Difference Between Delete and Clear Contents in Excel

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Need to learn what is the difference between Delete and Clear Contents in Excel? Delete and Clear Contents both are very essential features in Excel. If you are looking for such unique kinds of tricks, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we will take you through 2 reasonable and relatable differences between the Delete and the Clear Contents features in Excel.

Delete Feature of Excel

Usually, we use the Delete feature every day while working on Excel. If we do some mistake in the time of putting values in cells we use the Delete feature to blank out the cell again. There are two types of Delete features in Excel. They are given below.

1. Delete Button on Keyboard

At first, we’re discussing the Delete button on the keyboard. Commonly, it’s placed beside the ENTER key. Also, we can use the Backspace button instead of the Delete key in Excel. But, it takes several strokes on the Backspace key to eliminate the whole content of a cell.

2. Delete Command on Ribbon

Another Delete feature is the Delete command. Actually, it’s situated on the ribbon of the Home tab. We use this command to delete the entire cell with its content, formatting, etc.

Delete Command on Ribbon

Here, we can see that there are numerous options under the Delete command.

Read More: How to Clear Contents in Excel Without Deleting Formatting

Clear Command in Excel

You can choose to delete just the contents, or the formatting, hardly the hyperlinks, only the comments, or both using the Clear command. Clear All will remove everything from the list, but it won’t get rid of the cell or cells you’ve chosen.

difference between delete and clear contents in excel

1. Clear All

We use Clear All to clear all contents, formats, and comments contained in a selected cell.

2. Clear Formats

Then, use Clear Formats to clear only the formats applied to the selected cells.

3. Clear Contents

After that, apply Clear Contents to clear only the contents in the selected cells. It leaves any formatting and comments in the cell. In this article, we’ll discuss this command particularly.

4. Clear Comments and Notes

Also, you can choose the Clear Comments and Notes command to clear any comments or notes that are attached to the cell.

5. Clear Hyperlinks

Next, you could utilize the Clear Hyperlinks to clear any hyperlinks that are accustomed to the selected cells.

Read More: Excel VBA: Clear Contents If Cell Contains Specific Values

2 Differences Between Delete and Clear Contents in Excel

Tell me one thing. Do you consider Delete and Clear Contents to be the same thing? If the answer is yes, then the next section would be very much favorable for you.
For clarification, we’re using a Region-wise Sales Report. This dataset contains the weekly Sales Quantity and Profit of two different states: Texas and Florida.

Here, we have used Microsoft Excel 365 version, you may use any other version according to your convenience.

1. Clearing Cell Content

In this section, we’ll show the difference between Delete and Clear Contents while clearing the cell content in Excel. So let’s explore them one by one.

Using Delete Button

We can use the Delete button to clear cell content. It’s simple & easy, just follow along.

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select cell C6.
  • Then, press the Delete button on the keyboard.

Clearing Cell Content

  • Thus, the contents of the cell get vanished.

  • Alternatively, you can use the Backspace key on the keyboard. The difference is that you must press the button several times. In this case, we have to tap Backspace twice to remove 10 from cell C6.

Engaging Clear Contents

Now, we’ll use the Clear Contents command to clear a cell’s content. Let’s see it in action.

📌 Steps:

  • At first, select cell C6.
  • Then, move to the Home tab.
  • After that, click on the Clear drop-down in the Editing group.
  • Later, select Clear Contents from the options.

Engaging Clear Contents

  • At this moment, we can see the contents cleared from the cell.

Note: So, in this case, we can say that the Delete button and Clear Contents command give a similar output.

Read More: How to Clear Cell Contents Based on Condition in Excel

2. Deleting Entire Rows or Columns

Sometimes, we’ve to delete entire rows or columns. Here, we’ll see the difference between these two features in this particular phenomenon. Let’s see the process in detail.

Utilizing Delete Button

To do this, see the following steps carefully.

📌 Steps:

  • Firstly, click on the heading of Row 6 as shown in the image below.
  • Secondly, press the Delete button on the keyboard.

Utilizing Delete Button

  • Hence, the entire contents in the row get cleared.

Utilizing Delete Command

On the other hand, the Delete command in Excel is located at the opposite end. It does a different type of function. So, without further delay, let’s dive in!

📌 Steps:

  • Initially, select the entire Row 6.
  • Secondarily, jump to the Home tab.
  • Then, click on the Delete drop-down on the Cells group.
  • After that, select Delete Cells from the options.

Utilizing Delete Command

  • Thus, the entries of Week 1 get gone from the worksheet.

Employing Clear Contents Command

Next, we’ll implement the Clear Contents command in Excel. So, allow me to demonstrate the process below.

📌 Steps:

  • Primarily, select Row 6.
  • Secondarily, jump to the Home tab.
  • Then, click on the Clear drop-down in the Editing group.
  • Later, select Clear Contents from the list.

Employing Clear Contents Command

  • Hence, it just deletes the contents of the entire row. But the cells are still there.

Read More: How to Clear Formatting in Excel

Difference between .Delete and .ClearContents in Excel VBA

Furthermore, there are two methods .Delete and .ClearContents in VBA in Excel. Also, we’ll learn the distinctions between them.

.Delete in Excel VBA

  • Firstly, go to the Developer tab.
  • Then, select Visual Basic on the Code group.
  • Alternatively, press ALT+F11 to do the same task.

.Delete in Excel VBA

  • Instantly, the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window opens.
  • Afterward, move to the Insert tab.
  • Later, select Module from the options.

  • Immediately, it opens the Code Module.
  • Then, write down the following code in the Module.
Sub dlt()
End Sub

  • Later, press F5.
  • Thus, it deletes the cells with their contents.

Using Delete in Excel VBA

Read More: How to Clear Contents Without Deleting Formulas Using VBA in Excel

.ClearContents in Excel VBA

  • Again, open the Code Module following the above steps.

.ClearContents in Excel VBA

  • Then, paste the following code into the Module.
Sub clr()
End Sub

  • After that, press F5 to run the code.
  • Then, return to the worksheet VBA 2 and you’ll see it like the one below.

Applying Clear Contents in Excel VBA

Read More: Excel VBA to Clear Contents of Range

Download Practice Workbook

You may download the following Excel workbook for better understanding and practice yourself.


This article provides an easy and brief discussion of the differences between Delete and Clear Contents in Excel. Don’t forget to download the Practice file. Thank you for reading this article, we hope this was helpful. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any queries or suggestions.

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Shahriar Abrar Rafid
Shahriar Abrar Rafid

Welcome to my profile! I'm thrilled to have you here. As a dedicated Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering graduate from the prestigious Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, I am deeply immersed in the realm of research and analysis. My current focus revolves around Microsoft Excel, where I engage in extensive work and conduct insightful research. Through this platform, I share articles that shed light on the vast possibilities of Excel. I'm also an avid reader and passionate traveler, constantly seeking knowledge and implementing it effectively in my work. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore Excel and optimize our productivity together.

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