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: Setting the Calculation Default.

Setting the Calculation Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2020)

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 (XLSX or XLTX, including the Personal workbook) 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

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9310) 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: Setting the Calculation Default.

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

Shortcut for AutoCorrect Dialog Box

There is no built-in keyboard shortcut that will display the AutoCorrect dialog box. This doesn't mean that there aren't ...

Discover More

Sorting a Range of Cells

When you sort data in a worksheet, you don't need to sort everything at once. You can sort just a portion of your data by ...

Discover More

Summing Absolute Values

You can easily sum a series of values in Excel, but it is not so easy to sum the absolute values of each value in a ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents

You can edit cell information either in the Formula bar or in the cell itself. Here's how you can configure Excel to ...

Discover More

Setting a Default File Format

Excel normally saves workbooks using a default file format that is peculiar to your version of the program. You can ...

Discover More

Turning Off Error Checking

A little green triangle in the corner of a cell means that Excel thinks there is an error with the cell contents. If ...

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 nine more than 5?

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.