How To Turn Off Overwrite In Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

​​In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn off overwrite in Google Sheets.

Overwrite mode isn’t specific to Google Sheets but can happen in any program. It’s an operating system feature that changes how typing works, so that new characters typed in the middle of existing text will overwrite or delete text after the cursor

Due to the complexity of spreadsheets it can be easy to accidentally turn on overwrite mode in Google Sheets and very frustrating if you do not know how to turn it off, especially since Google makes it more complicated that some other programs. Fortunately, despite the added complication, turning off overwrite mode is easy in Google Sheets once you know what to do

Here’s how:

Step 1

Double click on a cell to enter edit mode

Step 2

Hit the Insert key on your keyboard. The insert key is normally near the backspace key, which is how it is accidentally pressed. Note that on some keyboards, insert is a Function or FN operation, meaning you will have to hold down the Function or FN key while you press the insert key

Step 3

Pressing the insert key inside a cell will toggle between overwrite and standard or insert mode, but be aware that pressing insert when not editing a cell or while the cursor is in the formula bar will not do anything


In this tutorial, I covered how to turn off overwrite in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.