 # Forcing Stubborn Recalculation In Excel

by Jacky Chou
Updated on

## Key Takeaway:

• Understanding Calculation in Excel: Excel calculates formulas based on a specific order of operations. Knowing this order can help identify why calculations may not be updating properly.
• Identifying Stubborn Calculations: Excel may sometimes struggle to recalculate formulas automatically. By identifying which formulas are not updating, users can take steps to force a recalculation.
• Ways to Force Excel to Recalculate: There are several methods to force Excel to recalculate, including manual recalculation, using formulas, disabling and enabling calculations, and using VBA macros.
• Tips to Save Time in Recalculating: Users can save time in recalculating by setting automatic recalculation settings and optimizing formulas to reduce the amount of calculations required.

Having trouble getting Excel to recalculate your formulas? You’re not alone. This article can show you how to take control and make Excel do what you need it to do. Don’t let stubborn recalc problems get you down – learn how to force recalculation today!

## Understanding Calculation in Excel

Understanding Excel’s Calculation Methods

Excel is a powerful tool that utilizes various calculation methods to solve problems and provide results. Each formula, function, and value entered in a spreadsheet is calculated by Excel’s unique calculations. These calculations can be set to automatic or manual, allowing flexibility in how data is presented. By understanding Excel’s calculation methods, users can optimize their spreadsheet results and find solutions to more complex problems.

One important factor to consider when working with Excel’s calculation methods is the order of operations. Excel follows the standard mathematical order of operations, calculating formulas from left to right and top to bottom. Understanding this order can help users ensure their calculations are accurate and produce the expected results.

In addition, Excel offers various options for controlling its calculation methods. One such option is the ability to force a full recalculation of a spreadsheet, even if it has already been calculated. This can be done using the “Calculate Now” or “Calculate Sheet” options in the Formulas tab or by using the shortcut key F9.

Pro Tip: Utilize the Format Painter shortcut key (`Ctrl + C`) to quickly copy formatting between cells and save time on formatting your spreadsheet. Image credits: chouprojects.com by Adam Washington

## Identifying Stubborn Calculations

To identify calculations that need to be recalculated in Excel, follow these six simple steps:

1. Click on the cell that contains the formula you want to recalculate.
2. Go to the Formula tab in the Excel Ribbon and click on the Calculate Now or Calculate Sheet option.
3. If the formula still doesn’t recalculate, then click on the cell and press F2 to enter edit mode.
4. Make a minor change to the formula or press enter to refresh the formula, and see if it recalculates.
5. If the formula still doesn’t recalculate, then go to the cell and click on the Format Painter shortcut key and apply the format to every cell in the range that contains the formula.
6. Finally, if the formula still doesn’t recalculate, then you likely have a circular reference. Check your formula for circular references and resolve them.

It is important to note that stubborn calculations can be caused by many factors, including but not limited to, circular references, missing dependent cells, and outdated data connections. By following the above steps, you can quickly and effectively identify calculations that need to be recalculated and resolve the issue.

To prevent stubborn calculations from occurring, regularly monitor your formulas for errors and update any outdated data connections. Additionally, consider using simpler formulas or breaking up complex formulas into smaller ones to increase performance and reduce the likelihood of errors. Image credits: chouprojects.com by David Washington

## Ways to Force Excel to Recalculate

Paragraph 1: To ensure accurate data, it is imperative to recalculate numbers in Excel. Proper recalculation is necessary for error-free results, and sometimes there is a need to force Excel to do so.

Paragraph 2: Here are six ways to force Excel to recalculate:

1. Pressing the F9 key recalculates the entire workbook.
2. By default, Excel Automatic Calculation is enabled. However, to disable it, select – File > Options > Formulas > Calculation Options > Manual.
3. Changing the cells that depend on the formula to force Excel to recalculate those specific cells.
4. Using the Formulas tab, choose Calculation Options and choose Calculate Now to recalculate an individual worksheet
5. The formula bar can also be used to force Excel to recalculate a specific cell. By highlighting the formula, click Enter or press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to recalculate the cell.
6. Lastly, the Format Painter Shortcut Key can also recalculate cells. Select and copy the formatted cell. With the desired cell, click Ctrl + Alt + V and select the formats to apply.

Paragraph 3: Inserting a new row or column will not trigger Excel to recalculate automatically. Moreover, changing the format of cells will also have no effect on automatic calculation. Therefore, it is essential to use the above-listed methods to force Excel to recalculate cells accurately.

Paragraph 4: A few years ago, one of my colleagues spent hours checking and rechecking the Excel sheet, as it was not reflecting the correct numbers. After digging in, she found out that the calculations were not being performed accurately. She then used the Formulas tab to recalculate the worksheet, and the numbers corrected themselves in just a matter of seconds. From then on, she made sure to use the recalculation methods regularly. Image credits: chouprojects.com by Harry Washington

## Tips to Save Time in Recalculating

In order to expedite the process of recalculating in Excel, one can follow several helpful tips. These tips, designed to save time, include:

1. Utilizing the Format Painter Shortcut Key
2. Avoiding unnecessary calculations

By following these six steps, one can streamline the process of recalculating in Excel and optimize overall efficiency. Additionally, it is important to note that individuals can save time by utilizing keyboard shortcuts instead of manual calculations. A Pro Tip to keep in mind is to avoid entering too many calculations across multiple sheets, as this can lead to slower processing times. Image credits: chouprojects.com by James Arnold

## Some Facts About Forcing Stubborn Recalculation in Excel:

• ✅ Forcing recalculation in Excel can help resolve formula errors or ensure that data is up-to-date. (Source: Microsoft)
• ✅ Pressing the F9 key or adding a calculation function to a formula can force recalculation in Excel. (Source: Excel Easy)
• ✅ Turning off automatic calculation in Excel can reduce the workload on your computer and speed up file processing time. (Source: Vertex42)
• ✅ Excel may be set to manual calculation by default in some versions, leading to potential errors if not updated regularly. (Source: Integrating Excel & Access)
• ✅ Using shortcuts like Ctrl + Alt + F9 or Ctrl + Shift + Enter can force recalculation for specific ranges in Excel. (Source: Excel Campus)

## FAQs about Forcing Stubborn Recalculation In Excel

### What is Forcing Stubborn Recalculation in Excel?

Forcing Stubborn Recalculation in Excel is the process of forcing Excel to recalculate all cells in a worksheet and clearing any cached values that may prevent the calculation from executing successfully.

### Why do I need to Force Stubborn Recalculation in Excel?

You might need to force stubborn recalculation in Excel if you notice that cells are not updating when they should be and instead show old or incorrect values. This can happen if your Excel workbook has large data sets and complex formulas that cause Excel to cache values rather than recalculate them.

### How can I Force Stubborn Recalculation in Excel?

You can force stubborn recalculation in Excel by pressing the key combination Shift + Ctrl + Alt + F9. This command will force Excel to recalculate all cells in all open workbooks, clearing away any cached values and forcing the calculation to execute anew.

### What is the Difference between Full Calculation vs Stubborn Recalculation?

A full recalculation in Excel recalculates all the values in all the cells, whereas a stubborn recalculation only recalculates the cells that Excel has cached in memory. Stubborn Recalculation is useful when Excel is not updating specific cells but the rest of the calculations are correct.

### What other Tools can be useful when working with Excel?

There are many tools that can be useful when working with Excel, such as Excel macros, pivot tables, and data analysis tools. These tools can help you streamline your work, automate tasks, and gain insights from data.

### What are the Benefits of using Excel Macros?

Excel macros can save you time and effort by automating repetitive tasks. Macros can be used to perform complex calculations, format data, and modify large data sets with just a few clicks.

Auther name

Jacky Chou is an electrical engineer turned marketer. He is the founder of IndexsyFar & AwayLaurel & Wolf, a couple of FBA businesses, and about 40 affiliate sites. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Entrepreneur.comForbesOberlo, and GoDaddy.