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Excel Formulas not working, calculating or updating automatically


Some users have reported that their Excel Formulas are not working properly or calculating. There can be various reasons; however, they can be easily fixed – and that’s what we will do in this post.

Excel Formulas not working, calculating or updating automatically

Fix Excel Formulas not working or calculating

If Excel Formulas are not working properly or are not calculating, execute the solutions mentioned below:

  1. Make sure that you have entered the formula, not the text
  2. Start MS Excel in Safe Mode
  3. Disable the Show Formulas mode
  4. Verify the formulas entered
  5. Run Office Repair

Let’s talk about these solutions in a detailed version.

1] Make sure that you have entered the formula, not the text

There’s a possibility of formulas entering the cell in the form of plain text, rather than formulas. And this is the reason why you are not getting any value, as Excel calculation only works on Formula. To fix this, launch Excel, go to the page, and click the cell with the formulas. Click on the Home tab, navigate to the Number section, click on the drop-down menu, and select from either of the two options: General or Number. You can pretty easily recalculate by double-clicking on the cell.

Read: Excel Formulas not updating automatically

2] Start MS Excel in Safe Mode

Some of the mods/add-ins/extensions that you are currently using may be corrupted and interfering with MS Excel. And if this is the case, then we recommend running MS Excel in Safe mode, as this disables them all, saving you time and work.

Here’s how to run Excel in safe mode.

  • Click Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “Excel /safe” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run it with admin access.
  • Select the Yes in the button when prompted, and then run Microsoft Excel in safe mode. If the same issue happens, proceed to the next step.

If Microsoft Excel is launching in safe mode, one of the add-ins is the problem. To find the culprit, open MS Excel (normally) and follow the steps:  File > Options > Add-Ins > COM Add-ins. Remove these extensions one by one and check if it is causing the issue. You can remove the extension permanently or remove and then add it. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved when you restart Excel in normal mode.

3] Disable the Show Formulas mode

If you have enabled the Show Formulas option, knowingly or not, disabled it this instant. This feature displays the formula and not the result and is usually used when one wants to learn formulas; however, sometimes, it stops the applied formulas from working. Therefore, navigate to the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing section, and click on the Show Formulas button to turn it off.

4] Verify the formulas entered

Additional characters in the formula or entering a totally incorrect may be what’s preventing Excel from giving you a result. This is one of the most common mistakes that even Excel experts make from time to time. So just make sure that there are no “=”, ‘, [ signs on the formula, and if there are, simply remove them, and hopefully, the formula will now work and give you the much-needed result.

5] Run Office Repair

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If the above-mentioned solutions could not do anything, then this is the high time you check whether the issue is with the app itself or not. To do so, we are going to use the Repair button, and the steps are mentioned below:

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Programs.
  2. Now, select Programs and Features and right-click on Microsoft 365 or Office (the name will vary as per your version)
  3. Click on Change or Modify and two options will be present; either select Quick Repair or Online Repair and then click on Repair.
  4. Lastly, do all the needed procedures to resolve the issue.

Now check if the issue is resolved.

Also Read: AutoFill is not working in Excel

How can we fix Excel formulas that are not working updating or calculating?

If Excel formulas are not working, updating, or calculating, you need to execute the solutions mentioned in this post. You should start with the first solution and then move your way down. Hopefully, you will pretty easily resolve this issue.

Also Read: Excel Online is not working and won’t open files

Why is Excel not working?

Some of the simple explanations include misconfiguration in Excel, corruption of the app or related files, and conflicting third-party apps. To fix this issue, you can use Excel in the safe mode, reset file association, or utilize the Repair button to fix the issues within the app. We would recommend checking our guide to know what to do when Excel fails to launch on your system.

Read: Excel freezing, crashing or not responding.

Excel Formulas not working, calculating or updating automatically

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