[Solved:] Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell (5 Solutions)

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Sometimes, when users try to apply a formula, they have to Double Click or ENTER for every iteration. This phenomenon is usually referred to as the Excel formula not working unless double click cell.

Let’s assume a situation where we insert a formula and double-click once then drag the Fill Handle to apply it to other cells automatically. However, Excel doesn’t return the calculated values unless we double-click on each cell.

Problem-Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell

In this article, we demonstrate the multiple ways out of the situation: Excel formula not working unless double click cell.

Possible Reasons behind Excel Formula Not Working before Double Clicking Issue

There are multiple probable reasons that may or may not be responsible for this issue. The most common reasons behind the issue are:

(i) Formula Calculation Options set to Manual.

(ii) Preformatted cells; cells in Text format.

(iii) Leading Space/Spaces– result Excel formulas not working.

(iv) Excel files saved in previous file formats (i.e., .xls).

Excel Formula Not Working Unless Double Click Cell: 5 Suitable Solutions

It’s hard to point out a specific reason behind theExcel formula not working unless double click cell issue. Therefore, go through the below section to try any of the way-outs to resolve the issue.

Method 1: Enabling Automatic Calculation Options to Resolve the Issue

🔄 Excel has Calculation Options that decide in which way Excel executes a formula. Go to Formulas > Calculation Options (in the Calculation section) > Click Automatic. This allows instant execution of Excel formulas. Previously set option to Manual may cause the Excel formula not to work unless double click cell caveat.

Calculation Options-Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell

Read More: Excel Formulas Not Calculating Automatically

Method 2: Maintaining Cell Formats to Counter the Formula Not Working without Double Click

🔄 Though cell formats are not the direct reason to require a double click to execute an Excel formula, they are responsible for Excel formulas not working. So, it’s required that users must format the worksheet cells in all formats except for Text. You can change the cell formats from the Home tab > Number section or press CTRL+1 to fetch the Format Cells window.

Cell Format

Method 3: Using Text to Column Feature to Execute Formula without Double Clicking

There are instances where users preformat cells and execute formulas for other cells. In those cases, formula executions don’t work, let alone double-clicking in cells. Also, changing cell formats using previous methods may or may not be convenient for users. So, in this case, users can use the Text to Column feature to deal with the issue. As we can see from the below picture, the formula cells are preformatted in Text.

Text to Column-Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell

Step 1: Highlight the cells that you want to execute the formula results in. Now, move to Data > Data Tools section > Text to Columns.

Text to Column Feature

Step 2: Excel brings out the Convert Text to Columns Wizard-Step 1of 3. Mark Delimited then click Next.

Wizard window 1

Step 3: In the Convert Text to Columns Wizard-Step 2 of 3 window, tick the Tab as Delimiters afterward click Next.

Wizard window 2

Step 3: Finally, Excel automatically chooses Column Data Format as General in the Convert Text to Columns Wizard-Step 3 of 3 window. Click on Finish.

Wizard window 3

🔺 Return to the worksheet then drag the Fill Handle to execute the formula automatically as shown in the below image.

Calculated values

Method 4: Removing Leading Space/Spaces to Make Excel Formulas Work

🔄 Often, Excel users copy and paste Excel formulas from external sources. As a result, space/spaces may exist before the formula Equal Sign resulting in the formula not working or simply being displayed as Text. To resolve the issue, remove the preceding space/spaces to the Equal Sign.

Leading Space-Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell

Read More: [Fixed!] Formula Not Working in Excel and Showing as Text

Method 5: Changing Excel File Types May Resolve the Formula Not Working without Double Clicking

🔄 Excel files saved in previous formats such as xls may cause formulas execution with double-clicking. Go to Files > Save As > Choose the xlsx Excel file format to save the existing file. This change to the Excel file format may resolve the formula execution issue. Also, you can press SHIFT+F9 to recalculate all the formulas in your Active Worksheet (F9 for all the Worksheets)

Excel File types


In this article, we discuss the reasons behind the Excel formula not working unless you double click cell issue and provide tricky ways out. We hope this article sheds light on the most probable reasons and necessary resolves to deal with the issue. Comment if you have further inquiries or have anything to add.

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

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