How Do You Remove Only Conditional Formatting In Excel

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In the intricate landscape of Excel spreadsheets, conditional formatting stands out as a powerful tool for visually enhancing data interpretation. However, there come moments when the need arises to strip away these formatting rules without affecting the underlying data.

Whether it’s to start afresh or simply to declutter, understanding how do you remove only conditional formatting in Excel is a valuable skill.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the significance of this process, its step-by-step execution, and the pros and cons associated with it.

Significance of Removing Conditional Formatting:

Conditional formatting is instrumental in highlighting specific trends, outliers, or patterns within datasets, aiding in quicker analysis and decision-making. However, over time, as data evolves or reporting requirements change, the need to modify or remove these formatting rules emerges.

Here’s why knowing how to remove only conditional formatting in Excel is crucial:

  1. Data Integrity:

Removing conditional formatting ensures that the visual enhancements are stripped away, leaving the underlying data intact. This is essential when sharing or analyzing raw data without any formatting biases.

  1. Customization:

Users often experiment with various formatting options. Being able to selectively remove conditional formatting allows for greater customization and control over the appearance of the spreadsheet.

  1. Performance Optimization:

Complex conditional formatting rules can sometimes impact the performance of Excel, especially in large datasets. Removing unnecessary formatting can help improve spreadsheet responsiveness.

  1. Clarity and Readability:

Removing conditional formatting can declutter the spreadsheet, making it easier to read and comprehend, particularly when dealing with intricate datasets or preparing reports for presentation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Conditional Formatting:

Here’s a detailed walkthrough on how to remove only conditional formatting in Excel:

Step 1: Select the Range with Conditional Formatting:

Click and drag to select the range of cells containing the conditional formatting you wish to remove.

Step 2: Navigate to the Home Tab:

Once the desired range is selected, navigate to the “Home” tab on the Excel ribbon.

Step 3: Access the Conditional Formatting Menu:

In the “Styles” group, locate and click on the “Conditional Formatting” dropdown menu.

Step 4: Choose “Clear Rules”:

Within the Conditional Formatting menu, hover over “Clear Rules” to reveal further options.

Step 5: Select “Clear Rules from Selected Cells”:

From the dropdown options, choose “Clear Rules from Selected Cells.” This action will remove only the conditional formatting applied to the selected range while preserving other formatting attributes.

Step 6: Confirm the Action:

Excel will prompt a confirmation dialog box to confirm the removal of conditional formatting. Click “OK” to proceed with the removal.

Step 7: Verify Results:

Review the selected range to ensure that only the conditional formatting has been removed, leaving other cell formatting unaffected.

Pros and Cons:


  1. Precision:

Removes only the specified conditional formatting, preserving other formatting choices.

  1. Efficiency:

Streamlines the process of formatting adjustments, saving time and effort.  

  1. Data Integrity:

Ensures that underlying data remains unaltered, promoting accuracy in analysis and reporting.


  1. Limited Scope:

Removing conditional formatting doesn’t address other formatting concerns like cell borders, fonts, or colors.  

  1. Potential Errors:

Accidentally removing desired formatting rules can lead to unintended changes in data presentation.  

  1. Complexity:

In cases where multiple layers of conditional formatting are applied, removing specific rules can be challenging.


In conclusion, mastering the art of how do you remove only conditional formatting In Excel is an important skill for anyone working with data.

By understanding its significance, following a systematic approach, and considering the pros and cons, users can efficiently manage and manipulate data presentations while ensuring data integrity and clarity.

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