How to Delete/Remove Checkbox in Excel?

Checkboxes provide an easy way to get yes/no type inputs from the user quickly.

However, you might struggle while trying to delete these checkboxes (especially when you got multiple checkboxes in your worksheet).

Checkboxes in Excel are basically ‘controls’ and not part of your Excel cell. Checkboxes in Excel are objects that float above the worksheets, so you can select the cell that has the checkbox and delete it, you need to select the checkbox itself to delete/move/remove it.

In this tutorial we will show you not one, but 4 different ways to delete or remove checkboxes in Excel:

  • Using the Go To Special Feature
  • Individually selecting and deleting
  • Using the Select Objects Menu
  • Using VBA

Two Kinds of Checkboxes in Excel

Before we get to deleting checkboxes, it’s important to first understand the different kinds of checkboxes that Excel lets you insert into a sheet.

This is important because the method of removal you choose depends on the type of checkbox that you are trying to remove.

Excel lets you use two types of checkbox controls:

  • The Form Control checkbox
  • The ActiveX Control checbox
Form control and activex control checkbox

Of the two, form controls are the most commonly used, since they are simpler and more flexible.

Moreover, unlike ActiveX controls, form controls are built into Excel, so they are more reliable too.

Some people might, however, prefer using ActiveX controls since they offer more formatting options, so they can give your sheet a more professional finish.

To identify if the checkbox you’re dealing with is a form or ActiveX control, right-click on the checkbox.

If the shortcut menu that appears contains a ‘Properties’ option, then it is an ActiveX control.

Activex control would show properties on right click

If the menu contains an ‘Assign Macro’ option on the other hand, then it is a form control.

Form control would show assign macro on right click

How to Delete or Remove a Checkbox in Excel

Let us now see 4 different ways to remove a checkbox in Excel.

Using the Select Objects Menu to Remove a Checkbox in Excel

The first thing you will notice when you work with checkboxes is that you can’t really select it in a conventional way (by left-clicking on it).

However, you can do so using the Select Objects menu quite easily.

This method lets you select the objects (or checkboxes) that you want to remove. It works with both Form and ActiveX controls.

This method is also useful in selecting objects when they are hidden behind the text in some cases.

Here are the steps to use the Select Objects method to select and remove checkboxes:

  1. From the ‘Home’ tab click on Find & Select (Under the Editing group).
Click on Find and Select
  1. You should see a dropdown list. Click on the ‘Select Objects’ menu.
Click on Select Objects
  1. You should now be able to select any object on your spreadsheet.
  2. Click on the checkboxes that you want to delete and press the Delete key.

Once you have clicked on the Select Objects option in step 3, you can select multiple checkboxes in one go. Simply press the Control key, and with the Control key pressed, select all the checkboxes you want to remove. Once selected, hit the delete key.

Note: If your checkbox is an ActiveX control, then you will need to ensure that the Design mode is activated for this method to work. Check if the Design mode is active by clicking on the Developer tab. If you find the Design mode button (under Controls) in a darker shade of gray, it means the Design mode is active. If not, you can activate the Design mode by clicking on the button again (it’s a toggle button).

Individually Selecting and Deleting Checkboxes in Excel

You can also just individually select and delete checkboxes as required, however, as mentioned before, checkboxes are objects, so you can’t just left-click and press the Delete key.

When you hover the cursor over the checkbox and use the left mouse key, it will change the state of the checkbox (if it’s checked, this would uncheck it, and vice versa).

Depending on whether the checkbox is a Form control or ActiveX control they are selected in different ways.

If it’s a Form control checkbox follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click on the control. This should display a shortcut menu for the control.
  2. Press the Esc key on your keyboard to get rid of the shortcut menu.
  3. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the control.

If it’s an ActiveX control checkbox follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Developer tab. If you can’t see the Developer tab then navigate to File->Options->Customize Ribbon. Check the Developer option from the Main Tabs and click OK.
  2. Check if the Design mode button (under the Controls group) is active. If the button is of a darker shade than the rest of the buttons in the menu, it means it is active. If it is inactive, click on it to activate it.
  3. Your ActiveX control checkbox should now become selectable.
  4. Simply left-click on the control to select it and press the Delete key from the keyboard to delete it.

Using the Go To Special Feature to Remove a Checkbox in Excel

If you don’t want to select and remove checkboxes one by one, and prefer deleting all the checkboxes in your sheet, then this method might be a better option.

To use the Go To Special feature to remove all checkboxes from your sheet, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Home tab, click on Find & Select.
  2. Click on the ‘Go To Special’ option.
Click on Go To Special
  1. This opens the Go To Special dialog box, which gives you different selection options.
Go To special dialog box
  1. Check the radio button next to ‘Objects’.
Select Objects in Go To special dialog box
  1. Click OK.
  2. All your checkboxes should now be selected. If you have other objects on your worksheet those would get selected too.
All checkboxes are selected
  1. After making sure that only the objects (or checkboxes) that you want to delete are selected, press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Note: This method works only if you want to delete all the checkbox controls (both Form and ActiveX) from your worksheet. As mentioned before, you should also ensure there aren’t any other controls in your sheet that you want to keep (like radio buttons, text boxes, etc.), because this method is going to delete all of those too.

Using VBA to Remove a Checkbox in Excel

If you prefer using VBA to delete the checkboxes on your sheet, then we have the code ready for you.

'Code developed by Steve Scott from https://SpreadsheetPlanet.com
Sub RemoveCheckboxes()
For Each s In ActiveSheet.Shapes
If s.Type = msoFormControl Then
   If s.FormControlType = 1 Then s.Delete
ElseIf s.Type = msoOLEControlObject Then
        If s.OLEFormat.Object.OLEType = 2 Then s.Delete
    End If
Next s
End Sub

The above code goes through each shape (or control) on the active sheet and checks if the control is a Form control object or not.

If it’s a form control object, it then checks whether it’s a checkbox or not. In case it’s a checkbox, it’s deleted, else it’s not.

And in case the object is not a form control object, the codes checks for the other condition – whether it’s an ActiveX control or not.

If it is, then it checks whether it’s a checkbox or not. If it’s a checkbox, it’s deleted, else the code moves to the next object.

In this tutorial, we discussed 4 ways to remove checkboxes from your Excel worksheets.

Depending on whether the checkboxes are Form controls or ActiveX controls, you can select the method that works best for you.

Other Excel tutorials you may also find useful: