Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Finding Cells Filled with a Particular Color.

Finding Cells Filled with a Particular Color

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 6, 2015)


Vanita asked if there is a way to select cells containing a specific color. Accomplishing the task is easy; just follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. Make sure there is nothing in the Find What box.
  4. Click Format. (You may need to click Options to see the Format button.) Excel displays the Find Format dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Fill tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Fill tab of the Find Format dialog box.

  7. From the colors available, choose the color you want to find.
  8. Click OK to close the Find Format dialog box.
  9. Click Find All. The Find and Replace dialog box expands to show the addresses of all the cells formatted with the color you specified in step 5. (See Figure 3.)
  10. Figure 3. The expanded Find and Replace dialog box.

  11. Click one of the cell addresses in the bottom of the dialog box. Excel selects the cell within the actual worksheet.
  12. Press Ctrl+A. All of the addresses within the dialog box are selected.
  13. Click Close. All the cells of the desired color are selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6224) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding Cells Filled with a Particular Color.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2016-08-05 06:33:40

Willy Vanhaelen


Perhaps the background color is set by conditional formatting. Find doesn't work on these.

If that is the case you can change the background color by editing the rule
- in the Home tab of the ribbon click the down arrow next to Conditional Formatting
- select Manage Rules...
- click on the rule whose format you want to change
- click Edit Rule...
- click Format
- select the color you want

2016-08-04 17:39:56


I have Excel 2013 and my find feature will not find background color. I have tons of cells with one color that I need to change to another color. I do just like it says, but when I hit "Find all", it runs through my worksheet and says it cannot find anything. I choose the color by actually clicking on a cell, so I know it's exactly the correct color. Any ideas?

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