Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Changing Error Checking Rules.

Changing Error Checking Rules

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2020)

When Excel does background checking of your worksheet for errors, it follows a set number of rules. You can modify the rules that Excel follows through these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Formulas at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Formulas options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Enable Background Error Checking check box is selected.
  5. Clear or set the checkboxes in the Error Checking Rules area of the dialog box, each of which specifies a different error-checking rule that Excel can follow.
  6. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6221) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Error Checking Rules.

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

Specifying the Number of MRU Files

MRU (most recently used) files can be a great help when you work with a given set of common workbooks. Excel allows you ...

Discover More

Conditional Processing During a Mail Merge

The Mail Merge capabilities built into Word can appear limited at first glance. One thing that is often overlooked (and ...

Discover More

Copying Fill Color in a Table

You may spend some time getting the color in a portion of a table just right, only to be faced with the task of copying ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Setting the Calculation Default

Excel can recalculate your worksheets either automatically or manually. The default is to calculate them automatically, ...

Discover More

Choosing Direction after Enter On a Workbook Basis

Excel lets you specify how it should behave when you press Enter. If you change this behavior, Excel assumes you want it ...

Discover More

Tab Key Won't Move from Cell to Cell in Locked Worksheet

Normally the Tab key can be used to move from one cell to another in Excel. If this cell movement doesn't work for you, ...

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 9 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.