Cell Reference Color Palette

Occasional Contributor

Why are my cell reference colors this lighter color palette and not the original blue, green, purple, etc.? How can I change it back to that?



14 Replies


Use conditional formatting to highlight information

Conditional formatting can help make patterns and trends in your data more apparent. To use it, you create rules that determine the format of cells based on their values, such as the following monthly temperature data with cell colors tied to cell values.


Hope I was able to help you with this link.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

@NikolinoDE not really what i was asking...i was asking why the CELL REFERENCES are a different color, see screen shot. I don't need conditional formatting.

@SilverSamwise The reference color makes it easier to identify the cell that is referenced. For instance, D253 is green. This means it's the cell with green outline, containing 3.35%.

yes i know how the references work....the cell reference colors used to be a different palette of colors, not this lighter color. I want to know how to change it back to the original colors
It'd start with opening Excel in safe mode to see if the issue persists.
For reference: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/open-office-apps-in-safe-mode-on-a-windows-pc-dedf944a-5f...

If it works in safe mode, close and re-open Excel and check it again. Sometimes running Excel through Safe Mode irons out the quirks.

Next thing to try would be to backup then remove the Excel registry key at: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel
Did you ever find an answer to your question? I am having the same issue and I can't figure it out.

@dmcvey9299 I still havent found anything, let me know if you find a fix


Here is how mine use to be:



Versus now:


They are pastel colors instead of vibrant colors.

This is your problem as well, right?

exactly @dmcvey9299, same thing
I opened it in safe mode and it was the vibrant colors. I don't know how to find and remove: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel
registry Editor, but it didnt work for me
its dark mode...in options, swap to default settings, then back to dark mode, seemed to work for now

@SilverSamwise I always have mine in dark grey mode. Unless this isn't the right spot.  I didn't restart my computer after the changes.