[Fixed!] Format Painter Not Working in Excel (3 Possible Solutions)

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Excel is a powerful software. We can perform numerous operations on our datasets using Excel tools and features. Such a kind is the Format Painter. You can easily copy the formatting of a certain cell or cell range with this tool. Then, you can apply that formatting to other desired cells. The formatting includes cell border style, font size and color, etc. You have to remember it’ll only copy the formatting, not the values. Sometimes, the Format Painter may not function due to some reasons. This article will show you 3 possible solutions if Format Painter Not Working in Excel.

Format Painter Is Not Working in Excel: 3 Possible Solutions

The Format Painter tool comes in handy when performing numerous tasks. We don’t have to change the formatting according to our needs every time we input new data. Doing that manually also requires a huge amount of time. It’s tiresome. In those cases, the format painter tool reduces our workloads. We will choose the cell range whose formatting we’d like to apply to other cells. Then, press the Format Painter tool. Afterward, select the range where we’ll apply the formatting. The below figure shows Format Painter, the tool in Excel.

1. Open Excel in Safe Mode

Opening the Excel in Safe Mode solves the issue of the Format Painter not working in most of the cases found. Therefore, we’ll try this solution first. So, follow the steps below to open Excel in safe mode.


  • First, go to the Windows search bar.
  • There, type Excel.exe /Safe.
  • As a result, you’ll get the application as shown below.
  • Subsequently, press it.

format painter not working in excel

Again, you can follow another process to open the Excel file in safe mode.

  • Firstly, press and hold down the Ctrl key.
  • Then, double-click the desired Excel file to open it.
  • Consequently, you’ll get a dialog box as shown in the following picture.
  • After that, press Yes.

format painter not working in excel

  • Thus, it’ll open Excel in Safe Mode.
  • See the below picture to have a better understanding.

format painter not working in excel

Read More: How to Use Format Painter in Excel for Multiple Sheets

2. Disable All Add-ins in Excel

Excel in Safe Mode should solve the Format Painter not working problem. But if the problem still persists, you may try disabling the Add-ins in Excel. Sometimes, some faulty Add-ins can cause problems in overall Excel functioning. So, learn the following steps to disable Add-ins in Excel.


  • In the beginning, go to the File tab.

format painter not working in excel

  • Next, select Options on the lower left-side pane in the File window.


  • Consequently, the Excel Options dialog box will pop out.
  • Go to the Add-ins tab afterward.
  • Then, choose Excel Add-ins in the Manage field.
  • After that, press Go.

  • Accordingly, a new dialog box will appear.
  • Here, uncheck the box for every Add-ins.
  • Lastly, press OK.

  • Now, close the Excel file and reopen it.
  • In this way, the Format Painter not working issue can be solved.

Read More: How to Use Format Painter Shortcut in Excel

3. Repair Microsoft Office Application

However, if your files are corrupted or have any other issues, the Format Painter tool may not work properly. Again, if your Microsoft Office Application is not compatible with your Windows version, Excel may not function properly. In such cases, you have to Repair the Office Application. Repairing will solve all the issues in Excel. Hence, the Format Painter will work without any issues.

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Download the following workbook to practice by yourself.


Henceforth, you will be able to fix the Format Painter Not Working in Excel issue following the above-described solutions. Keep using them and let us know if you have more ways to do the task. Don’t forget to drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

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Aung Shine
Aung Shine

My name is Aung. I have my B.Sc. degree in EEE. From now on, I will be working with Microsoft Excel and other useful software, and I’ll upload articles related to them. My current goal is to write technical contents for anybody and everybody that will make the learning process of new software and features a happy journey.

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