Turn Off the Overwriting Cell Warning

Several times every day, I drag something from one part of a worksheet to another. If there's already something in that destination cell, Excel asks me if I'm sure I want to do this.


About 99.99% of the time, yes, I really want to replace the contents of that cell. So, I click OK, and the data moves.

That other 0.01% of the time, when I accidentally drag onto the wrong cell, I'd probably notice the mistake without Excel helping me, and just hit the Undo button.

The result of Excel's help is that it slows me down, for no reason.

Turn the Message Off

Finally, after all these years of using Excel, I noticed that there's a way to turn this feature off. (I prefer to think of this as the result of focused vision, not a lack of observation.)

Just in case you hadn't notice this setting either, here's how you can get rid of that message.

To turn off the feature in Excel 2007:

  1. At the top left of the Ribbon, click the Office button
  2. Click the Excel Options button
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Remove the check mark from Alert before overwriting cells, then click OK


To turn off the feature in Excel 2003:

  1. Click the Tools menu, then click Options
  2. Click Edit tab
  3. Remove the check mark from Alert before overwriting cells, then click OK



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2 Responses

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    I’ve gotten into the habit of using the right mouse button. When I release I get a context menu with the choice to move, copy, copy values, copy formats, and more, and the one extra click on the context menu does not interrupt my flow like a modal dialog.

  2. Thanks Jon, I’ll try to remember that. I use the right mouse button for Paste Values, but not other kinds of copying.

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