Quickly remove all headers and footers in Word

We’ve looked at the Document Inspector as a tool for preparing Office documents for public release. It’s great for finding and deleting private and hidden details. But it can also be helpful for other tasks, such as removing headers and footers in Word documents.

If you only have one header and footer, this is a pretty easy task to delete it. Just double-click the top or bottom of the page to open the Design tab, click the Header (or Footer) button and select the Remove option. But if your document is long and complex with different headers/footers on different pages, it’s a little more daunting. Unless you know this helpful trick.

In Word 2010, go to the File tab, click the large Check for Issues button, and select Inspect Document:

Inspect Document

In Word 2007, Inspect Document is under the Microsoft Office Button and the Prepare menu item.

Now uncheck all boxes EXCEPT Headers, Footers, and Watermarks. Note: This tool also remove any watermarks from your document.

Document Inspector

Click Inspect and you should see a result like this if you have headers, footers, or watermarks in your document:

Inspection results

Simply click Remove All to delete these. Note that you cannot undo the removal, so be sure to first save a version of the document with these elements intact if you wish to retain them.


Comments (28)

  1. Kent says:

    Thank you! Great tip that saved me much time getting header/footer junk out of a scanned document that was OCR's with ABBYY Fine Reader.

  2. Kent says:

    Thank you! Great tip that saved me much time getting header/footer junk out of a scanned document.

  3. Mahasweta says:

    Thanks a ton! Saved lot of time from removing header/footer for almost 120 pages.

  4. Administer says:

    oh no :(

    i want remove header and footer from many file :(

    But, thanks

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much! I've been trying to fix my header and footer wonkiness ~ very helpful.

  6. Tyrel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge Suzanne!!

  7. Saurabh says:

    Indeed, great trick and thank you for posting it.

  8. Mike Milligan says:

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! a million times!

  9. JL says:

    Thanks so much! Saved me a ton of time with a 300-page document!

  10. Hasan says:

    Worked like a charm, thanks :)

  11. Luna says:

    Mine doesn't find headers and footers, though THEY'RE THERE! When I open Word, it's there by default and I can't get rid of them… it's driving me crazy, any ideas? :(

  12. Sue says:

    There is NO "Remove al" on your last step!

  13. Sean says:

    Thank You!!! save a lot of time for me today.

  14. Kevin says:

    Super-Big help, this was.  Thank you.

  15. zooax says:

    So kind of your for sharing this :)

  16. kita says:

    it didnt work for me i tryed it twice it says there was none found but clearly they are on there grrrrrrrr……

  17. whitnii says:

    brilliant tip, thanks so much i was going crazy with stubborn headers that wouldn't take the hint and leave!

  18. Eva says:

    I can't get rid of my headers and footers!! Every time I open word they're still there. I don't need them!!

  19. Anita says:

    It didn't find header/footer information.  I have a space for the header & footer built in with no wording added in.  The space at the top & bottom of the document needs to be deleted.  Help!

  20. Stacie says:

    Mine said none found, and it is clearly there.  This just did this by itself about 3 weeks ago.  It was never there before.  I would love to hear from someone about how to remove it.  Not only is it annoying, but no matter where I try to type the top line ALWAYS cuts off the top of my letters.  

  21. Dan M says:

    GREAT SUGGESTION!!! I cleaned out a 335 page document with multiple headers and footers in no time.  If I did this manually It would have taken at least an hour.

  22. Nikki says:

    Thank you!!!!  This was SO helpful!

  23. Brenda says:

    Thanks! Do you also have a tip on how to refresh cross-references in all headers & footers in one go?

  24. Loyd Coonrod says:

    This response does not address my question.  I want to change Header Sections 14, 26, 34, etc. to Section 1.  In other words I want to edit the header on page 1 and find the same edit on the ret of the pages in my document.  It's ridiculous to have to make the same changes to every header in my document!

  25. Dwan says:

    Thank you so much for this clear explanation of this simple problem

  26. KatS says:

    Many thanks! Brilliant tip! :)

  27. Just a TIP for Office 2010 guys! says:

    If you don't want the header SPACING at the top of the document either than go into your Page Layout>Margins>Custom Margins(bottom of the menu) and change the margins for top and bottom to 0. Office will ask to "fix" it, click yes and it will set the header and footer to the minimum for printing and give all that precious head and foot space back! :)

  28. Rakshith says:

    Thank you so much….Saved loads of time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!