How to Deselect Cells in Excel

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

Selecting cells, ranges, rows, columns, or even the entire spreadsheet is easy.

The problem is, how will deselect cells and ranges without losing your current selection?

There are times when you accidentally include one or more in your selection. It would be a waste of time to have a do-over.

In this article, we’ll show you the best way to deselect cells without losing your current selection.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Hint? It’s all in your control. 😊

The Deselect Tool in Excel

The deselect tool is a new feature in Excel that’s present only in Office 2019 or Office 365 subscription.

And it’s very easy to use, intuitive even. 

Let’s say you selected a cell range and realized you don’t need some of them. 

First off, you select the cells by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key on your keyboard and dragging the mouse all over the cells that you need.

To deselect the cells, simply click on them again while holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key.

It’s important that you don’t let go of the ‘Ctrl’ key while in this process. If you do so, you’ll lose all your selection.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
deselecting cells using the deselect tool

The same works if you selected columns or rows.

If you need to deselect them, hold down ‘Ctrl’ and click on them (or drag the mouse if they’re contiguous).

deselecting rows using the deselect tool

That’s it! Easy, right? 😊


The key is control (‘ctrl’). The important thing is not to let go of ‘ctrl’ while deselecting. If you do so, you’ll lose your selection and instead select whatever you just clicked.

With the deselect tool, there’s no need for you to cancel your selection if you included the wrong cells. But take note, you have to be using Excel 2019 or have an Office 365 subscription to be able to use this feature.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto