How to add columns on google sheets

When you start creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you may have a good idea what the final layout of that spreadsheet will entail. In the case of smaller and simpler sheets, there might only be a few columns of data to work with, making it unlikely that something new will arise which dictates the addition of another piece of information.

But you may find yourself in a situation where you need to add a column into the middle or an already-existing spreadsheet, and manually moving the data over might feel impractical. Fortunately Google Sheets offers you a way to selectively insert a column to the left or right of a column that is already in the sheet.

How to Add a Column in Google Sheets

The steps in this article were performed in the Web browser version of Google Sheets. This guide assumes that you currently have an existing spreadsheet and that you wish to add a column in between two of your existing columns.

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and open the spreadsheet file into which you want to add a new column.

Step 2: Click a column heading to the left or right of where you wish to insert the new column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4: Select the Column left option to add a column to the left of the currently-selected column, or select the Column right option to add one to the right of the currently-selected column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Do you need to simultaneously change the width of many of your columns? Learn how to change the width of multiple columns in Google Sheets and quickly give uniform widths to many of the columns in your spreadsheet.

See also

  • How to merge cells in Google Sheets
  • How to wrap text in Google Sheets
  • How to alphabetize in Google Sheets
  • How to subtract in Google Sheets
  • How to change row height in Google Sheets

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How to add columns on google sheets

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Adding columns in any spreadsheet program is a fundamental skill that enables you to work more effectively with the application. Google Sheets is no exception; if you’re going to do any significant work in Google Sheets you need to understand how to perform this task. Along with splitting columns and adding rows and cells, learning to add columns in Google Sheets is a core skill that makes creating useful spreadsheets much easier.

How to add columns on google sheets

Everything is of a uniform size in an empty sheet but as soon as you begin entering data, all that changes. Being able to move, add, split and delete columns, rows and cells will make your life with Google Sheets a whole lot easier. Here’s how.

Add columns in Google Sheets

There are quite a few things that Google Sheets does better than Excel and one is giving you the choice as to where to add your column. Google Sheets let you choose whether to add to the left or to the right of the insertion point. It’s genius, yet so simple.

  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Highlight an existing column heading and right click.
  3. Select Insert 1 left or Insert 1 right.

The new column will then be added on the side you selected. You can also use the Insert menu at the top to add columns but as you need to highlight the column you want to insert next to, it’s usually easier to just right click.

How to add columns on google sheets

Split columns in Google Sheets

Splitting a column is useful for a variety of different purposes, but one of the most common is when you’re reformatting imported data. For example, say you imported an employee database with first and last names in the same column and need to split the two names into two columns. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Right click the header of the column you want to split.
  3. Select Insert 1 left or Insert 1 right to give the split somewhere to deposit data.
  4. Highlight the column you want to split.
  5. Select Data from the top menu and Split text to columns.
  6. Select Space in the box that appears near the bottom of the screen.

This splits the data in that column that is separated by a space. You can also select comma, semicolon, period or a custom character depending on how the data has been formatted. For example, if you had a column of combined category and part numbers where the format was ‘123-299193’, you could specify the dash character as the separator and divide the column into category and part number.

Add rows in Google Sheets

Adding rows is as straightforward as adding columns in Google Sheets. It uses exactly the same commands, but works horizontally instead of vertically.

  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Right click an existing row heading on the left.
  3. Select Insert 1 above or Insert 1 below.

The new row will then appear in the position you specified. You can also use the Insert menu at the top to add rows but as you need to highlight the row you want to insert next to, it’s usually easier to just right click.

Move a row or column in Google Sheets

If you need to move a row or column into a new place on the spreadsheet, that’s easily accomplished.

  1. Select the column or row you want to move and hover over the header. The cursor should change to a hand.
  2. Drag the row or column to your desired position and let go.
  3. Sheets will move the data in its present form to the new position.

How to add columns on google sheets

Resize a row or column in Google Sheets

Sometimes, the data contained within a cell is too large to be seen completely. You can either resize it or use wrap to display all text within those cells. Here’s how.

To resize a row or column:

  1. Hover the cursor over the line dividing a row or column. It should change to a double arrow.
  2. Drag the cursor until the row or column is of the desired size or displays the data clearly.
  3. Let go the cursor and the row or column will retain its size.

Sometimes resizing isn’t suitable or doesn’t work within a sheet design. In that case, you can use wrap text to squeeze a little more visibility into the cell.

  1. Highlight the row, column or cell you want to wrap.
  2. Select the text wrapping icon from the menu.
  3. Select Wrap. The text should now be formatted to fit better into the cell size and be clearer to read.

You can also use the Format menu and select Text wrapping to achieve the same goal, or right click on the row or column header and select “Resize”.

Delete a row or column in Google Sheets

Finally, one of the most common tasks in Google Sheets or any spreadsheet is deleting a column or row. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Select the column or row header you want to delete.
  2. Right click and select Delete Row or Delete Column.
  3. Sheets will shift the spreadsheet data up or down depending on formatting.

Rather than deleting, you can also hide rows and columns if that would work better. This can be done by selecting the row or column header and selecting “Hide”. This can be useful for hiding formula or other data from view while still displaying data derived from it.

Here’s how to use the SUM function in Google Sheets

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What to Know

  • Easiest option: Click the cell, select SUM in the Functions menu, and select the cells you want to add.
  • Or click the cell, enter =SUM( and select the cells. Close with ). Press Enter.
  • You can also use the Function button to create a sum.

This article explains how to use the SUM function in Google Sheets using the Functions menu, inputting it manually, and with the Function button. The screenshots are from the Google Sheets app for iOS, but instructions are the same on all platforms.

How to Write a SUM Function

Adding up rows or columns of numbers is a common operation carried out in all spreadsheet programs. Google Sheets includes a built-in function called SUM for this purpose. With a function in place, the spreadsheet automatically updates when you make changes in the range of cells in the formula. If you change entries or add text to blank cells, the total updates to include the new data.

Using the information above, write a SUM function like this:

In this case, the numbers in the parentheses are the individual cells being added. This can be a list, like (A1, B2, C10), or a range, like (A1:B10). The range option is how you add columns and rows.

How to Enter a SUM Function in Google Sheets

Before you begin, enter the information you want to add up into a spreadsheet, then follow these steps:

Click or tap the cell where you want to place the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

Tap Enter text or formula to display the keyboard.

How to add columns on google sheets

Type =sum( to start the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

Choose the numbers you want to add together. One way to do this is to tap the cells you want. The cell references appear inside the parentheses in the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

To select a range of adjacent cells at once, tap one (for example, the first one in a row or column), then tap and drag the circle to select the numbers you want to add together.

You can include empty cells in a function.

How to add columns on google sheets

Enter a closing parenthesis to end the function, and then tap the checkmark to run the function.

How to add columns on google sheets

The function runs, and the sum of the numbers you selected appears in the cell you chose.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you change any of the values in the cells you selected, the sum updates automatically.

How to Create a Sum Using the Function Button

You can also use a menu to enter a function instead of typing it. Here’s how to do it.

Enter the data, then select the cell in which you want the sum to appear.

Click or tap the Function button.

On the desktop version of Google Sheets, Function is on the right side of the formatting bar and looks like the Greek letter sigma (∑).

How to add columns on google sheets

In the list of function categories, tap Math.

The Function menu on the desktop version of Google Sheets contains a few commonly used formulas. SUM may be on that list.

How to add columns on google sheets

The functions appear alphabetically. Scroll down, then tap SUM.

How to add columns on google sheets

In the spreadsheet, enter the range of numbers you want to add together.

How to Write a Function in Google Sheets

A function in Google Sheets and other spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel has three parts:

When you start creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you may have a good idea what the final layout of that spreadsheet will entail. In the case of smaller and simpler sheets, there might only be a few columns of data to work with, making it unlikely that something new will arise which dictates the addition of another piece of information.

But you may find yourself in a situation where you need to add a column into the middle or an already-existing spreadsheet, and manually moving the data over might feel impractical. Fortunately Google Sheets offers you a way to selectively insert a column to the left or right of a column that is already in the sheet.

How to Add a Column in Google Sheets

The steps in this article were performed in the Web browser version of Google Sheets. This guide assumes that you currently have an existing spreadsheet and that you wish to add a column in between two of your existing columns.

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and open the spreadsheet file into which you want to add a new column.

Step 2: Click a column heading to the left or right of where you wish to insert the new column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4: Select the Column left option to add a column to the left of the currently-selected column, or select the Column right option to add one to the right of the currently-selected column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Do you need to simultaneously change the width of many of your columns? Learn how to change the width of multiple columns in Google Sheets and quickly give uniform widths to many of the columns in your spreadsheet.

See also

  • How to merge cells in Google Sheets
  • How to wrap text in Google Sheets
  • How to alphabetize in Google Sheets
  • How to subtract in Google Sheets
  • How to change row height in Google Sheets

Share this:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit

Related

How to add columns on google sheets

Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site.

Most people use Google Sheets for two basic purposes – creating a record database or doing simple calculations such as multiplying cells or columns.

There are many ways to multiply columns (or cells or numbers) in Google Sheets and you can use any of the methods based on how your data is structured.

In this tutorial, I will show you various methods you can to multiply in Google Sheets.

Table of Contents

Multiplying Two Numbers in Google Sheets

If you have two numbers or two cells that have the numbers that you want to multiply, there are a couple of techniques to do this.

Using the MULTIPLY Function

Since multiplying numbers is such a common task, Google Sheets decided to have a dedicated MULTIPLY formula in it (it’s not there is MS Excel, in case you’re wondering).

Suppose you want to multiply two numbers (12 and 14), you can use the below formula:

This MULTIPLY formula is great to use when you only have two numbers and you want to quickly get the resulting value.

While I have hard-coded the numbers in the formula in the above example, you can also use the reference to cells that have these values.

For example, if cell A1 has 12 and A2 has 14, you can use the below formula to get the result:

The MULTIPLY formula can only work with two arguments, but if you have more than two, then this formula will give you an error. Also, you can multiply two formula results or named ranges that refer to a cell

Using the MULTIPLY Operator

You can also use the multiply operator (an asterisk sign) to quickly multiply two or more cells/numbers in Google Sheets.

Suppose you want to multiply two numbers (12 and 14), you can use the below formula:

How to add columns on google sheets

In case these values are in cell A1 and A2, you can use the below formula:

How to add columns on google sheets

With the multiplication operator, you can multiply more than two values. Just use the multiply operator between all the values that you want to multiply.

For example, if you have values in cell A1, A2, and A3, you can use the below formula:

Also, remember that in case any of these cells are empty, the formula will give you 0.

One important thing to know when using a multiplication operator is to follow the order of precedence. For example, if you use the below formula, it will give you 170 (as it first does the multiplication and then adds the 2 to the result):

How to add columns on google sheets

In case you want to add 2 to 14 first and then multiply, you need to use the below formula (where brackets are used to clearly segregate sections that need to be calculated first):

How to add columns on google sheets

Multiplying Two Columns In Google Sheets

While the above examples dealt with multiplying single values or cells, in this section, I will show you how to multiply two columns (or multiply more than two columns) with a simple formula.

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to get the multiplied value of cells in the row in column C.

How to add columns on google sheets

Below is the formula that will do this:

How to add columns on google sheets

Since this is an array formula, you only need to enter this in cell C1 and it will automatically fill the rest of the column cells.

Also, with array formulas, you can not delete or edit a part of the resulting array. You can, however, delete the entire array if you want.

You can also use the below formula to first multiply the cells in the row, and then copy the formula for all the cells in the column.

Since the above is not an array formula, you can change or edit individual cells that you want.

In case you want to get the sum of all the multiplies value in a single cell, you can use the below SUMPRODUCT formula:

So there are some of the ways you can multiply in Google Sheets. Based on whether you want to multiple cells or columns, you can choose from the MULTIPLY function or the operator.

Hope you found this tutorial useful.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

Learning how to use formulas in Google Sheets can help you calculate data more efficiently. It can also save you a lot of time, especially when you need to multiply two columns. However, these formulas can seem complicated. But once you get a grasp of them, they’ll make your life so much easier.

How to add columns on google sheets

In this article, we’ll show you how to use a formula to multiply two columns in Google Sheets and other multiplying functions.

Basics of a Multiplication Formula

For a formula in Google Sheets to work, it should have some signs you have to remember. The first one, which is the basis of every formula, is an equality sign (=). For your formula to be valid and to show numbers, write this sign at the beginning.

Next, to multiply numbers, you’ll use an asterisk sign (*) between them. Finally, to get the sum and complete your formula, press ‘Enter.’

Multiplying Two Columns

To multiply two columns in Google Sheets, you’ll first have to insert data. The most efficient way is to use an Array Formula.

Let’s assume you want to have a multiplied value of data from columns A and B. Select the cell where you want the sum to appear. Follow these steps to successfully apply the formula:

  1. First, write an equal sign (=) in the selected cell.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  2. Next, type ARRAYFORMULA(.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  3. Alternatively, you could press Ctrl + Shift + Enter, or Cmd + Shift + Enter for Mac users. Google Sheets automatically adds an array formula. Replace ‘)’ by ‘(’ at the end of the formula and follow the next step.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  4. Now, drag down the cells in the first column you want to multiply.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  5. Then, type ‘*’ to make sure you’re multiplying.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  6. Drag down cells from the other column.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  7. Finally, tap ‘Enter’ to apply the formula.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  8. The column you selected will show the multiplied values.
    How to add columns on google sheets

Once you create an Array Formula, you can’t delete or edit an individual array. However, you can remove an array altogether. Just double-click on the cell where you typed the formula and delete the content. It’ll automatically remove all sums from the column.

Getting a Sum of Multiplied Values

If you need to get a sum of multiplied values for some reason, there’s also a simple way to do it. Just make sure you go through these steps:

  1. First, complete the steps above to multiply the cells.
  2. Now, select the cell where you want to get the sum of the multiplied value.
  3. Type an equality sign (=) there.
  4. Next, write ‘SUMPRODUCT(’.
  5. Then, select the cells you want to sum. (These are going to be the cells with your Array Formula).
  6. Finally, click ‘Enter’ to get the sum.

How to add columns on google sheets

Multiplying Across Columns

When you have two separate columns with data, and you need to multiply them, follow these steps:

  1. First, select the cell where you want the sum to appear.
  2. Type an equality sign (=).
  3. Then, click on the cell from the first column.
  4. Now type ‘*.’
  5. Next, select the cell from the other column.
  6. Finally, tap ‘Enter.’
  7. The number will appear in the cell you selected.

To have all values appear in the column, click on the small square in the bottom right corner of the multiplied value. You should be able to drag it down the column. This way, all products will show in the cells.

How to add columns on google sheets

Multiplying with the Same Number

If you have to multiply cells with the same number, there’s a special formula for that, as well. You’ll have to use something called an absolute reference. This is represented by a dollar symbol ($). Take a look at this Google Sheet. There are some data in the A column, which we want to multiply by three.

But we don’t want to do it manually for every cell. It’s time-consuming, especially if there are a lot more cells with numbers than we have here. To multiply A2 with B2, you just have to type the following:

How to add columns on google sheets

  1. In the cell you want to have the multiplied value, write an equality sign (=). We’ll type that in C2.
  2. Now, either click on A2 or type it next to ‘=.’
  3. Then, write ‘*.’
  4. After that, click on B2 or type it.
  5. Tap ‘Enter.’
  6. The number should appear where you want it.

Now, you might try to drag down the value to get the multiplied value for all cells. Unfortunately, this won’t work and you’ll just get zero in all cells.

For the product to show across cells, you’ll have to apply a different formula. That’s why you’ll have to use an absolute reference. Although it sounds complicated, it isn’t. Bear with us.

  1. Select the cell where you want the value to appear.
  2. Now, write down an equality sign (=).
  3. Click on the cell you want to multiply.
  4. Type ‘*.’
  5. Next, click on the cell you want to use to multiply all cells. For example, B2.
  6. Insert ‘$’ in front of the letter and the number representing. It should look like this ‘$B$2.’
  7. Tap ‘Enter’ to finish the formula.
  8. Click on the small square in the bottom right corner of the formula.
  9. Drag it down the column for values to appear in all cells.

How to add columns on google sheets

When you write ‘$’ in front of the letter and the number representing the cell, you’re telling Google Sheets it’s an absolute reference. So when you drag down the formula, all values represent the multiplication of that number and other numbers from the cells.

Use Google Sheets for Advanced Calculations

Google Sheets can be so useful for advanced calculations. However, it can be tricky if you don’t know which formulas to use. In this article, we’ve outlined how to multiply two columns and perform other multiplying operations.

Do you use Google Sheets for multiplying? Which of the methods in this article do you use the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

SECTIONS
  1. Add a row or column via Insert tab
  2. Add multiple rows or columns via Insert tab
  3. Add/remove a row or column via right-click
  4. Add/remove multiple rows or columns via right-click
  5. Add rows at the bottom of the Google Sheet
  6. Add/remove row(s) or column(s) via PC keyboard shortcuts
  7. Add/remove row(s) or column(s) via Mac keyboard shortcuts
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If you create a new workbook on Google Sheets, you’ll see that a Google Sheet, by default, contains 26,000 cells, organized in 1,000 rows and 26 columns (labeled A-Z). For some, 26,000 cells can be overwhelming, especially if you’re only looking to create a small pivot table or run some quick calculations. For others, 26,000 cells is not enough, as you may be working with large amounts of internal data or tracking a variety of metrics.

Either way, it’s important to know how to adjust the number of cells of your Google Sheet, whether that be adding rows or removing columns (or vice versa!).В

We’ll go through several ways to get this done, so you can decide the best method for you and your situation!

Using the Insert tab for a single row or column

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select the row (or column) where you’d like to add another.
  3. Click Insert tab > Select Row above or Row below (for columns, Column left or Column right).
  4. Voila! You should now have a blank row (or column) in your desired position.

How to add columns on google sheets

How to add columns on google sheets

Using the Insert tab for multiple rows or columns

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. For the N rows (or columns) you want to add, select N vertical cells (or horizontal cells) where you’d like to add that set. For instance, below I want to add 3 rows, so I selected 3 vertical cells:

How to add columns on google sheets

  1. Click Insert tab > Select N Rows above or NRows below (for columns, N Columns left or N Columns right).В

How to add columns on google sheets

Right-clicking to add/remove a single row or column

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select the row (or column) where you’d like to add another.
  3. Right-click on the selection > Choose your desired action among Insert 1 above, Insert 1 below, and Delete row (for columns, the options are Insert 1 left, Insert 1 right, and Delete row).

How to add columns on google sheets

Right-clicking to add/remove multiple rows or columns

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. For the N rows (or columns) you want to add/remove, select N vertical cells (or horizontal cells) where you’d like to add that set. For instance, below I want to add 3 rows, so I selected 3 vertical cells:

How to add columns on google sheets

  1. Right-click on the selection > Choose your desired action among Insert N rows, which will add above, and Delete rows (for columns, the options are Insert N columns, which will insert left, and Delete columns).

How to add columns on google sheets

Adding rows at the bottom of the sheet

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the sheet > Locate Add N more rows at bottom box.
  3. Enter desired number in text field > Press Add.

Using PC keyboard shortcuts to add/remove rows or columns

In Google Chrome, select desired rows (or columns), then press…В

  • Alt + i, then r to add row above
  • Alt + i, then w to add row below
  • Alt + i, then c to add column left
  • Alt + i, then o to add column right
  • Alt + e, then d to remove row
  • Alt + e, then e to remove column
  • F4 key to repeat previous action (good for adding/removing multiple rows and columns)

In other browsers, select desired rows (or columns), then press…В

  • Alt + Shift + i, then r to add row above
  • Alt + Shift + i, then w to add row below
  • Alt + Shift + i, then c to add column left
  • Alt + Shift + i, then o to add column right
  • Alt + Shift + e, then d to remove row
  • Alt + Shift + e, then e to remove column
  • F4 key to repeat previous action (good for adding/removing multiple rows and columns)

Using Mac keyboard shortcuts to add/remove rows or columns

In any browser, select desired rows (or columns), then press…В

  • Ctrl + Option + i, then r to add row above
  • Ctrl + Option + i, then b to add row below
  • Ctrl + Option + i, then c to add column left
  • Ctrl + Option + i, then o to add column right
  • Ctrl + Option + e, then d to remove row
  • Ctrl + Option + e, then e to remove column

How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to make your Google Sheets spreadsheet easier to read, you can apply alternate shading to rows or columns. We’ll walk you through it!

Adding Alternate Colors to Rows

You can apply an alternate color scheme to rows in your Google Sheets spreadsheet directly using the “Alternating Colors” formatting feature.

To do so, open your Google Sheets spreadsheet and select your data. You can either do this manually or select a cell in your data set, and then press Ctrl+A to select the data automatically.

How to add columns on google sheets

After your data is selected, click Format > Alternating Colors.

How to add columns on google sheets

This will apply a basic alternate color scheme to each row of your data set and open the “Alternating Colors” panel on the right, so you can make further changes.

You can also select one of several preset themes, with different alternate colors listed under the “Default Styles” section.

Alternatively, you can create your own custom style by clicking one of the options in the “Custom Styles” section and selecting a new color. You’ll have to repeat this for each color listed.

For instance, if you change the “Header” color, it will also change the color scheme applied to the header row.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to remove the alternating color scheme from your rows entirely, click “Remove Alternating Colors” at the bottom of the panel.

Adding Alternate Colors to Columns

The “Alternating Colors” feature alternates colors for rows, but won’t do the same for columns. To apply alternate colors to columns, you’ll have to use conditional formatting instead.

To do so, select your data set in your Google Sheets spreadsheet. You can do this manually, or by selecting a cell, and then pressing Ctrl+A to select the data.

How to add columns on google sheets

With your data selected, click Format > Conditional Formatting from the menu bar.

How to add columns on google sheets

This opens the “Conditional Format Rules” panel on the right. In the “Format Rules” drop-down menu, click “Custom Formula Is.”

In the box below, type the following formula:

Then, select the color, font, and formatting styles you want to apply in the “Formatting Style” box.

Click “Done” to add the rule.

How to add columns on google sheets

This will apply the formatting options you’ve selected to each column with an even number (column B meaning column 2, column D meaning column 4, and so on).

To add a new formatting rule for odd-numbered columns (column A meaning column 1, column C meaning column 3, and so on), click “Add Another Rule.”

How to add columns on google sheets

The same as before, select “Custom Formula Is” from the “Format Rules” drop-down menu. In the box provided, type the following:

Next, select your preferred formatting in the “Formatting Style” options box, and then click “Done.”

How to add columns on google sheets

After you save, your data set should appear with different formatting for each alternate column.

If you want to apply custom formatting to the header row, you can create a rule to apply formatting on a column row (row 1) first, and then repeat the steps we outlined above for the rest of your data.

How to add columns on google sheets

This will allow you to tweak the formatting for your header to make it stand out. You can also edit the formatting directly, but conditional formatting rules will override anything you apply.

If you want to edit a conditional formatting rule you’ve applied, click it in the “Conditional Format Rules” panel. You can then remove it entirely by clicking the Delete button that appears whenever you hover over the rule.

How to add columns on google sheets

This will immediately remove the conditional formatting rule from your selected data and allow you to apply a new one afterward.