How to Delete Comments In Word

Quick tips to remove those pesky notes

Comments and Review ribbon bar in Word 2016 on macOS
Comments are easy to delete in Word.

Comments in Microsoft Word can be removed from a document in one of two ways: You can either delete comments in Word or resolve the comments.

Deleting a comment removes it from the document forever. When deleting a comment, no record is kept. If you have a choice, it's better to resolve comments. Resolving a comment allows you to mark the comment as finished. This helps the original writer better track what's been changed and helps the reviewer see how their recommended changes were implemented. When resolving a comment in Word, a record of the comment is preserved.

Resolving comments in only available in Microsoft Word 2016, Microsoft Office 365, and Word for Mac. Older versions of Word are limited to deleting comments only. Instructions in this article apply to Word 2010, 2013, 2016; Word Online (365); and Word for Mac unless otherwise noted.

How to Delete Comments in Word

Remember, deleting comments in Word completely removes the comments forever from the document. If you're using a version of Word older than Word 2016, comments can only be deleted.

screenshot comment being deleted

Follow these steps to delete a comment:

  1. Select the comment you want to delete.
  2. Click the Review tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen.
  3. In the Review tab, click Delete Comment.

In Office 2016 and Office 365, you can also right-click a comment as select Delete Comment from the context menu. Older versions of Word will only allow deletion from the Review tab. Regardless of method, both have the same function.

Comments can also be deleted in bulk. Click the Review tab on the ribbon, then click the disclosure triangle next to the Delete icon. In that menu, you can select Delete All Comments.

Resolving Comments in Word

Resolving comments takes action on the deletion request, but does not remove the text of the comment from the document.

Resolving comments in Word from the Review tab of the ribbon

To resolve a comment:

  1. Select the comment you want to resolve.
  2. Click the Review tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click the Resolve button, found next to the Delete button.

Comments can also be resolved by right-clicking them and selecting Resolve Comment from the contextual menu.

For Office Online, comments are resolved by clicking on the three dots in the upper corner of the comment and clicking Resolve Thread.

When you resolve a comment, its color will fade, but it will still appear in the markup area. To reverse the resolution, click on the comment again and click the resolve button in the Review ribbon. This toggles the resolved status off.

To step through multiple comments and action each one separately, using the Previous and Next buttons adjacent to the Resolve button. This will jump to the next or last comment in line automatically, without scrolling manually.

Should I Delete or Resolve Comments?

If you've received a document with comments from another user, you might want to preserve a record of the comments. With that paper trail, you can be sure you've made all the changes requested and haven't accidentally skipped an important point. This preserves the comment text and location, allowing for easy review by both writer and editor.

When you've made your own commentary, deleting them is likely the better option. A deleted comment simply vanishes. That's best when you've changed your mind on a comment, or you want to change the text point that the comment is anchored to.