How to Recalculate Your Workbook Using VBA in 3 Minutes (Excel)

Written by Kasper Langmann

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a powerful tool that can automate and enhance your experience with Excel. One of the many tasks you can accomplish with VBA is recalculating your workbook. This process can be completed in as little as three minutes, saving you valuable time and effort. This guide will walk you through the steps needed to recalculate your workbook using VBA.

Understanding Excel Recalculation

Before we dive into the process of recalculating your workbook using VBA, it’s important to understand what recalculation in Excel entails. Recalculation is the process of updating the results of formulas in your workbook when the data they rely on changes. Excel provides three types of calculation modes: automatic, automatic except for data tables, and manual.

Automatic recalculation is the default mode in Excel. In this mode, Excel recalculates all open workbooks whenever a change is made. The automatic except for data tables mode is similar, but it excludes data tables. The manual mode allows you to control when recalculation occurs. This can be useful when working with large workbooks that take a long time to recalculate.

Why Use VBA for Recalculation?

You might be wondering why you would want to use VBA for recalculation when Excel already provides built-in calculation modes. The answer lies in the flexibility and control that VBA offers. With VBA, you can create macros that recalculate your workbook at specific times or in response to specific events. This can be particularly useful when working with large or complex workbooks.

For example, you might have a workbook that takes a long time to recalculate. By using VBA, you can set up a macro that recalculates the workbook overnight, ensuring that the most up-to-date results are ready for you in the morning. Alternatively, you might have a workbook that needs to be recalculated whenever a certain cell changes. With VBA, you can create a macro that watches for changes to that cell and recalculates the workbook accordingly.

How to Recalculate Your Workbook Using VBA

Step 1: Open the VBA Editor

The first step in recalculating your workbook using VBA is to open the VBA Editor. You can do this by pressing Alt + F11 on your keyboard. This will open a new window with a variety of options for creating and managing VBA code.

If you’ve never used the VBA Editor before, don’t worry. It’s a straightforward tool that’s easy to navigate, even for beginners. The main area of the editor is the code window, where you’ll write your VBA code. On the left side of the editor is the Project Explorer, which shows all the workbooks and worksheets that are currently open in Excel.

Step 2: Insert a New Module

Once you’ve opened the VBA Editor, the next step is to insert a new module. A module is a container for VBA code. To insert a new module, simply go to the Insert menu and select Module. A new module will appear in the Project Explorer, and a blank code window will open.

It’s important to note that each workbook has its own set of modules. This means that the code you write in a module will only be available in the workbook that the module belongs to. If you want to use the same code in multiple workbooks, you’ll need to copy the code to a module in each workbook.

Step 3: Write the VBA Code

The final step in recalculating your workbook using VBA is to write the VBA code. The code for recalculating a workbook is quite simple. Here’s an example:

Sub RecalculateWorkbook()
End Sub

This code creates a new subroutine called RecalculateWorkbook. The subroutine uses the Calculate method of the ThisWorkbook object to recalculate the workbook. To run the subroutine, simply press F5 while the code window is active.

You can customize this code to suit your needs. For example, you might want to recalculate only a specific worksheet instead of the entire workbook. In that case, you could replace ThisWorkbook with the name of the worksheet, like this:

Sub RecalculateWorksheet()
End Sub


Recalculating your workbook using VBA is a simple but powerful way to automate and enhance your Excel experience. With just a few lines of code, you can set up a macro that recalculates your workbook whenever you want, saving you time and effort. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a beginner, VBA can help you take your spreadsheets to the next level.