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Google Sheets Cell Color Won't Change: How to Fix It in 2024

May 8, 2024

Why a Google Sheets Cell Won't Change Color

If your Google Sheets cell won't change color, there might be several reasons for this issue. Here's how you can troubleshoot and fix it:

Conditional Formatting

If there's conditional formatting applied to the cell or range, it might override manual color changes. Check for any conditional formatting rules by going to Format > Conditional formatting in the menu. 

google sheets cell color won't change

If there are any rules applied, either modify or remove them by hovering over the rule and clicking on the trash icon to see if that resolves the issue.

google sheets cell won't change color

Protected Ranges

The cell might be in a range that's been protected, which can prevent editing, including changing the cell's color. 

To check for protected ranges, go to Data > Protected sheets and ranges

why a google sheets cell won't change color

If the cell is within a protected range, you'll need the necessary permissions to edit it.

why a google sheets cell color won't change

Search Box Is Open

When you use the search feature in Google Sheets (Ctrl + F or Cmd + F on Mac), the found items are highlighted in green to make them easy to spot. If this highlighting remains after you've finished searching, it can be confusing.

Here's how it looks if the search box is open:

how to fix when google sheets cell color won't change


To fix this, simply close the search box on the right by clicking on the "X" icon and the green color should disappear.

how to fix when a google sheets cell won't change color

If none of these resolve your issue, consider reaching out to Google's support or forums for further assistance, as the problem might be specific to your document or account setup.

We hope that this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of why a Google Sheets cell color won't change and how to fix it. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our articles on how to calculate tenure in Google Sheets and how to add an exponent in Google Sheets.

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