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vba – ScreenUpdating = False fails in Excel 2013 and 2016

Posted by: admin March 7, 2020 Leave a comment


Long-running, high-end Excel-based applications that I developed years ago and that run beautifully in Excel 2007 and 2010 look like Amateur Hour in Excel 2013 and 2016 because Application.ScreenUpdating = False no longer works reliably.

The screen unfreezes apparently when VBA code copies a preformatted worksheet from the macro workbook into a new workbook, although other circumstances must trigger it as well.

I’ve seen the threads on this subject that recommend “fiddling with the code” or “calling the code in a subroutine”. Unfortunately, I have to maintain hundreds of Excel applications each with thousands of lines of code and hundreds of users who are about to migrate to Office 2016, so rewriting is not an option. How can I recover Excel’s former elegance?

How to&Answers:

I wanted to leave a comment but I am not allowed to do so. Without a code sample it is very dificult to understand your problem (please see https://stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask and edit your question appropriately.

Here are some ideas:
– Check if your code calls for code in a different procedure, maybe the Application.ScreenUpdating is turned on outside of the procedure.
– Try this at the beginning of your procedure:

Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual

Then, at the end of the code set it to:

Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic

It might help; however, without a code sample it is very difficult to properly help you.


Here is a technique that helps reduce flickering and preserves the StatusBar message.

Application.Cursor = xlWait
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
. . .
Set wkbNewBook = Workbooks.Add
ThisWorkbook.Windows(1).Visible = False
. . .
ThisWorkbook.Windows(1).Visible = True
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
Application.Cursor = xlDefault


After looking through many forums, I believe the flicker problem is related to SDI vs MDI.
Someone suggested setting the application to not visible.

enter code here

This solved my flicker problem, but I didn’t like how the excel application disappeared completely then suddenly reappeared for the user.

I was able to solve the issue to my liking by using a workaround this ‘which window is on top’ problem.

By leaving the main window alone, and forcing other workbooks to become not visible, letting the code run, then bringing them back to visible, it stopped flickering.

Application.Workbooks("yourworkbooktohide").Windows(1).Visible = False

Just remember to bring it back with =true.

Again, my script worked just fine in Excel 2010, but after “upgrading” to 2013, this flicker issue started.


For me, only “Application.ScreenUpdating = False” did not completely cure the flickering.
Calculation caused also the flickering.
Adding “Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual” solved the flickering issue.
So, the code should be like:

Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual

… inportant code here….

Application.ScreenUpdating = True
Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic

Nico Mijnster.