Flash fill breaks a lot of things in older excel documents. It causes maddeningly slow transfers from cell to cell after updating.

I am trying to find a way to turn off "flash fill" in Excel 2013 automatically before rolling the product out to the rest of the staff in my company.

Is there (preferably) a registry key that I can apply or a switch that I can include during the install that will turn this option off?

Here is an image of the setting that I am looking to turn off:

I haven't been able to find any documentation online about turning this off, other than this one page from MS: http://office.microsoft.com/en-ie/excel-help/turn-flash-fill-on-HA104043292.aspx

1 Answer 1


Assuming your company is using Active directory then you can control this (and most other) Office settings via Group Policy.

Just grab the Office 2013 Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) and install them.

Once they're installed, open the Group Policy Management console, create a new policy and edit it.

Navigate to User Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative templates -> Microsoft Excel 2013 -> Excel Options -> Advanced

In there will be a policy named "Automatically Flash Fill".

From its help entry:

This policy setting controls the "Automatically Flash Fill" option found under File tab | Options | Advanced | Editing Options.

If you enable or do not configure this policy setting, Excel will enable automatic Flash Fill. This is the default behavior.

If you disable this policy setting, Excel will turn off the Automatic Flash Fill feature.

Note: Only 'Business' versions of Office 2013 support settings via group policy -- Excluding "Home and Business" which is more Home than Business, so it doesn't support the use of GPOs (it just ignores them).

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