Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 Styles.

Deleting Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 26, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


As you work with styles in Word, there may come a time when you want to delete a style you previously defined. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon and then click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles task pane.
  2. In the list of styles shown in the pane, hover the mouse pointer over the style you want to delete. A down-arrow appears at the right side of the style name.
  3. Click on the down-arrow that appeared in step 2. Word presents you with a list of actions you can take.
  4. Choose either the Revert To Base Style option or the Delete option from the list of actions. You will be asked to confirm your action; click on Yes.
  5. To delete other styles, repeat steps 2 through 4.
  6. When you are done, close the Styles task pane.

You cannot delete styles that are predefined in Word. If you select these styles, the Delete option is not available in step 3.

Note that in step 4 there are two possible options you can use to actually delete the style. If the style is based on an underlying style, then you can only "revert" the style. This means that all the text that uses the style you are deleting is changed to the underlying style for the style you are deleting. If there is no underlying style, then you have the option to actually delete the style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10225) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting Styles.

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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