Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 AutoFill for a Workbook.

Turning Off AutoFill for a Workbook

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 21, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


The AutoFill feature of Excel can be a great timesaver when entering information. However, you may want to disable the feature for a particular workbook; perhaps you don't want the feature to be used by anyone using your workbook. Doing so is easy if you create a macro that can recognize when you are working with that particular workbook.

To turn off the AutoFill feature for a particular workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook for which you want to disable the AutoFill feature. (It should be the only workbook you have open.)
  2. Press Alt+F11 to open the VBA editor.
  3. Using the Project window, select the ThisWorkbook object within the workbook you opened in step 1.
  4. Press F7. The Code window appears for the ThisWorkbook object.
  5. Within the Code window, enter the following two macros:
  6. Private Sub Workbook_Activate()
        Application.CellDragAndDrop = False
    End Sub
    
    Private Sub Workbook_Deactivate()
        Application.CellDragAndDrop = True
    End Sub
    
  7. Close the VBA editor.
  8. Save your workbook.

The first macro is only run when the particular workbook is activated. In other words, when the workbook attains focus or is selected. When a different workbook attains focus, then the second macro is executed.

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 (11197) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Turning Off AutoFill for a Workbook.

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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