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

Turning Off Error Checking

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 20, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


While you have Excel open, it is constantly checking in the background for potential errors in your worksheets. If an error is located (or, at the least, what Excel thinks is an error), then the cell is "flagged" with a small green triangle in the upper-left corner of the cell.

If you don't want Excel to check for errors, you can turn the feature off by following 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 area of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Enable Background Error Checking check box.
  5. Click OK.

Any existing green triangles should disappear, and Excel stops checking for errors.

Understand that turning off error checking in this manner affects only the way that Excel works on your own system. If you share the workbook with someone else and they open it on their system, the display of the "flags" is controlled by the setting on their system.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10655) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Turning Off Error Checking.

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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