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How to Fix Excel Autofill Not Working

September 8, 2023 4.9K views

 In the realm of data manipulation, when Excel's autofill falters, frustration can arise. Amidst the desire to unravel this puzzle, uncertainty lingers about the optimal solution. As we delve into the abyss of the "Excel autofill not working" enigma, we unveil efficient pathways to navigate through the challenge. Brace yourself for the unveiling of solutions that illuminate the path toward a seamless autofill experience.

Common reasons why Excel Autofill doesn't work

Excel Autofill doesn't work

Excel Autofill doesn't work


Here are some common reasons why Excel Autofill doesn't work:

  • Inconsistent data patterns. AutoFill works by identifying a pattern in the data you have selected. If the data is inconsistent, AutoFill may not be able to determine the pattern and will not work. For example, if you have a series of numbers, but some of the numbers are missing or out of order, AutoFill will not be able to fill in the missing numbers.

  • Incorrect Autofill settings. By default, AutoFill is enabled in Excel. However, it is possible that the Autofill settings have been changed. To check the Autofill settings, go to File > Options > Advanced and scroll down to the Editing options section. Make sure that the Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop option is selected.

  • Corrupt Excel installation. If your Excel installation is corrupt, it can cause problems with AutoFill and other features. To check for a corrupt Excel installation, try repairing Excel. To do this, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features and select Microsoft Excel. Click on the Change button and then select Repair.

Here are some other things you can try if AutoFill is not working:

  • Clear any filters that are applied to the data.

  • Try using a different range of cells.

  • Restart Excel.

  • Update Excel to the latest version.

If you are still having problems with AutoFill, you can contact Microsoft support for help.

How to Fix Excel Autofill Not Working

If you've ever encountered issues with Excel's Autofill feature, you're not alone. In this guide, we'll address common problems and provide straightforward solutions. Let's get your Autofill back in action!Here are 3 methods to fix it

Method 1:Fix Excel Autofill issue without Formulas

  1. Restart your computer. This may fix any temporary glitches that are preventing AutoFill from working.

Restart your computer.

Restart your computer.


  1. Change AutoCorrect options. In Microsoft Excel, go to the File tab and click on Options. Now, access the Proofing tab. After that, click on AutoCorrect Options and open the AutoFormat As You Type tab. Finally, enable the ‘Fill formulas in tables to create calculated columns’ option and save the changes.

Change AutoCorrect options

Change AutoCorrect options


This method was effective in fixing the issue for me. However, it is important to note that this method may not work for everyone, as it depends on the specific cause of the issue.

It is also important to make sure that you save your changes after making them, as this method will clear any existing formulas in the cells.

Method 2: Fix Autofill issue in Excel Online

  1. Check your Autofill settings. Make sure that the AutoFill option is turned on in Excel Online. To do this, go to the File menu and click on Settings. Then, select Advanced and scroll down to the Editing options section. Make sure that the Enable AutoFill option is checked.

Check your Autofill settings.

Check your Autofill settings.


  1. Clear any filters that are applied to the data. Filters can prevent AutoFill from working properly. To clear any filters, go to the Data tab and click on the Filter button. Then, click on the Clear Filters button.

Clear filters

Clear filters


  1. Try using a different range of cells. Sometimes, AutoFill may not work if the range of cells is too large or too small. Try using a smaller range of cells to see if that fixes the problem.

 using a different range of cells

using a different range of cells


  1. Update Excel Online. Microsoft is constantly releasing updates for Excel Online. Make sure that you are using the latest version to avoid any compatibility issues.

This method was also effective in fixing the issue for me. It is a simple and straightforward method that can be easily followed.

However, it is important to note that this method may not work if the issue is caused by a problem with your internet connection.

Method3: Fix Excel Autofill Errors

  1. Verify the data and formats. Make sure that the data in the cells is consistent and formatted correctly. AutoFill can sometimes be confused by inconsistent data or incorrect formats.

 Data format

Data format


  1. Clear the Autofill history. AutoFill stores a history of the data it has filled in. If there is an error in the history, it can prevent AutoFill from working properly. To clear the Autofill history, go to the File menu and click on Options. Then, select Advanced and scroll down to the Editing options section. Click on the Clear Autofill entries button.

Clear the Autofill history.

Clear the Autofill history.


  1. Check compatibility with Excel version. If you are using an older version of Excel, it may not be compatible with the AutoFill feature. To check compatibility, go to the File menu and click on Info. Then, click on the Check for Issues button and select Check Compatibility.

Check compatibility with Excel

Check compatibility with Excel

  1. Update Excel. Microsoft is constantly releasing updates for Excel. Make sure that you are using the latest version to avoid any compatibility issue

  Update Excel.

Update Excel.


This method was also effective in fixing the issue for me. It is a more comprehensive method that can be used to fix a variety of Autofill errors.

However, it is important to note that this method can be time-consuming, as it involves manually checking each cell for errors.

Overall, I found that all three methods were effective in fixing Excel Autofill not working. However, I would recommend using Method 2, as it is the simplest and most straightforward method.

Here are some additional tips for troubleshooting Excel Autofill:

  • Make sure that the cells you are trying to fill are not protected.

  • Try using a different mouse or keyboard.

  • Try restarting your internet connection.

  • If you are using a shared computer, try logging in as a different user.

  • If you are still having problems, contact Microsoft support for help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Excel stop autocomplete for certain cells?

Excel's autocomplete may stop for certain cells due to reasons like data validation rules, mismatched data types, hidden cells, protected worksheets, incomplete entries, or large data ranges. To fix, check rules/formatting, match data types, unhide cells, review protection settings, ensure complete entries, or copy the workbook for testing.

What should I do if Autofill is not available in my Excel version?

If Autofill isn't in your Excel version, you can use the fill handle, formulas, copy-paste, macros (VBA), custom lists, or third-party add-ins for similar results. It depends on your Excel version.

Summary

Unveiling Excel's autofill intricacies, this article has laid out effective solutions to tackle the issue. From diagnosing inconsistent data patterns to addressing settings glitches, the fixes have been illuminated. Amidst this, the spotlight shines on WPS Office as a compelling alternative to Microsoft Office, offering a suite of tools that excel in compatibility, efficiency, and collaboration. Armed with insights and alternatives, you're primed to conquer both Excel's challenges and productivity goals.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.