How to Stop Cell Format Changes Automatically in Excel

Cell format changes automatically in Excel refers to the option where Excel automatically changes the format according to the data type. Sometimes this feature raises problems when you prefer specific formatting while using Excel.

In this tutorial, we will learn How to Stop Cell Format Changes Automatically in Excel. To do this, we will use the AutoCorrect options and format cells as text.

The overview image below shows the output after stopping the autoformatting in Excel. To learn how to stop cell format changes automatically in Excel, go through the entire article.
Overview Image

There are 2 different methods to fix cell format changes automatically in Excel.

Unchecking AutoCorrect Dialog Box

The AutoCorrect dialog box from the Excel option controls the data formatting in the cell. The behavior of the data will depend on the auto-formatting option. We can undo hyperlinks, stop adding extra rows and columns in the table, and stop adding calculated columns with formulas. To know the steps of unchecking AutoCorrect dialog box follow the below steps:

  1. Click on the arrow button above the ribbon and select More Commands.
    Selecting more commends to get autocorrect dialog box
  2. Go to the Proofing option
  3. Select AutoCorrect Options.
    Selecting AutoCorrect options
  4. The AutoCorrect pop-up box will appear.
  5. In the box, click on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and then uncheck all the options.
  6. Then click OK.
    Editing AutoCorrect dialog boxNow you can write down anything from any source but the cell format will remain the same as Excel stopped the auto formatting.
    Final output after editing autocorrect dialog box

Note: Once you paste the hyperlink in a cell, it shows the AutoCorrect Options in the bottom left corner of the cell. Click on the drop-down icon, and you can undo the hyperlink or stop automatically creating hyperlinks. You can also go straight to the AutoCorrect dialog box from here.
Applying AutoCorrect options feature

Formatting Cells as Text

Now we will pre-format cells as text to keep the original format of the cells in Excel so that cell format changes do not occur automatically. Once you select the text format, this will stop all data types from changing the format. For example, 3/13 will remain the same instead of being formatted as a date, or Excel will show the numbers with more than 15 digits as all the data is formatted as text.

To format cells as text, follow the below steps:

  1. Select all the cells you want to prevent automatic format changes.
  2. Press  Ctrl + 1  on your keyboard.
  3. The Format Cells dialogue box will open.
  4. Select Text and click OK.
    Selecting Text as format
  5. Import or copy-paste anything from any source.
    You will find that the cell format will not change automatically. The number values contain more than 15 digits, as they are formatted as text. Also, the numbers are left-aligned, like the values, whereas numbers are generally aligned to the right.
    Final output after formatting as text

Read More: How to Stop Excel from Auto Formatting Numbers

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Excel automatically change the cell format?

The General format in Excel is by default used globally, and this format automatically changes the data in the cell according to the type of data to simplify.

How to stop Excel from formatting numbers with E 11?

Excel automatically formats numbers with an E 11 when the number contains 12 digits. To stop Excel from formatting numbers with E 11, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. Click on the Format Number drop-down list.
  3. Select Number.

How do I format numbers in Excel?

To format numbers in Excel:

  1. Select cell.
  2. Go to the Home tab.
  3. Select the Format cell drop-down icon.
  4. Select Number.

Download Practice Workbook

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Thanks for making it this far. I hope you find this article useful. Now you know three easy ways to prevent automatic cell format changes in Excel. Please let us know if you have any further queries, and feel free to give us any recommendations in the comment section below.

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Alif Bin Hussain
Alif Bin Hussain

Alif Bin Hussain earned a BSc in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. As an engineering graduate, he has a deep passion for research and innovation. He loves to play with Excel. In his role as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy, he not only solves tricky problems but also shows enthusiasm and expertise in handling tough situations with finesse, emphasizing his dedication to delivering top-notch content. He is interested in C, C++,... Read Full Bio

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