How to Remove a Drop Shadow in Adobe Illustrator

Adding a drop shadow to an object can make it stand out or help to make the text more readable on complex backgrounds. But what if you change your mind and don’t want the drop shadow anymore? Right-click and undo? Nope, that’s not the way to go. 

I totally searched for answers to this question years ago when I realized the design might look better without a drop shadow. 

In this article, I’m going to share with you the easiest solutions to remove a drop shadow in Adobe Illustrator.  

The easiest way to remove a drop shadow is to undo it, but that only works if you want to remove it right after the effect is added. 

For example, if you just add a drop shadow to this circle and want to remove it, simply hit undo keyboard shortcut Command + Z (Ctrl + Z for Windows users) to undo the effect.  

Note: all screenshots from this tutorial are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC Mac version. Windows and other versions can look different. 

But that’s not always the case. What if you suddenly realize the image will look better without the drop shadow but you can’t do the undo command anymore?

Luckily, the alternative solution is super easy as well, you just need to know where to find it.  

Step 1: Select the object or text with a drop shadow. Removing a drop shadow from an image or text works exactly the same. For example, here I selected the text. 

Step 2: Go to the Properties panel, the Appearance panel will automatically show and you will see the Drop Shadow effect (fx). 

Click the Delete Effect button and the effect will be gone. 

If you don’t see the Appearance panel on the Properties panel when you select the object (or text), you can open the Appearance panel from the overhead menu Window > Appearance. You’ll notice that the panel looks slightly different, with more options. 

Select the Drop Shadow effect, and click the Delete Selected Item button. 

That’s it! 

Tip: You can remove other effects from the Appearance panel as well.

If you find it hard to follow, I do have a video on YouTube that can help you visualize everything better.


The easiest undo command only works if adding a drop shadow effect is your last action. In other cases, you’ll need to delete the effect on the Appearance panel. You can use this method to remove any other effects too.

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