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 AutoFill.

Turning Off AutoFill

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 25, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


The AutoFill feature of Excel is a great timesaver when you need to fill in a series of cells based on the content in other cells. It is also a feature that you can turn off, if you prefer. (For instance, the AutoFill handle visible at the bottom-right corner of a selection may be distracting to you, and you want to turn it off.)

To turn off AutoFill, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Allow Cell Drag and Drop check box.
  5. Click on OK.

Besides turning off AutoFill, the above steps also turn off the ability to drag the contents of a cell from one location to another.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2958) 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 AutoFill.

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. ...

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