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Setting the Calculation Default

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Setting the Calculation Default.

Durward wrote concerning a problem he was having with calculation settings in his Excel. He indicated that according to all he had read, the calculation setting for Excel (Manual or Automatic) defaults to Automatic. Yet somehow, when Durward opens a new workbook, the calculation setting is set to Manual. This happens on his work system as well as his home system. He wonders if there a way to reset the calculation setting back to Automatic.

Testing has shown that the calculation setting is set to Automatic by default. It will only be set to Manual if (1) you have changed the default workbook to one that has the calculation mode set to Manual; (2) if there is some sort of AutoOpen macro that sets the calculation mode; (3) if you have some automatically loading workbooks (XLS or XLT, including Personal.xls) that have calculation set to Manual; or (4) if you start Excel by double-clicking, in Windows, on a workbook that has calculation set to Manual.

Note, especially, conditions 3 and 4. Excel may very well be starting with the calculation mode set to Automatic, but it is overridden by the setting within the file that is first opened. If that workbook has calculation mode set to Manual, then Excel presumes you want Manual as your default calculation mode for that session. The only solution to this problem is to open those workbooks, change the calculation mode in them, save them, and restart Excel.

The other option is to add an AutoOpen macro to any of your workbooks that absolutely must be opened with calculation mode set to Automatic, no matter what. This can be a simple macro, such as the following:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9310) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Setting the Calculation Default.

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Comments for this tip:

Bob D    29 Jan 2014, 18:24

Excel Options > Formulas > Workbook Calculation

Then select the desired option.
Chuck Trese    29 Jan 2014, 09:02
There is also a calculation setting for each individual sheet in a workbook. For example, you can say...
Sheet1.EnableCalculation=True (or False)
This could also be a source of problems.
Andreas H    29 Jan 2014, 07:33

This is just as setting it to automatic:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual
End Sub

Very handy indeed!

You can also reset this when closing:

Private Sub Workbook_close()
    Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic
End Sub
Geoff    20 Mar 2012, 19:19
How do you set the file to default to maual calculation when you re-open it? I have large files with filters that I want to be in manual mode. I save them that way, but everytime I open them, they are automatic. If I forget to rest the setting before filtering and deleting rows, I might as well go out for lunch. It didn't work that way in Excel 2003.

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