Can't Update Excel 2007 PivotTables in Excel 2003

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 21, 2017)

Susan has a workbook that was originally created in Excel 2003 containing several PivotTables. She loaded the workbook in Excel 2007 and added additional PivotTables, then saved it in compatibility mode so it could still be used in Excel 2003. However, if she doesn't open the workbook in Excel 2007 the PivotTables will not update either manually or automatically. It works fine if she opens it in Excel 2007, but not in Excel 2003. Susan wonders if this is normal behavior.

Apparently it is. From the information we can gather, it appears that if a PivotTable is created in Excel 2007, even if the workbook is saved in compatibility mode it will not work properly in Excel 2003. (You won't be able to reliably edit or update the PivotTable in Excel 2003.) The only solution is to recreate the PivotTables in Excel 2003.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6950) applies to Microsoft Excel 2003.

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. ...


Finding Changes by Editor

Creating a Macro to find changes made by different editors.

Discover More

Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates

Sometimes the format in which you receive data is not the same format that would be optimal for Excel. For instance, you ...

Discover More

ExcelTips: The Macros

Macros provide a way for you to extend the capabilities of Excel. The key to macros is understanding how VBA works. ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Too Many Rows or Columns in a PivotTable

PivotTables are often used to aggregate lots of information, and they do it beautifully. What do you do if Excel starts ...

Discover More

Updating Multiple PivotTables at Once

PivotTables are a great way to process huge amounts of data and make sense of that data. If you have a number of ...

Discover More

Rows in a PivotTable

PivotTables are used to analyze huge amounts of data. The number of rows used in a PivotTable depends on the type of ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 4 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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

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.