Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 Stubborn Recalculation.

Forcing Stubborn Recalculation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 11, 2021)

2

Kirk wrote that he was having a problem with the recalculation of his worksheet. He mentions that the worksheet is complicated and that pressing F9 does not get the spreadsheet to "recalculate correctly."

The first thing to try is to press Alt+F9 instead of just F9. When you press F9, Excel basically recalculates just the cells that have changed since the last time there was a recalculation. The Alt+F9 shortcut forces a recalculation of all cells in the worksheet. If you really need to do some heavy lifting, Ctrl+Alt+F9 will recalculate the entire workbook.

If that doesn't do the trick, then you may have a problem that is sometimes evident with complex worksheets: The order of the calculations done by Excel. When you calculate a worksheet, Excel basically calculates the cells from left to right and top to bottom. If you have a very large worksheet, with lots of dependent calculations, and the calculations on which everything else is dependent are at the bottom or right side of the worksheet, then you may get incorrect results. (Remember, this happens only with the most complex of worksheets.) The answer is to reorganize your worksheets so that the primary calculations are placed near the top of the worksheet and as far left as possible, and the calculations that are based on those primary calculations are placed later in the worksheet.

If you still have problems with the worksheet, try saving it as an HTML file and then reloading it into Excel. This may sound odd, but the process may help clear out any corruption that may exist in the internal pointers used by Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11653) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Forcing Stubborn Recalculation.

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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What is five minus 3?

2016-01-02 14:18:41

Ed Covney

If you are otherwise able to, why procrastinate? Put all computations in VBA. You'll have 100% control and a much faster and more reactive spreadsheet.


2016-01-02 05:32:50

Petros

You can remove the calculation chain tree from a file using the free Formula Auditor addin powered by Ribbon Commander. Excel will be forced to make a full calculation at file open. This feature is useful for models with complex dependencies that may take longer to recalculate than compute a new calculation. Please note that file size will be reduced, sometimes up-to 10% of original file size.

Rarely, the calculation chain tree may get corrupted. It is prudent to force Excel to rebuild it, before doing any quality assurance (QA) work. Read more:

http://www.spreadsheet1.com/excel-formula-auditor-add-in.html


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