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: Running a Macro When a Worksheet is Deactivated.

Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Deactivated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2015)


It is possible to configure Excel so that a macro of your choosing is executed every time a particular worksheet is deactivated. What does that mean? Simply that a macro can be run every time you click on a worksheet tab to leave the current sheet. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Activate the worksheet with which you want the macro associated.
  2. Make sure the Formulas tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Defined Names area of the ribbon, click Define Name. Excel displays the New Name dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The New Name dialog box.

  5. In the Name field, enter a name that begins with the worksheet name, followed by an exclamation point, Auto_Deactivate, and any other wording desired. Thus, if the worksheet were named Stocks, you might enter Stocks!Auto_Deactivate_Exit.
  6. In the Refers to box, enter a formula that points to the workbook and macro you want automatically executed. Thus, if the macro name were Update_PL, and the workbook name were PFOLIO.XLS, you would enter the formula =PFolio!Update_PL.
  7. Click on the OK button.

Remember that a macro defined in this way is run every time the worksheet is deactivated, not just the first time. Think about how you use Excel; if you spend a fair amount of time hopping between worksheets in a workbook or between workbooks, it is possible to deactivate a worksheet several dozen times during the course of a session.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6138) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Running a Macro When a Worksheet is Deactivated.

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. ...


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What is 1 + 5?

2015-05-30 08:14:05

Col Delane

This is more complex than necessary - there is no need to create a Defined Name as described. Simply execute the macro from a Worksheet_Deactivate event macro attached to the sheet being left. That is, in the Project window of the
Visual Basic Editor, click on the "Stocks" sheet in the list of Microsoft Excel Objects, and then in the code window enter the following:

Private Sub Worksheet_Deactivate()
Call Update_PL
End Sub

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