Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel 2016 Faster


When it comes to working with Excel 2016, speed is of the essence. Whether you are managing a large dataset or creating complex formulas, a faster Excel can significantly improve your productivity. In this tutorial, we will discuss the importance of speed in Excel 2016, provide an overview of common factors that can slow it down, and highlight the benefits of a faster Excel 2016.

Key Takeaways

  • Speed is crucial for improving productivity in Excel 2016.
  • Cleaning up and optimizing your workbook can help improve speed.
  • Disabling unused add-ins and features can contribute to a faster Excel experience.
  • Utilizing efficient formulas and functions is essential for improving speed.
  • Optimizing hardware and software settings can significantly improve Excel 2016 performance.

Clean up and optimize your workbook

When working with large datasets in Excel 2016, it's essential to keep your workbook clean and optimized for better performance. Here are some tips to streamline your workbook:

A. Remove unnecessary formatting and styling

One common mistake that can slow down Excel is excessive formatting and styling. This includes unnecessary bolding, italicizing, and color-coding. To optimize your workbook, remove any formatting and styling that is not essential for data analysis.

B. Delete unused rows and columns

Unused rows and columns can significantly slow down Excel's performance. It's important to regularly review your worksheet and remove any unused rows and columns. This will not only make your workbook faster but also reduce its file size.

C. Eliminate excess formulas and conditional formatting

Complex formulas and conditional formatting can have a negative impact on Excel's performance. Review your workbook for any unnecessary formulas and conditional formatting rules. Simplifying your formulas and reducing the number of conditional formatting rules can help speed up your workbook.

Disable unused add-ins and features

One of the ways to make Excel 2016 run faster is to identify and disable any unnecessary add-ins and features that might be consuming resources.

A. Identify and disable unnecessary add-ins

  • Step 1: Click on the "File" tab and select "Options."
  • Step 2: In the Excel Options dialog box, click on "Add-Ins."
  • Step 3: In the Manage box, select "COM Add-ins" and click "Go."
  • Step 4: Uncheck any add-ins that are not essential for your work and click "OK."

B. Turn off resource-intensive features

  • Step 1: Click on the "File" tab and select "Options."
  • Step 2: In the Excel Options dialog box, click on "Advanced."
  • Step 3: Scroll down to the Display section and uncheck options such as "Show animations in task pane," "Show live preview," and "Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips."

C. Streamline ribbon and toolbar customization

  • Step 1: Right-click on the ribbon and select "Customize the Ribbon."
  • Step 2: Review the commands and groups included and remove any that are not frequently used.
  • Step 3: Click "OK" to apply the changes and streamline the ribbon and toolbar customization for a more efficient Excel experience.

Utilize efficient formulas and functions

When working with large datasets in Excel 2016, it's important to optimize the use of formulas and functions to ensure faster processing and calculation times. Here are some tips to make your Excel 2016 faster by using efficient formulas and functions:

A. Replace volatile functions with non-volatile alternatives
  • 1. Avoid using volatile functions such as NOW, TODAY, and RAND as they recalculate every time the worksheet changes, leading to slower performance. Instead, use non-volatile alternatives like DATE and TIME which only recalculate when their input cells change.
  • 2. Identify and replace any existing volatile functions in your workbook with non-volatile alternatives to improve calculation speed.

B. Minimize the use of array formulas
  • 1. Array formulas can significantly slow down Excel 2016, especially when used across a large range of cells. Minimize the use of array formulas by using alternative functions or breaking down complex calculations into smaller, non-array formula steps.
  • 2. Where possible, replace array formulas with simpler, non-array formula alternatives to improve performance.

C. Opt for simpler and faster lookup functions
  • 1. Instead of using complex lookup functions like INDEX/MATCH or VLOOKUP, consider using the XLOOKUP or XMATCH functions introduced in Excel 2016 for faster and more efficient lookups.
  • 2. Review your existing lookup formulas and consider replacing them with the newer, faster lookup functions to improve calculation speed.

Manage your data efficiently

When it comes to making Excel 2016 faster, one of the key factors is managing your data efficiently. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

A. Sort and filter data selectively

Sorting and filtering data selectively can greatly improve the performance of your Excel workbook. When sorting data, ensure that you only sort the necessary columns and rows rather than the entire worksheet. Similarly, when applying filters, only filter the data that is relevant to your analysis. This will help reduce the amount of data that Excel needs to process, resulting in faster performance.

B. Use data validation to prevent unnecessary input

Data validation is a powerful tool that can help prevent unnecessary input and errors in your Excel workbook. By setting up data validation rules, you can ensure that only valid data is entered, which can in turn reduce the size of your workbook and improve its performance. For example, you can use data validation to create drop-down lists or restrict input to specific data formats, thus preventing unnecessary input and improving the efficiency of your workbook.

C. Utilize tables and PivotTables for streamlined data analysis

Tables and PivotTables are powerful features in Excel that can help streamline data analysis and improve the performance of your workbook. By converting your data into a table, you can easily sort, filter, and analyze it without the need for complex formulas or manual data manipulation. Similarly, PivotTables allow you to summarize and analyze large datasets quickly and efficiently, making them an invaluable tool for improving the performance of your Excel workbook.

Optimize your hardware and software settings

When working with large datasets and complex calculations, Excel 2016 can sometimes slow down. However, there are several steps you can take to optimize your hardware and software settings to make Excel run faster.

A. Update to the latest version of Excel 2016

Microsoft regularly releases updates for Excel 2016 to improve its performance and fix any bugs or issues. By updating to the latest version, you can ensure that you are benefiting from these improvements.

B. Adjust calculation options and memory settings

Excel has several calculation options and memory settings that can be adjusted to improve performance. For example, you can change the calculation mode to manual or optimize the memory usage to allow Excel to process data more efficiently.

C. Check for and install any available software updates

In addition to updating Excel 2016, it is important to also check for and install any available software updates for your operating system and hardware drivers. These updates can provide performance enhancements and bug fixes that can help make Excel run faster.


In conclusion, we have discussed several strategies to make Excel 2016 faster. These include disabling unnecessary add-ins, optimizing the formula calculations, reducing the file size, and using the latest hardware and software. By implementing these tips and techniques, users can experience improved performance, faster processing, and increased productivity. We encourage everyone to take advantage of these strategies for a smoother and more efficient Excel 2016 experience.

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