Default White Gridlines

Copper Contributor

I have the oddest problem, could not find anything like it online. After some recent update to Windows (i think it was after that) my Automatic Gridline - the default for Excel has turned to "white" See attached screenshot.


It changed the existing as well as all new excel workbooks. And it has to be fixed for every sheet. This is annoying and cumbersome. I even tried Repair and Repair online but no difference. Please can someone assist in changing the Default back to black.


11 Replies


It is for Excel for Microsoft 365 Excel 2021 Excel 2019 Excel 2016 Excel 2013 Excel 2010

Change the color of gridlines in a worksheet

By default, gridlines are displayed in worksheets using the color that is assigned to Automatic.

To change the color of gridlines, you can use the following procedure.

More Information in the upper Link.


Show or hide gridlines on a worksheet

Excel for Microsoft 365 Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac Excel for the web Excel 2021 Excel 2021 for Mac Excel 2019 Excel 2019 for Mac Excel 2016 Excel 2016 for Mac Excel 2013 Excel 2010 Excel 2007 Excel for Mac 2011 Excel Starter 2010


It would be advantageous if the Excel version and the operating system are known, preferably with the file (without sensitive data)

... Helpers are helped so that they can give their time and attention to others as well.


Hope I was able to help you with this info.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

@NikolinoDE  I am sorry I did not mention the version etc. but this was my first post, and there were no summarized guidelines.

I am using Microsoft® Excel® for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2110 Build 16.0.14527.20234) 32-bit 


However, your response was of no help, as the solution you provided is the same I already mentioned in my question. 

My issue is I never set the Automatic to White, and I do not know how it happened, it is most likely due to some Windows or Office Update. It was all working fine till some week ago. And then the existing, and new Excel documents all turned blank as they were all set to Automatic and the Automatic was turned to a Default of White.

Please help me switch this back permanently, as changing every worksheet is a real pain. Excel does not even let me select the Entire Workbook.


You have probably not formatted the cells "without fill color", but with the background color white. Then Excel no longer shows gridlines.

If you apply a fill color to cells on the worksheet, you will not be able to view or print the gridlines for those cells.

If you want to view or print the gridlines for these cells, remove the fill color in the cells.

Gridlines are always applied to the entire worksheet or workbook, not to specific cells or areas.

If you want to selectively line certain cells or cell ranges, you should use frames instead of (or in addition to) gridlines.


If it can't be that either, which I find hard to believe, then all I can do is type on the printer. It could then be due to the printer, if an update was recently carried out, it could have happened.

You would have to delete the drivers and reinstall them.

But think with the correction setting above, the problem should be solved.


I know how hard and annoying it is when you suddenly have a problem,

a problem out of nowhere ... well almost.

But without specifying the exact environment (Excel version, operating system

and, if possible, a file (without sensitive data) with the problem), i

t is difficult to give help, even if you want to.

At the same time, without precise information, it is annoying for you

because you have the feeling that your problem is not being taken seriously.

Please consider that it is just as much a problem for the helper,

he does not feel valued for the help he offers and spends a lot of precious time understanding the problem. Time that could possibly benefit another with another problem.


   As I always say, without precise information, there are unfortunately no precise proposals for a solution and this costs time ... time for you and, above all, for those who want to help.


Hope I was able to help you with this info.


Thank you for your understanding and patience



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


Based on this quite old thread  I lost the dark automatic color gridlines when I start Excel | MrExcel Message Board default Automatic color is based on Windows settings. I don't know where they are now, you may try to dig in this direction.

thanks for the guidance, my issue is fixed, my brightness and contrast were distorted due to some automatic update.
Dear Nikoline,

Thank you for your detailed response; I did update the drivers, however the issue was that the automatic update completely ruined my brightness and contrast, and hence I could not see the colors properly.



Great to know you sorted this out, thanks for the update

@STajuddin I finally found a way to default all sheets to "visible" gridlines.  I had the same sudden white gridline problem. I simply configured a worksheet using file/options/advanced to set the gridline color to dark gray (any color you like).  Then save that workbook in the XLStartfolder (mine was located in users/username/apdata/roaming/microsoft/excel/xlstart as book1.  Now when I start Excel .. it uses that workbook as a template.


Not sure why Microsoft has not figured out how to turn off the white gridlines???

@JimmyZ63 Thank you. Mine seemed to be a configuration issue. But I shall save this for use in the future if I need it.

This has been bugging me for about a month, and I read your original post online.  I found it had also defaulted the Gridlines in Wordle to white as well.

Today (14 Dec 2022) I accepted a Microsoft update which took a really long time to download and install.  Subsequently my gridlines have all returned to normal.

So I suspect this was an undocumented feature in a previous Windows update.


thank you @JaneWQuadsAU Yes I think you are right, Windows 11 does not have this issue it seems