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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.

Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 8, 2019)

3

When you write a macro, it is designed to be run whenever you choose to run it. What if you need to develop a macro that will run whenever something changes in your worksheet? What if you want the macro to run automatically? This is particularly necessary if you are creating a custom function that you want to use within the cells of the worksheet.

This is where the Volatile method comes in handy. All you need to do is include the following statement within your macro:

Application.Volatile

This informs Excel that the results of the macro are dependent on the values in the worksheet, and that it should be executed whenever the worksheet is recalculated. For instance, consider the following user-defined function:

Function CountCells(MyRange As Range)
    Dim iCount As Integer
    iCount = 0
    For Each cell In MyRange
        If cell.HasFormula Then
            iCount = iCount + 1
        End If
    Next cell
    CountCells = iCount
End Function

This function, if used in a cell, counts the number of cells that contain formulas within a specified range. However, the function will only run the first time it is entered into a cell, or whenever the cell containing the formula is edited. If you want the function to recalculate every time the worksheet is recalculated, you would add the Volatile method near the beginning of the function:

Function CountCells(MyRange As Range)
    Dim iCount As Integer
    Application.Volatile
    iCount = 0
    For Each cell In MyRange
        If cell.HasFormula Then
            iCount = iCount + 1
        End If
    Next cell
    CountCells = iCount
End Function

The inclusion of the Application.Volatile method means that every time the worksheet is recalculated, this function (macro) is again run.

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 (10598) 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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.

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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Comments

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What is two minus 0?

2019-03-08 13:21:41

Willy Vanhaelen

The function used in this tip is a bad example. Without Application.Volatile it will always give the right result when the worksheet is recalculated automatically or manually. Application.Volatile is often used (by precaution) when it is not necessary . The disavantage of using it is that it can slow down the recalculation a lot. So better use it only if it is really necessary.

Here you can find a clear explanation of a situation where Application.Volatile is a must: https://www.excel-easy.com/vba/examples/volatile-functions.html


2016-12-23 10:06:06

Michel Bilodeau

The example given here uses Application.Volatile in a function. Does this work for a subroutine as well?


2016-09-07 03:43:05

Jacob Larsen

Note that this only works for future changes. If you add Application.Volatile to an existing macro with existing cells using it, then you must manually force recalculate by dummy-editing all the relevant cells.


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