How can I deselect all cells via keyboard without changing the active cell?


  • 1
    By pressing Escape? – LPChip Jan 31 '17 at 19:17
  • @LPChip I tried pressing Escape. It didn't work. – wally Jan 31 '17 at 19:25
  • What are you trying to achieve by this? – Alex Jan 31 '17 at 19:46

Shift + Backspace should do the trick(tried it on Excel 2016)

  • Where did you find the answer? – wally Jan 31 '17 at 20:36
  • Just tried a few known shortcuts. – Alex Jan 31 '17 at 20:47
  • Known shortcuts: Click on empty space on the Desktop, hit F1 and type shortcut keys +enter. – Hannu Jan 31 '17 at 20:58
  • @Hannu I tried that and it doesn't show this shortcut. – wally Jan 31 '17 at 21:28
  • Also works on Excel 2010. – user121391 Jan 22 '19 at 10:51

Double Click in a cell outside the selection area to de-select. Works in Office 2016 for Mac, using Version 15.33 (170409).

Note: Using the Escape key, Single Click and Shift+Delete doesn't deselect the area (for me using Office 2016 for Mac).

  • The question asks "without changing the active cell". Does this answer change the active cell? – wally Mar 3 '18 at 13:34
  • This is an answer for a slightly different issue that I was looking for, so I'm glad it was listed so I could find it from google. If you click a cell, and Copy it (ctrl+c), it has the "marching ants" around it, even if you paste the data somewhere. In photoshop you can press ctrl+D to deselect those selections, but I don't see any "deselect" option in excel. Double-clicking a cell does eliminate the marching ants (Esc seems to as well though). – gamingexpert13 Aug 5 '19 at 21:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.