermark that just won’t budge? You’re not alone. Whether it’s a draft, sample, or confidential watermark, these background images or texts can be distracting, especially when you’re trying to present data in a clear and professional manner. Watermarks are meant to protect documents or denote their status, but there comes a point where they become obsolete.

That’s when knowing how to remove them becomes crucial. This article is for anyone who has struggled with this issue – from the seasoned Excel user to the novice spreadsheet creator. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of getting rid of that pesky watermark.

Step by Step Tutorial to Remove an Excel 2010 Watermark

Before we get into the actual steps, it’s important to understand what we’re aiming to achieve here. Following these steps will help you remove that stubborn watermark from your Excel document, allowing you to present your data without any background distractions.

Step 1: Go to the Page Layout Tab

Navigate to the Page Layout tab on the Excel ribbon.

This tab contains all the tools you need to modify the background elements of your Excel document, including the watermark.

Step 2: Click on ‘Delete Background’

Find and click on the ‘Delete Background’ option within the Page Layout tab.

Doing so will immediately remove any image that’s been set as a background for your spreadsheet. If your watermark is an image, this step will get rid of it.

Step 3: Check for Header/Footer Watermarks

If the watermark isn’t removed, it may be in the header or footer. Double-click on the header or footer area to check.

Sometimes, watermarks are inserted into the header or footer of a document. Double-clicking will allow you to edit these areas and remove any text or images used as watermarks.


Clean PresentationRemoving a watermark gives your document a clean and professional appearance, which is crucial for presentations or official submissions.
Easier to ReadWithout a distracting background, your data and text are easier to read and comprehend, making it more likely that your message will be effectively communicated.
Versatile DocumentOnce the watermark is removed, your document can be repurposed for a variety of different audiences and uses, increasing its utility.


Loss of Draft/Confidential MarkerRemoving a watermark may inadvertently eliminate a crucial indicator of the document’s status, leading to potential confusion about its level of completion or privacy.
May Require Additional EditingIf the watermark has been in the document for a while, removing it might leave behind ghosting or require additional formatting to restore the document’s appearance.
Accidental Removal of Necessary ElementsIn the process of removing the watermark, there’s a risk of accidentally deleting other important background elements or formatting.

Additional Information

When you’re dealing with watermarks in Excel 2010, it’s important to remember that they can be sneaky. Sometimes, what appears to be a watermark is actually an image inserted into the spreadsheet. In that case, you’ll need to click on the image and press the delete key on your keyboard to get rid of it. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn watermark, you may need to check if it’s been inserted into individual cells as a background.

This can be a bit more time-consuming, as you’ll have to remove the background from each cell individually. Remember, removing an Excel 2010 watermark can make your document look more professional and easier to work with, but always make sure you’re not removing something necessary to the document’s purpose.


  1. Open the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click on ‘Delete Background’ to remove image watermarks.
  3. Double-click on the header or footer to edit and remove text watermarks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the watermark is not an image?

If the watermark is text, you’ll likely find it in the header or footer. Double-click these areas and delete the text manually.

Can I undo the removal of a watermark?

Yes, if you accidentally remove a watermark, you can use the undo function (Ctrl + Z) to bring it back.

Will removing the watermark affect my data?

No, removing a watermark will not affect the data in your Excel document. It only alters the visual appearance.

What if the ‘Delete Background’ option is greyed out?

If the ‘Delete Background’ option is greyed out, it means there’s no background image to delete. Check the header and footer for text watermarks.

Can I remove watermarks from multiple sheets at once?

You’ll need to remove watermarks from each sheet individually, as Excel treats each sheet’s background elements separately.


Removing a watermark from an Excel 2010 document can be quite straightforward once you know where to look. While watermarks serve their purpose, there comes a time when they need to go. Whether it’s to tidy up a document for a presentation or to clear out outdated markers, the ability to remove a watermark is an essential skill for any Excel user.

Remember, the key is to locate the watermark, whether it’s an image or text, and utilize the Page Layout tools to eliminate it cleanly. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, go forth and conquer those pesky watermarks with confidence!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy