How to Remove a Formula or Program in an Excel Spreadsheet

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Formulas and programs are powerful features in Microsoft Excel, so removing them from a spreadsheet involves careful consideration.
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Formulas and programs are powerful features in Microsoft Excel, so removing them from a spreadsheet involves careful consideration. When you remove a formula in Excel, the change is permanent and could impact other cells that reference it. Add-in programs must be uninstalled, sometimes by using the Control Panel. You may be able to restore a deleted formula with Undo, but an add-in program must be reinstalled after it is removed.


How to Remove a Formula in Excel

You can remove a formula entirely from a spreadsheet using Edit > Clear > Clear Contents. However, one of the most common reasons to remove a formula is to replace it with its value. Usually, the value that results from a formula is also removed when you remove the formula. In Excel, convert a formula to its value by double-clicking in the cell to display the formula and then select it. Type Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard. RIght-click in the same cell and select Paste Value from the pop-up menu. The result of the formula is pasted into the cell.


Following Clear Contents or Paste Value in a cell, its formula is removed from the spreadsheet. Before you delete a formula, try to make sure it won't impact other parts of the spreadsheet. If you realize you've made a mistake by removing a formula and want to restore it, click in the cell and type Ctrl+Z or click Undo on the Quick Action Toolbar at the top of the Excel window. If you have completed several other operations after Paste, check the Undo menu on the Quick Action Toolbar and look for an entry titled Clear Contents or Paste Special to determine if undo is still possible.


Replace a Portion of a Formula

Besides replacing an entire formula with its value, you can stop a portion of a formula from updating by replacing it with its result. According to Microsoft, replacing some or all of a formula with a value can improve performance for spreadsheets with a large number of complex formulas. Click on the cell with the formula you want to change and then select the portion of the formula you want to replace in the Formula bar. Press the F9 key (or FN+F9 on some keyboards) to calculate the selected portion of the formula and then press Enter to replace that portion of the formula with its value.


Remove Programs in Excel

Add-ins are programs that provide additional commands for specific functions. They are not available by default in Excel and must be installed and activated before you can use them. Microsoft provides some add-ins, and others can be downloaded from the Office website. There are also add-ins provided by third-party software developers.

To remove an Excel add-in, you need to exit the Excel application. Then go to Programs and Features in the system Control Panel or Apps & Features in Windows 10. Locate Excel or Microsoft Office in the program list and click the Change or Modify button. Follow the displayed instructions to remove the add-in. To remove other types of add-ins, such as COM add-ins, check the Office Support website.