How to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets (4 ways)

Whether it be personal or for data cleanup and organization reasons, knowing how to unmerge cells in Google Sheets is crucial.

And that is exactly what we are going to be showing you today, along with answering some common questions that many users have regarding the merging and unmerging of cells.

Let’s get started.

4 Ways to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets

1. Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets From the Toolbar Menu

Simple unmerging of cells is easy in Google Sheets, with it providing us with a button dedicated to merging and unmerging of cells right at the Toolbar menu.

merged cells - how to unmerge cells in google sheets

The Merge cells icon will be highlighted green if you have a merged cell selected.

To unmerge this cell, simply click on the drop-down to bring up all the options here.

how to unmerge cells in google sheets

Click Unmerge.

Merge cells icon not highlighted

The cells have been successfully unmerged. You can also notice that the Merge cells icon is not highlighted anymore.

2. Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets From the Format Tab

We can also find the Merge cells option in the Format tab up top. It presents us with similar options.

Format tab > Merge cells > Unmerge

Navigating to Unmerge from the Format tab

Click Unmerge.

how to unmerge cells in google sheets from the format tab

We have now covered all the basic ways to unmerge cells in Google Sheets. The next couple of methods are simply iterations and should be considered situational.

3. Unmerge All Merged Cells in the Worksheet At Once

In the following image, you can see a few merged cells among the unmerged ones.

highlighting merged cells animated

Let’s try to remove them all at once.

Step 1: Select any merged cell and press CTRL+A. This will select all adjacent cells with values.

using CTRL+A to select all adjacent cells

Step 2: Select the Unmerge option from the Merge cells menu.

how to unmerge cells in google sheets from toolbar

Our result:

selected cells have been unmerged

So now, what if we wanted to remove merged cells from the whole worksheet?

Let’s select the whole worksheet first. Simply click on this corner tab here:

clicking on the corner tab selects the entire worksheet

Now let’s navigate to our Unmerge option. Merge cells > Unmerge

But wait. The Unmerge option is greyed out! But why is that?

the unmerge option is greyed out

We can only select the Unmerge option if the active cell is in a merged form.

the active cell is not in a merged form

So, let us suggest a workaround for this particular example. If you already know that your worksheet contains merged cells, and you want to remove all of them by this method, simply merge cell A1 and another adjacent cell and try.

We have merged cells A1 and B1 and selected the whole worksheet. And thus, the Unmerge option is available since our active cell is in its merged form.

the Unmerge option is available

Our final result:

how to unmerge cells entire sheet in google sheets

4. Clear Formatting to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets (Keyboard Shortcut)

An unorthodox way to unmerge cells is by using the Clear formatting option.

You can find this option under the Format tab.

Format tab > Clear formatting

navigating to the clear formatting option

Our result:

how to unmerge cells in google sheets with clear formatting option

You can also use the keyboard shortcut for this option:


Word of warning: As the name says, Clear formatting will remove any and all formatting that your selected cells have.

Before, with formatting:

table before with formatting

After using Clear formatting:

after using clear formatting

Frequently Asked Questions With Regards to Unmerging Cells

1. Why is Unmerging required?

You can easily find a couple of reasons why you’d want to unmerge your cells in your spreadsheets.

The first one is that Google Sheets does not allow you to sort or filter columns that have merged cells in them.

Secondly, selecting a column or row makes the selection spill into the adjacent column or row that belongs to the merged cell. We can see this in the following image, where I am only holding SHIFT and tapping the Down Arrow Key:

showing shift in cell selection with merged cells animated - how to unmerge cells in google sheets

While these reasons are situational, they can be really annoying when it comes to spreadsheets organized in a certain way.

2. Why is my Unmerge option greyed out?

The only reason why your Unmerge option will be greyed out/unselectable is because the active cell of your selection is not in its merged form.

greyed our unmerge option

If the active cell is unmerged, the Unmerged option will be greyed out, even if your selection contains merged cells.

the active cell is merged

Only when the active cell is merged, the Unmerge option will become available.

3. How to find merged cells in Google Sheets?

We may sometimes need to find merged cells before we can even unmerge them.

It can be really hard when your worksheet has a lot of data or looks something like this:

merged cells not visible

At first glance, it looks like a typical table with a few black cells. But, hidden among the values we have a few merged cells along with the blanks.

navigating through a table of merged cells

The simplest way to reveal would be to turn the Gridlines back on (View tab > Show > Gridlines). Or select the cells containing data and add a border to them (All borders option).

gridlines and borders showing the presence of merged cells in google sheets

Final Words

Unmerging cells in Google Sheets is a fairly basic process, thanks to the application having the option right there in its Toolbar menu. But it can get a bit confusing when you have no idea whether your worksheet has any cells to unmerge. We have tried to show that in our article as well.

That said, hope you have found our processes and tutorial helpful. Please feel free to leave any queries or advice you might have in the comments section below.

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Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz is a Technical Writer for specializing in everything Google Sheets. Mehrab has always had a profound passion for writing and with his experience with MS Excel and Google Sheets throughout his career, it seems to be a great match when it comes to dishing out tips and tutorials for all to enjoy.

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