How to Get Rid of Green Arrows in Excel Office 365 (Visual Guide)

Updated: Jul 18

If you’ve ever been working on a spreadsheet in Excel and noticed those little green arrows in the corner of a cell, you’ve probably be frustrated and wanted to remove them.

Thankfully Microsoft Office 365 has provided an option to get rid of them. So how do you get rid of the little green arrows in Excel? The process is actually very simple:

  1. Click on “File” in the upper left of your excel document.

  2. Click on “Options” in the lower left.

  3. Click on “Formulas” in the left navigation column.

  4. Uncheck the box that says “Enable background error checking”.

  5. Click the “OK” button to save.

Step-by-Step Visual Instructions for Disabling the Little Green Arrows (Error Checking)

Step 1:

Click on “File” in the upper right of your Excel document.

Step 2:

In the lower-left, all the way at the bottom, click on “Options“.

Step 3:

On the left side navigation menu, click on “Formulas“. It should be the second option from the top.

Step 4:

In the “Error Checking” section, uncheck the box next to “Enable background error checking“.

Step 5:

In the lower right corner, click the “OK” button to save the settings.

The little green error checking arrows should now be gone from your spreadsheet.

What Are the Little Green Arrows in Excel?

The little green arrows that sometimes how up in your Excel cells are error checking indicators show Microsoft has detected an error in your formula or calculation. A lot of people like to completely turn the error checking capabilities off and others like to keep some of them on.

Here is an overview of the different types of errors that Microsoft Excel 365 will check for and what they all mean.

Cells containing formulas that result in an error. This rule would point out any formula that results in an error value such as #VALUE! or #DIV/0.

Inconsistent calculated column formula in tables. This rule will point out any formula or value inconsistent with the column formula for tables.

Cells containing ears represented as 2 digits. This rule will indicate any cell that contains a date that lacks four-digit years (such as 18 instead of 2018).

Numbers formatted as text or preceded by an apostrophe. With this rule, Excel will indicate where a number is represented as text instead of being formatted as a number.

For example, MS Excel sees “4” or ‘4 as different from 4.

Formulas inconsistent with other formulas in the region. This error indicates that the formula in a specific cell does not match the formulas in nearby cells. The formulas being compared can either be above, below, to the left, or to the right of the cell.

For example, if the cell in A1 is “=B1+5” and the cell in A2 is “=B2+5” but the cell in A3 is “=C3+5”, MS Excel 365 would trigger an error.

Formulas which omit cells in a region. This error is triggered when a formula captures most but not the entire region of data.

For example, if there is data in D1:D50 but your formula is “=SUM(D1:D45)” an error would be indicated with a green error.

Unlocked cells containing formulas. The rule is for cells within a locked sheet that are unlocked and editable.

Formulas referring to empty cells. If a portion of the cells in your formula are emply, this error would be indicated.

Data entered in a table is invalid. This error indicates that there are cells containing data which is inconsistent with the column data type for Tables connected to SharePoint data.

Misleading number formats. This error will be indicated when a linked cell has one style of formatting but the destination cell is another format.

For example, cell A1 is formatted as currency, but a linked cell with “=A1” is formatted as a date.

How to Fix Excel Errors

If you have Error Checking turned on, you can click on the cell where a little green arrow appears in the upper left corner of the cell. A yellow diamond-shaped box with an exclamation point will pop up. If you click on the yellow diamond, a dropdown section will appear.

The first item in the dropdown box will tell you what the error is. The second option will be a quick link to automatically fix the error.

If you don’t understand what the error is, you can click the third option to get “Help on this Error”.

Lastly, if the error doesn’t apply to what you are working on, you can simply click “Ignore Error”. If you’d like to fix the error yourself, click on “Edit in Formula Bar”.

If you want to quickly disable all the Error Checking capabilities or removed one of the rules, you can click on “Error Checking Options…” and the dialog box will pop up to change the settings.

Leave a comment below if this helped you and if you have any other Microsoft Excel 365!

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