Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Increasing Undo Levels.

Increasing Undo Levels

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)

3

As you are working with a worksheet, Excel allows you to "undo" previous actions and return your worksheet to the condition before that action was taken. Normally you use Ctrl+Z to undo an action or you can use the Undo tool on the toolbar.

By default, Excel maintains your last 100 actions, but this number of undo levels can be misleading. There are some actions that can clear out the undo stack, making it impossible to undo any previous actions. For instance, running some macro commands can cause the stack to be cleared. In addition, some actions cannot be undone (they don't get placed on the stack).

If you find that the Undo command is simply of no use to you, it is possible that the number of undo levels in your installation of Excel has been changed. This cannot be done within Excel itself, but can be done in the Windows Registry. If the Registry value was changed to some very low value, then the undo tool loses meaning. The following Knowledge Base article explains how you can make changes to the proper Registry setting:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=211922

Note that the article in the Knowledge Base says it is for Excel 2000 through 2007. To the best of my knowledge, the Registry-hack approach will still work with later versions of Excel, as well. The only difference is that you'll need to choose the appropriate Registry key for your version of Excel.

While you can use this technique to increase the number of undo levels as high as you want, Microsoft suggests you don't increase the undo levels above 100, as there may be a serious hit on the performance of Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6132) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Increasing Undo Levels.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Formulas Don't Calculate as Formulas

Enter a formula (starting with an equal sign) and you may be surprised if Excel doesn’t calculate the formula. Here's a ...

Discover More

Changing the Maximum Undo Levels

Want to change the number of "undo" steps available when editing? You can't, because Word doesn't' really have a maximum. ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Words

A common editing task is to transpose two adjacent words, so that their order is changed. While the task is common, there ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Automatically Loading Add-ins

Want to load a particular add-in for use with a specific worksheet? Here's a quick way to do it using macros.

Discover More

SUMIF Doesn't Recalc Automatically

What are you to do if you suspect that some of your worksheet functions aren't recalculating automatically? Here's some ...

Discover More

Getting Audible Feedback

Want to get a little bit of sound with your data? Excel can provide audible feedback that you may find helpful. Here's how.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

2016-08-27 02:16:56

Nikita

How do I disable undo and redo functionality in excel using VBA


2015-09-07 08:42:16

balthamossa2b

WARNING: messing with the registry without knowing what you do can irreversibly break your OS.

This tip is definitely not for beginners.


2015-09-05 09:26:36

Petros

This free Excel addin lets users change or disable Undo levels without the risk of registry corruption

http://www.spreadsheet1.com/excel-options-addin.html


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.