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Excel 2020: Ctrl+Click to Unselect Cells

December 30, 2020 - by Bill Jelen

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

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 garnered 327 votes on 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

This article is an excerpt from MrExcel 2020 - Seeing Excel Clearly.

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
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