Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Turning Off Screen Updating.

Turning Off Screen Updating

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 22, 2016)

3

Many people write their own macros to manipulate the information in a workbook. Many times the macro may do quite a bit with the data, such as selecting different cells, replacing values or formulas, and taking other types of actions. This means that the Excel screen can look like it has "gone crazy" while the macro is running.

One thing you may want to do with your macro to make it run faster and to prevent distracting flashes on the screen is to turn off screen updating while the macro is running. The following macro lines will, respectively, turn off screen updating and then turn it back on in a VBA macro.

Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Application.ScreenUpdating = True

The idea is to use the first line near the beginning of your macro, and then use the second line near the end. Thus, the main body of your macro can do its work behind the scenes without the necessity of stopping to update the screen.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2498) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Turning Off Screen Updating.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Random OLE Bookmarks

Word has an irritating habit of placing unwanted bookmarks in a document that you've been editing for a while. These ...

Discover More

Formatting Subtotal Rows

Excel automatically formats subtotals for you. But what if you want to change the default to something more suitable for ...

Discover More

Locating Locked Fields

A field can be locked or unlocked, and its condition controls whether it is updated automatically or not. If you want to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Understanding Functions in Macros

Functions are a common programming construct. They help you to create easy ways of processing information and returning a ...

Discover More

Using a Progress Indicator in Macros

A few tips on adding a progress indicator that runs during long macro calculations.

Discover More

Displaying the Print Dialog Box in a Macro

Want to print a document by using a macro? One way is to display the Print dialog box and allow the user to interact with ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 0?

2017-02-21 04:49:20

Barry

Something that is not mentioned is that the macro will run faster as Excel doesn't have to constantly refresh the screen.

It is also useful to turn off automatic recalculation to improve macro execution speed on large spreadsheets.

How much faster will depend on the macro itself and how many changes it makes to a worksheet and then on how much recalculation that is done, but on a large spreadsheet this can make a significant improvement in performance.


2017-02-21 04:43:46

Barry

Something you don't mention is that the macro will run faster as Excel doesn't have to constantly refresh the screen. It is also useful to turn off automatic recalculation How much faster will depend on the macro itself and how many changes it makes to a worksheet and then on how much recalculation that is done, but on a large spreadsheet this can make a significant improvement in performance


2017-02-20 07:54:53

Fernando Martinez

Excel 2016 not responding to Application.ScreenUpdating.Why


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.