So I have a sheet open in Excel 2013. I have come to add some conditional formatting and cannot do so due to it being greyed out.

Conditional Format Greyed Out

My suspicion is that it is due to this [Group] thing. I know that shared sheets lose conditional formatting but I can't work out what the [Group] thing means or how to get rid of it.

It is normally stored on a network share but even dragging and opening locally doesn't resolve this. The sheet is not protected nor shared in Excel.

4 Answers 4


There are multiple worksheets in this document. One of the other worksheets had a group of cells highlighted/selected. Unselecting them allowed Conditional Formatting to be accessed.

  • 3
    Thanks. You were a lifesaver. I never thought Excel could be this retarded.
    – Moha
    Jun 21, 2017 at 13:02

In my case the Conditional Formatting was disabled because the xls file was in shared mode.

To enable Conditional Formatting, you first have to disable shared mode, go into Review, Share workbook, and unselect 'Allow changes by more than one user at the same time'.

Once you're done, you will probably want to share the workbook again.

Other scenario: the sheet was grouped with others, that was preventing the use of conditional formatting. Once the sheet was ungrouped, then it was possible to adjust the conditional formatting. Right click on the sheet name and 'ungroup sheets'

  • this is what worked on my end.
    – tuskiomi
    Jun 13, 2019 at 13:22

I tried the removing the share on my work book and it did not work. I checked the second tab and that was not the culprit. For me the only thing that worked was opening a new workbook and cutting/pasting the information from the old one.


The sheet may be protected as well... go to 'Unprotect Sheet' and that will save you some grief/agony...

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