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: 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, and 2013. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Word Terrific Tables

Word allows you to create and format tabular information using a powerful table editor. Discover the many ways that you ...

Discover More

Displaying the Windows 8 Control Panel

Those who have spent a lot of time using the Windows Control Panel in the past know how powerful it can be. Finding the ...

Discover More

Copying Comments to Cells

Need to copy whatever is in a comment into a cell on your worksheet? If you have lots of comments, manually doing this ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Macros Run Fine Individually, but Not Collectively

Developing macros can be rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Getting individual macros to run properly is hard ...

Discover More

Debugging a Macro

Part of writing macros is to make sure they work as you expect. This involves a process known as debugging. Here's how ...

Discover More

Running Macros on Hidden Worksheets

Excel allows you to hide worksheets so that they aren't visible to those using your workbook. Hiding worksheets has a ...

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 7 + 9?

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.


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.