How To Delete Multiple Sheets In Google Sheets (3 Ways)

Google Sheets has come a long way since it released in 2006.

There are some things that still frustrate a lot of its users. one of those things is the lack of ability to delete multiple tabs in one go in Google Sheets.

At the time of writing this tutorial, if you want to delete multiple sheets in Google Sheets, you will have to do it one by one. This is because there is no way to select multiple tabs at once in Google Sheets (something you can easily do in Microsoft Excel).

If you only have a few sheets to delete, doing it manually is fine. But as the number grows, so does the resentment of not having the option to delete multiple sheets.

In this tutorial, I will show you a couple of methods that you can use to delete multiple sheets in Google Sheets. this would involve a workaround, a macro (Google Apps Script), and an add-on.

So let’s get started

Move the Sheets You Need to a New Workbook

This is not an elegant solution, but it would work if you have a couple of worksheets that you want to keep and delete the rest.

The idea is to copy the sheet to a new Google Sheets workbook (or any existing workbook), and then delete the current workbook.

Suppose you have a Google sheets document as shown below and you only want to keep the Summary sheet and delete all the remaining sheets.

Summary Sheet in Google Sheets

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Right-click on the Summary sheet tab
  2. Go to the Copy to option
  3. Click on ‘New spreadsheet’Click on New Spreadsheet

Be able steps would create a new Google Sheets document and copy the summary sheet to that document.

Once done, you can delete the existing Google Sheets document (make sure that no cells/formulas are used in the copied sheet referencing the deleted sheets).

You also have the option to copy a worksheet to an existing workbook. To do that, choose the ‘Existing spreadsheet’ option in step 3. Then you can specify to which spreadsheet the active sheet should be copied.

Existing Spreadsheet Option

In case you want to do this for multiple sheets, you’ll have to do this one by one.

Although this solution is not elegant, I like the fact that it automatically creates a backup copy of the sheets that you’re deleting (as you end up having the sheets that you don’t want to delete in a new worksheet or in any existing worksheet).

Delete All Sheets Except the Specified Sheets (Macro)

With a little bit of macro code, you can specify the worksheets that you want to keep and then the macro code would delete all the remaining worksheets.

Suppose you have a workbook with multiple sheets and you only want to keep the ‘Summary’ sheet and the ‘Data’ sheet and delete everything else.

You can do that by using the below Google app script code:

function DeleteAllSheets() {
var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
var sheets = ss.getSheets();
for (i = 0; i < sheets.length; i++) {
switch(sheets[i].getSheetName()) {
case "Summary":
case "Data":
break;
default:
ss.deleteSheet(sheets[i]);}}}

The above macro code goes through all the worksheets in the Google Sheets document and checks their name. If the name of the worksheet is one of those specified in the macro (in the case statement), then it is skipped, else it is deleted.

So if you have a couple of worksheets that you want to save and delete everything else, this macro would quickly do it.

Note that the changes done by the Google app script code are irreversible. So make sure you have a backup copy in case you might need those deleted worksheets in the future.

How to Run this Code?

Below are the steps to run this code in any Google Sheets document:

  1. Click the Tools option in the menu
  2. Click on Script editorClick on Script Editor
  3. This will open the Apps Script editor in a new tab
  4. Make sure Code.gs file is selected
  5. Copy-paste the above code into the script editor. If there is already some code, either delete it (in case you don’t need it) or copy the code below itCopy Paste code in Google Apps Script
  6. Click on the Save icon in the toolbarClick on th Save button
  7. Click on the Run button in the toolbar.Click on the Run Button

The above steps would run the code and delete all the worksheets except the one that you have specified in the code.

Google Sheets may also ask you to log in and give it permission to run the code. Just follow the steps on the screen to do that.

Delete the First 10 Sheets (or First N Sheets)

You can also delete a specific number of worksheets in Google Sheets by using a simple macro code.

Below I have a code that would delete the first 10 worksheets (starting from the left-most tab).

function DeleteFirstNSheet() {
var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
spreadsheet.deleteActiveSheet();}
};

With this code, it does not matter what your active sheet is. It would always start with the leftmost sheet in the workbook and delete the specified number of sheets.

The above code uses the counter (the variable i) and goes through the specified number of worksheets starting from the left. With every loop, it deletes the sheet and moves to the next one.

The loop stops after the specified number, which is 10 in the above code.

Using an Add-on

If you don’t like the idea of using a code, you can use third-party Google Sheets add-ons to delete multiple tabs.

I’m sure there would be others but the one that I tested is called ‘Bulk Sheet Manager’.

It’s a simple add-on that allows you to quickly select the sheets that you want to delete and then delete all those with the click of a button.

Below are the steps to install the add on and then use it:

  1. Click the ‘Add-ons’ option in the menu
  2. Click on ‘Get Add-ons’Click on Get Addons
  3. In the Google Workspace Market dialog box that opens, search for ‘Bulk Sheet Manager’
  4. Click on the Bulk Sheet Manager Add-on and install it (it may ask for permissions)Click on Bulk Sheet manager
  5. Once installed, go to the Add-ons option
  6. Go to the ‘Bulk Sheet Manage’ option and then click on ‘Manage sheets’Click on Manage Sheets
  7. In the pane that opens, select the sheets that you want to delete
  8. Click on the Delete buttonClick on Delete

The above steps would use the add-on to delete all the selected sheets from the Google sheets document.

Apart from deleting the sheets, you can also use this add-on to protect/unprotect and hide/unhide sheets.

Once you have added an add-on in any Google Sheets document, you will be able to use that add-on that Google Sheets document, but you will not be able to use it on all the other Google Sheets documents that you create. If you want to use it on other Google Sheets files, you will have to repeat the process and install the add-on again

Keep in mind that the add-ons keep changing and often get removed from the Google add-on library. If that happens, use the same steps above and I am sure you will be able to find a similar add-on.

So, these are some of the ways you can use to delete multiple sheets in Google Sheets. If you want a really straightforward no-code and no-add-on solution, simply copy the sheets to a new/existing workbook.

And if you need more control, then you can use the Google Apps script code or an add-on to delete multiple tabs in Google Sheets.

I hope you found this tutorial useful.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may also like:

Sumit

Sumit

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert.