Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Deleting a Header or Footer.

Deleting a Header or Footer

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 18, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

If you want to fully delete a header or footer in your document, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the section that has the header you want to delete.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Header & Footer group, click either Header or Footer, depending on which one you want to delete. Word displays a drop-down list of options.
  4. Click Edit Header or Edit Footer, depending on which tool you clicked in step 3. Word displays the header or footer along with the Header & Footer tab of the ribbon (Design tab in older versions of Word).
  5. Select the contents of the header or footer. Make sure you get all the contents, including the paragraph mark at the end. (A quick way to select the entire header or footer is to press Ctrl+A. As long as you are actually in the header or footer, only the header or footer contents will be selected.)
  6. Press the Del key, or press Ctrl+X.
  7. On the Header & Footer (or Design) tab of the ribbon click on Close Header and Footer.

You may wonder why you don't just click Remove Header or Remove Footer, options available after you complete step 3 of these steps. The reason is simple—in my testing, clicking those options removes the header or footer text, but it doesn't remove the header or footer paragraph. Thus, if you have (for instance) a header or footer that includes a paragraph border, that border is still visible after you use the Remove Header or Remove Footer tools. The only way to get rid of the entire thing is to follow the steps as outlined.

Remember, as well, that if your document uses sections, it is possible for there to be three headers and three footers for each section in your document. (An odd-page header/footer, an even-page header/footer, and a first-page header/footer.) If you want to delete all the headers and footers in every section of your document, it is better to use a macro. In that case, you may find the macro in this WordTip a real timesaver: Deleting All Headers and Footers.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6819) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting a Header or Footer.

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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Comments

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What is four minus 4?

2023-04-13 04:33:32

Dow

That you for the tip.
My problem: whilst I can successfully remove a header, and 'save' the document, when I re-open it, the header has reappeared...

I'm running Word 2021 on a Mac. I'm having the same problem in lots of documents, which is odd. Some DO save the 'Remove header' change, but lots don't.
I'm also puzzled how the headers got there, as I seldom ever create them.


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