Why is Excel Showing My Formulas Instead of Their Results?

When you enter a formula into one of your cells, it’s usually because you want to see the value that the formula creates.

But Excel has a setting where you can switch between showing results and formulas, so you might need to change that if you are seeing the formulas instead.

Our why is Excel showing formulas tutorial below will help you find and change this setting so that you can see the information that you need.

How to Make Excel Show Results Instead of Formulas

  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Select the Formulas tab.
  3. Click the Show Formulas button.

Our why is Excel showing formulas guide continues below with additional information, including pictures of these steps.

Have you created a spreadsheet that contains formulas? And was everything looking how you would expect, with your formula results in their cells, but now you are seeing the formulas instead?

This happens because of a setting that may have been changed inadvertently which causes Excel to display the formulas themselves, rather than their results. Luckily you are able to simply change that setting back and start viewing your formula results again.

Our tutorial below will show you where to find the button that activates this display change so that you can toggle between showing results and showing formulas, depending on your current worksheet needs.

Related: Check out our where is the formula bar in Excel article if you need to see the information that displays in that area.

How to Go Back to Results Instead of Formulas in Excel 365 (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel 365, but will work in earlier versions of Excel as well.

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet that is currently displaying formulas instead of results.

Step 2: Click the Formulas tab at the top of the window.

stop showing formulas in excel

Step 3: Click the Show Formulas button in the Formula Auditing section of the ribbon.

why is excel showing formulas instead of results

Now that you have answered the question of why is Excel showing formulas and changed the related setting, you should now see your results in your cells instead of the formulas that determined those results.

Do you have a spreadsheet that contains a lot of formulas, and every time you update something it takes a long time for those formulas to adjust? Find out how to disable formula updates in Excel so that you can work on your data without having to wait every time you make a change.

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