Top 7 Ways to Fix AutoFill Not Working in Microsoft Excel for Windows

AutoFill is a useful function in Microsoft Excel that allows you to fill in a series of data points quickly. This can make it easy to enter data such as dates, numbers, or text patterns that follow a consistent order. However, what if AutoFill in Excel stops working and does not populate cells based on your initial value?

Top Ways to Fix AutoFill Not Working in Microsoft Excel for Windows

If AutoFill is not working when you double-click or drag the fill handle, it could be due to many reasons, ranging from misconfigured settings to a corrupt Excel workbook. Here are some tips to fix AutoFill not working in Microsoft Excel on Windows 10 or 11.

1. Enable Fill Handle

To use the AutoFill feature in Excel, you should first ensure that the fill handle is enabled. If not, you will not see the small plus sign when you move your cursor towards the bottom right corner of a cell.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel and click the File menu in the top left corner.

Excel File Menu

Step 2: Select Options from the left pane.

Excel Options Menu

Step 3: Switch to the Advanced tab and tick the boxes that read ‘Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop’ and ‘Alert before overwriting cells.’ Then, click OK.

Enable Fill Handle in Excel

2. Check Cell Data and Format

A common reason why AutoFill may not work in Excel is if your data does not have a consistent and recognizable pattern. For example, if you have a list of dates, ensure they are all in the same format. You can also test the AutoFill feature on some other data to check if there is an issue with the existing data.

3. Check Calculation Options

AutoFill in Excel can also help you apply the same formula to a series of cells. However, your formulas might not calculate the result if the automatic calculation option is not active in Excel.

Open Excel on your PC and click the Formulas tab. Click Calculation Options and select Automatic from the resulting menu. Once you do that, the AutoFill feature should work as expected.

Calculation Options in Excel

4. Remove Unnecessary Filters

Applying filters in your Excel sheet can also cause the AutoFill feature to stop working. This is because Excel only considers the visible cells when filling in data, which can lead to unexpected results. Try removing unwanted filters in Excel and see if that fixes the issue.

Open your Excel sheet and switch to the Data tab. In the Sort & Filter section, click the Clear button. After that, see if the AutoFill feature works.

Clear Filter in Excel

5. Try a Different Workbook

If the issue persists after removing the filters, you can test the AutoFill feature in a different workbook. This will help you determine if the issue is limited to a specific Excel file. You can consider copying the data to a new workbook in that case.

6. Use the Fill Command

Although clicking and dragging cells is the most typical method of utilizing the AutoFill feature, it’s not the only one. You can try the Fill command in the Home tab to see if that works.

Open your Excel sheet and select the cell with the data and the adjacent cells you want to fill. Under the Home tab, click the Fill option in the Editing section, and choose the type of fill you want to use.

Fill Command in Excel

7. Run the Office Repair Tool

Microsoft includes a handy repair tool for fixing various issues with Office apps. You can try running this tool to check if it gets the AutoFill feature to work in Microsoft Excel.

Step 1: Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box. Type appwiz.cpl in the box and press Enter.

Open Programs and Features on Windows

Step 2: In the Programs and Features window, locate and select the Office suite or Microsoft 365 on the list. Then, click the Change button at the top.

Repair MS Office Suite

Step 3: Select the Quick Repair option and click Repair.

Quick Repair Office

After completing the above steps, try using the AutoFill feature again and check if it works fine. If it does not, repeat the above steps and perform an Online Repair. This will conduct a more thorough repair operation to resolve issues with Excel.

Repair Office Apps

Let the Data Find Its Flow

Features like AutoFill in Excel can save you time and effort while working on large spreadsheets. Hopefully, the solutions mentioned above help resolve issues with Excel’s AutoFill function on your Windows 10 or 11 PC.

Last updated on 01 September, 2023

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