Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2020)


If you want to delete the headers or footers defined 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.
  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.

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 Office 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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What is 9 + 7?

2020-07-09 04:42:20

talha yaqoob

it did not work at all the borders of header and footer are still there

2018-12-10 10:33:06


When I say I want to delete a header/footer, I mean to actually REMOVE those SECTIONS, not just the text or contents.

I've tried every combination I can come up with using various section breaks, different first page, unlink to previous, etc.

I've found ways to CLEAR a header section, but not to actually REMOVE it so I can start those following pages at the actual top margin.

Is it a given that the blank header sections must be minimized by using the ruler?

Haven't found anyone who actually answers this question; surely it's doable and surely it is eashier than it seems.

2018-08-21 10:09:28


Makes one long for the good old days of Word Perfect!
I have found that rather than fight with Word it sometimes makes sense to just open a new document and copy your text to the new blank document, making sure that the last paragraph marker does not get copied.

Janny, if you are still fighting with the headers and footers after three years, use section breaks for the pages you want to be different. This will allow you to have the same header or footer as the previous section or page or have them unique or not at all.

Stan, you will not get the "delete footer" option by right clicking in the blank area, only by using the pull down from the insert menu as indicated above. It sounds like your footer height is very large. If you have the rulers on you should be able to see that on the ruler when you right click and "Edit Footer".

John, when you right click on the footer or header area to edit, try selecting everything with "Ctrl A" and then hit delete.

2018-08-21 10:03:40

Henry Noble

This works for me with Word 2010. YMMV.

Double-click header or footer area to open it for editing. Press Ctrl-A. Press Delete. Double-click text area to close H/F editing.

2018-08-09 13:25:12

John Havergal

Useless tip. The instructions are absolutely useless.

Anyone *know* how to *delete* header and footer?

Very grateful if so for foolproof click list.

2016-09-08 07:39:45

Dinesh Shah

I have tried every thing suggested and I still cannot remove Headers and Footers from my documents I have windows 7 and Word 2010.

2016-07-19 10:42:26

Stan Rehn

Thanks for the Article, Allen!
but I'm not succeeding in deleting a footer. I'm running Word 2013 on windows 10. I am working on page 2 of a resume written in and imported from an earlier version of Word, 2003, I believe.
Something in the background is keeping me from even getting a blinking cursor in the whole bottom half of my page.
When I right click in the middle of that blank area, I get an "edit footer" message.
but in that menu, there is no delete option. I took the steps in your article to no effect. I may be doing something wrong, I grant.
The 1st step may be the problem, I can't get anything to show up there.

2015-11-09 05:30:39

mark sollitt

This did not work. It only removed the contents of the header but I want to remove the entire presence of the header. I hit the header button by mistake and the removed header tab at the bottom has an X in the box, will not let me remove the header?

How to you completely removed a header, please?

2015-07-07 18:08:52


Janny, a brute force solution to your #4 issue is to create a white box with no border and position it over the footer. Just cover it up.

2015-07-07 18:07:30


Using Word 2010 (on Windows 7 Pro). We have existing documents created in Word 2003 that we are now editing in Word 2010. The old documents have footer content that we cannot see or edit/delete in Word 1010, but it does appear for recipients using an older version of Word, and thereinlies the problem.

A search for the phantom text shows up in the search pane of Word 2010, but there's no way to delete it or even see it in the footer. I took a sample doc to a computer with Word 2003 and could search the text and find it in the footer, where I COULD select it and delete it. I just can't do this for all the documents that need editing... Please advise.

2015-06-13 06:59:12


I prepare Wills for my clients.
1.I insert my own Headers and Footers.
2. First page does not contain a header - but it does contain a footer. Which is cool - I can do this.
3. Second page to the end I insert the header and footer - which repeats on every page - which is also cool.
4. However - on the very last page of the Will I would like to remove the footer only - but this is impossible to do.
In previous versions of Word I had mastered to do it - but in Word 2010 I cannot do it. If I do as suggested in tips - it removes all the footers and not just the one on the last page.
I operate Windows 7 Home Premium and MS Office Professional 2010.
Would love to hear from anybody who has mastered this.

2014-12-18 12:03:04


I have tried every thing suggested and I still cannot remove Headers and Footers from my documents I have windows 7 and Word 2010.

2014-10-28 21:31:58

caitlin buckley

Double clicking on the document after removing all text, sure. But WordTip above doesn't remove the blank field! The field still exists but is empty - wonder why?

2014-10-27 11:59:28

Daniel Smothers

I don't go the insert tab. I have characters revealed and I'll double click on the header/footer, do my editing and click back into the body.

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