AutoFill is a feature in Microsoft Excel that populates data in empty cells according to the data in the selected cells. AutoFill is also useful in applying the formula to empty cells in Excel. For some users, AutoFill is not working in Excel. This article lists some solutions that will help you fix this problem.
Why is my Fill series not working?
There may be many reasons why your Fill series is not working in Excel. The most common cause of this issue is the disabled Fill handle. Other causes include providing incomplete data, the Automatic Calculation option being disabled, etc.
Fix AutoFill is not working in Excel
Some users reported that the cursor does not change to the black Plus icon. Whereas, for others, AutoFill is filling incorrect or the same values to the cells. If AutoFill is not working in Excel, use the following fixes to resolve the problem:
- Check if the Fill handle is enabled
- Have you applied a Filter?
- Check if the Ctrl key is stuck
- Did you provide enough data?
- Check if Automatic Calculation is enabled
- Create a custom list in Excel
- Repair Office
Let’s see all these fixes in detail.
1] Check if the Fill handle is enabled
For AutoFill to work properly, the Fill handle should be enabled in Excel. You should check this. Go through the following instructions:
- Open Excel. Create a new empty file or open an existing one.
- Now, go to File > Options > Advanced.
- Select the Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop checkbox under the Editing options section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
AutoFill should start working after completing the above steps.
2] Have you applied a Filter?
The AutoFill feature does not work in the column(s) in which you have applied a filter. You can check this by viewing the Row numbers. If the Row numbers are not consecutive (some rows are missing), a Filter is activated there. Also, the column(s) with active filter(s) have a filter icon in the topmost cell. Now, you should clear the filter to use AutoFill.
To clear the filter, click on the Filter icon on the topmost cell of that column and select the “Clear Filter from” option.
3] Check if the Ctrl key is stuck
When you use AutoFill in Excel by pressing the Ctrl key, the values filled in the empty cells are repeated. For example, you have to fill consecutive numbers in the first 20 cells of a particular column. You have provided the first two numbers for that, say, 5 and 6. Now, if you drag the fill handle by pressing and holding the Ctrl key, Excel will fill 5 and 6 to all the 20 cells, instead of filling the consecutive numbers. When this happens, you may think that the AutoFill feature is not working properly in Excel.
4] Did you provide enough data?
Did you provide enough data for AutoFill to work properly? To let AutoFill work properly, you should fill the first two cells in Excel. If you have filled only one cell, the AutoFill feature will not work.
5] Check if Automatic Calculation is enabled
One benefit of AutoFill in Excel is that you can apply a formula to all the required empty cells and save time in manually entering the formula to each cell separately. AutoFill for formula only works if the Calculation Options is set to Automatic. If it is set to Manual, change it to Automatic.
Go through the following instructions:
- Select the Formula tab.
- Now click Calculation Options under the Calculation group.
- Select Automatic.
Now, AutoFill should work for formulae in Excel.
6] Create a custom list in Excel
AutoFill does not work for any random data you enter in Excel. If you want AutoFill to work for random data, you have to create a custom list in Excel. After creating a custom list, you can use the AutoFill feature to fill data automatically for that list.
7] Repair Office
If the problem still persists, you may have some damaged files in Microsoft Office. To fix this problem, you can repair Office. Run an online repair for better results.
What is Custom AutoFill in Excel?
Custom AutoFill is the custom list you create in Excel. If you type a specific list most frequently in Excel, you can add that list as a custom list to save time in entering the same data every time.
That’s it. I hope this helps.
Read next: Excel can’t insert new cells because it would push non-empty cells off the end of the worksheet.