To remove the protocol (i.e. https://, http://, ftp://, etc.) from a URL, you can use a formula based on the TEXTAFTER function. In the example shown, where B5 contains a URL with a protocol, the formula in D5 is:


As the formula is copied down, it removes the protocol from each URL as shown.

Notes: TEXTAFTER is a newer function in Excel. In older versions of Excel, you can use a formula based on the MID and FIND functions, as explained below.

Generic formula



In this example, the goal is to remove the protocol from a list of URLs. To remove the protocol from a URL, we need to remove the first part of the URL. Protocols typically look like this:

  • http://
  • https://
  • sftp://

Notice that all protocols end with a double slash ("//"). In the current version of Excel, the easiest way to do this is with the TEXTAFTER function. In older versions of Excel, you can use a formula based on the MID and FIND functions. Both options are explained below.

TEXTAFTER function

The TEXTAFTER function returns the text that occurs after a given delimiter. TEXTAFTER supports many options, but for this problem, we only need to provide the first two arguments:

  • Text: the text string to process.
  • Delimiter: the place at which to split the text.

To remove all text up to and including the double slash, we can use the TEXTAFTER function like this:


As the formula is copied down the table, it extracts the text that occurs after the double slash ("//"). The result is the original URL without the protocol.

Want to learn more about TEXTAFTER? Check out our guide: How to use the TEXTAFTER function.

Legacy Excel

In an older version of Excel without the TEXTAFTER function, you can remove the protocol from a URL with a formula based on the MID function and the FIND function like this:


The core of this formula is the MID function, which extracts the text in a URL starting with the character after "//", and ending with the character before the trailing slash ("/"):


The text is the URL in cell B5. The start_num is calculated using the FIND function like this:


FIND returns the position of the double slash ("//") in the URL as a number. With the text "" in cell B5, FIND returns 9. We don't want to start extracting at character 9 however, we want to skip the double slash ("//") altogether, so we add 2 to the result from FIND which results in 11. This is the value used for start_num. At this point, we have:


To provide a value for num_chars, we use the LEN function, which returns a count of all the characters in B5, which is 22. Using the LEN function like this is a shortcut, designed to simplify the formula. LEN will return 22, which is greater than the number of characters that remain. However, when num_chars exceeds the remaining string length, MID will simply extract all remaining characters. Using LEN to provide num_chars is an easy way to give MID a number that is always large enough, without the trouble of calculating exactly how many characters remain. Dropping in the value returned by the LEN function, we now have a formula that looks like this:

=MID(B5,11,22) // returns ""

The MID function begins extracting at character 11 and extracts all remaining text. The final result is "". 

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.