Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am trying to use a very simple formula which is =SUM(B9:B11). However the cell doesn't compute for some reason.

I've used Excel for years and have never had this problem. Any idea why it may be failing to update the SUM?

I'm using Excel 2007 on Windows 7 Pro. I've opened the spreadsheet on multiple different machines with the same results so it appears to be an issue with the spreadsheet itself and not Excel or the computer.

Additional Note: If I recreate the =SUM formula it will recompute the total. However, if I change one of the number it still doesn't auto-recalculate.

Also, if I press F9 the SUM will recalculate being manually forced to.

share|improve this question
you need =SUM(b9:b11) –  soandos Jul 11 '11 at 14:10
I have =SUM...sorry, that was just a typo. –  Windows Ninja Jul 11 '11 at 14:13

9 Answers 9

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Also do you have formula calculation set to Manual?

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I found this under Excel Options > Formulas just before you posted the reply...however this was the problem so you get the answer! Thanks. –  Windows Ninja Jul 11 '11 at 14:25

Even if the data cells B9-B11 have numbers in them, one or more of them may have their data type set as text instead of a number. I've done this more times than I can count!

DigDB has a quick how to and screenshots to change the type, try that and see:


share|improve this answer

This happened to me when I changed my computer's default language from English to French. In French, commas (,) are used instead of decimal points (.) in numbers, and vice versa. In Excel I was still writing numbers in the English format (3.42) when it was expecting a French format (3,42).

I fixed it by finding 'Change the date, time or number format' in the Start search box, clicking on Additional Settings, then changing the symbol for a decimal point to (.) instead of (,).

share|improve this answer

If a cell contains a circular reference, it will not autosum correctly (or at all). From the Formula tab, choose Error Checking>Circular Reference, trace it and then fix it.

share|improve this answer

I was having the same symptom. The problem turned out to be a Circular Reference within the numbers I was attempting to sum. I used the formula audit tool and had it point to the circular reference (which I had overlooked). Once that was corrected, the SUM function worked as normal.

share|improve this answer

you need =SUM(b9:b11), not just SUM(b9:b11)

share|improve this answer

Could one or more of B9:B11 be formatted as non-numeric?

share|improve this answer
it would simply be ignored if that was the case –  AdamV Jul 15 '11 at 8:07

Sounds like the calculation order / dependencies are broken, so it does not recognise when to recalc that cell by itself.

Try forcing Excel to rebuild the calculation dependency tree, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F9 and let it recalculate the whole lot.

share|improve this answer

You can try using commas instead of dots as separators:

32,32 instead of 32.32

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.