tl;dr the Google Docs color pallete has colors I want and other I do not want. How can I remove some colors?

In Google Docs, I cannot change a Custom Text Color. If I select Custom Colors for a Text Color, those selected Custom Colors cannot later be edited. Is there any way to unset previously picked Custom Colors in Text Color picker?

For example, given a new Google document,

  1. click Text Color

    enter image description here

  2. select Custom...

  3. pick some custom color

    pick some custom color

  4. click OK

  5. again, click Text Color
  6. select Custom... . How to edit the previously picked color? last color used

The problem is when I'm trying out different Custom Colors then the custom color palette fills with shades of colors I do not want to use.

For example, after looking for a shade of green I like, the custom color palette looks like:

too many leftover experiment colors

I'd like to remove the unused shades of green from the custom color palette (and keep the preferred shade of green).

  • previously picked color cant be edited. unused shades can be removed by deleting cookies
    – user0
    Feb 11, 2019 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


For both Google Apps (Google Docs & Google Sheets) applies the following:

  • each custom color is saved in the separate free slot until the last one
  • if all slots are full, the last one will act as "editable" slot
  • none of custom color slots are editable. every edit is saved separately on next free slot
  • used (those which are in usage by some portion of document's text) chosen custom colors can't be removed from color picker (these are saved in a document on Google's side)
  • unused chosen custom colors are saved in cookies and can be removed by deleting cookies

enter image description here

  • 2
    Thanks @user0 . This does work. However, I cannot keep the custom colors I spent so much time picking out. I wish the Custom Color picker was a little smarter. Apr 29, 2019 at 21:30
  • in sheets you can kind of fake-save them if you color some cells on side sheet and then hide the sheet. also there are nice addons which can convert color to hex codes and vice versa - which could fasten up the color picking at least - chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/team-color/…
    – user0
    Apr 29, 2019 at 21:46
  • @JamesThomasMoon1979 webapps.stackexchange.com/help/someone-answers
    – user0
    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:02
  • 4
    Very specifically, you can delete the cookie "HSID", this will remove the custom colors not in use
    – duggi
    Feb 23, 2021 at 18:01
  • 3
    @duggi Thanks, found it under google.com > Cookies > HSID and then refreshed the browser. (Absurd that you have to do this, btw).
    – P A N
    Aug 5, 2022 at 9:20

To remove the colors that are actually used in the document...

The color picker will (usually, see the note below) only have colors that currently exist in your document or in your default styles.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to find where the old colors are, so you need to do a bisect to find them:

  1. Copy over some of the content from your original doc to a brand new doc.
  2. Look at the color picker in the new doc:

    • If the old color appears, that means some of the content you copied has the color buried in it. Remove it by doing the following:

      1. Find the source of the color. Make sure to look for it in:

        • Color sources: Font, Border, Background
        • Make sure to check: Text, Tables, Images
        • Trickiest place it might be hiding: Newline character at the end of a line (you need to double click at the end of the line to select the newline character).
      2. If you still can't find the culprit, you can use the bisect strategy above to narrow it down to a single paragraph, word, letter, etc.
      3. Once you find the culprit, change its color to one of the approved ones in the original doc.
      4. Refresh the original doc and check if the bad color is still there.

        Important: colors will only disappear after a refresh of the page.

    • If the old color does not appear, this block is safe and you can move on.
  3. Repeat the strategy above until you can successfully copy over all the original docs content to a new document and the bad colors don't appear.
  4. If you successfully completed the previous step, and after a refresh the old color still appears in the original doc, the last resort is to do the following:
    1. Copy all the content in the doc
    2. Delete all the content
    3. Refresh the page (ensure there are no bad colors)
    4. Paste the content.
    5. The colors should now be fixed.
  • Shortcut/Point Solution: delete the cookie "HSID", this will remove the custom colors not in use
    – duggi
    Feb 23, 2021 at 18:02

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