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Excel 2019: Ctrl+Click to Unselect Cells


December 18, 2019 - by Bill Jelen

Excel Ctrl+Click To Unselect Cells. Photo Credit: Timothy Muza at Unsplash.com

You've always had the ability to select multiple selections in Excel by Ctrl+Dragging to select cells. In the images below, you might click in B2 and drag to C6. Then Ctrl+Click in C8 and drag to C11. Then Ctrl+Click on F2 and drag to B8. Then Ctrl+Click in F11.

Someone carefully selected three non-contiguous ranges by using the mouse in combination with the Ctrl key. But then, a stray click accidentally selected F11, which is not supposed to be part of the selection. In the past, you would have to start over.

You realize that you did not want to include F3 or F11 in the selection. In the past, there was no way to unselect one cell. You had to start all over with selecting B2:C6 and so on.


If you still have a copy of Excel 2013, try unselecting cells by Ctrl+Clicking them. An odd bug causes the cell to become progressively darker with each Ctrl+Click.

An odd bug from Excel 2013: If you would try to unselect a cell by Ctrl+Clicking it, the shading would become progressively darker. If you Ctrl+Click several times in frustration, (likely chanting, Why, Won't, Excel, Unselect, This?!), the cell becomes completely black and you can't see the text anymore.

However - that bug was erased and new functionality added to Excel once a posting on Excel.UserVoice.com garnered 327 votes on Excel.UserVoice.com. This is a new feature released in 2018 to Office 365 subscribers. You can now Ctrl+Click on a cell that is in the selection and remove the cell from the selection:

Today, you can Ctrl+Click on F11 or any other part of the selection to unselect it.

Title Photo: Timothy Muza at Unsplash.com


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
MrExcel 2020 - Seeing Excel Clearly

This is a 4th edition of MrExcel LX. Updates for 2020 include: Ask a question about your data, XLOOKUP, Power Query's Data Profiling tools, How Geography Data Types decide which Madison, A SEQUENCE example for descending 52 weeks, Exchange Rates support in Stock Data Types, How to collapse the Search box, How to leave effective feedback for Microsoft, How to post your worksheet to the MrExcel Board using XL2BB.