Making your life more efficient is the goal of almost every electronic device you use regularly. This feature can be useful whether your phone is trying to predict the words you are about to enter in a text message, or whether your web browser fills in search phrases or addresses that you visit frequently. But that can also create problems, so you might be looking for a way to turn off the autocomplete feature in Google Sheets.
Autocomplete is a useful setting in a number of different programs where you can type the same word over and over. Autocomplete works by recognizing the first few letters you type, seeing that a similar word already exists in the document, and then prompts you for that word as a hint highlighted in blue. If you hit Enter on your keyboard when autocomplete is displayed, Sheets will add that word to the cell without requiring you to type the rest.
While this is sometimes useful, you may find that it causes you problems. Fortunately, autocomplete can be turned off in Google Sheets by following these steps.
How to turn off autocomplete in Google Sheets
- Open the Tables file.
- Click Tools.
- Select Turn on autocomplete.
Our article continues below with more information on how to turn autocomplete on or off in Google Sheets, including images of these steps.
How to stop autocomplete in Google Sheets (Guide with pictures)
The steps in this article will prevent Google Sheets from providing you with auto-complete as you enter data. By this we mean the blue colored text that appears when you start typing a word that is already on the sheet. For example, in the image below, Tables gives me an autocomplete option for the word “September” as I type the first few letters of the word.
Disabling the autocomplete option will prevent this.
Step 1. Go to your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and double-click the spreadsheet for which you want to turn off autocomplete.
Step 2: Click the “Tools” tab at the top of the window.
Step 3. Click the Enable AutoComplete option to clear the check box.
Now, when you start typing a word that already exists in Google Sheets, you won’t be able to hit Enter on your keyboard and add that word. In the picture below, autocomplete is disabled.
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What is Autocomplete in Google Sheets?
Google Sheets is a good tool for organizing and analyzing data. However, even if you have the full power of spreadsheets at your fingertips, you might have trouble getting the spreadsheet to do exactly what you want. The autocomplete feature in Google Sheets can be really helpful when trying to add new cells or columns to a spreadsheet. However, this same feature can also cause problems if the user does not interact with it often.
Simply put, autocomplete in Google Sheets will provide a prediction highlighted in blue as you type a word into a cell. This happens when another word in a cell starts with the same combination of letters.
You just need to disable autocomplete from within the app itself. This option must be disabled individually for each document that uses Google Sheets. Fortunately, there are other ways as well. There are limits on how often autocomplete needs to be used before it can provide you with suggestions as you type words into its cells.
Google is constantly updating its apps, especially popular ones like Google Sheets, and the autocomplete feature often improves as the app evolves.
Autocomplete is meant to save time as it can provide the user with options for what they are typing. This can be useful, but sometimes Google Sheets stores a lot of information in its directory, which makes Google Sheets try to guess what you are looking for even before you finish your query. This could cause Google Sheets to return results from other open documents or other Google spreadsheets that someone else may have worked on.
This is not always a bad thing; sometimes Google will return relevant information that helps the spreadsheet user more easily accomplish their task. However, this could also mean that Google is returning data points or entire columns and rows from someone else’s document instead of your own original data.
Is autocomplete different from the fill function in Google Sheets?
If you’ve ever used Google Sheets to auto-fill a template or row in one of the rows or columns of your spreadsheet, you might be wondering how this differs from the auto-complete feature we discussed in this article.
A feature in Google Sheets that created filled columns with numbers that follow a pattern will still work the same if autocomplete is turned off. So if you have a column with a list of ascending numbers and you select some of them and then drag the bottom right marker down to fill in more columns, Google Sheets will still know that you are trying to complete the pattern using the selected cells.
While these functions perform relatively similar functions, they are not related. So feel free to turn off autocomplete and understand that you will still have access to other spreadsheet features that you rely on in Google Sheets.
More information on how to turn autocomplete on or off in Google Sheets
As we mentioned in this article, the autocomplete feature in Google Sheets is turned on or off for every single spreadsheet that you edit. This setting is saved when you save the document, which means you don’t have to change it every time you open this spreadsheet.
There are some advanced autocomplete options available in Google Docs that can perform functions such as auto link detection or spell correction. In Google Docs, these settings can be found by going to Tools> Preferences. Unfortunately, this same menu is not found in Google Sheets.
Another feature you might be concerned about if you plan on turning off autocomplete is a feature where you can start typing a formula and then Sheets will display a list of formulas that you think you are trying to use. Fortunately, this list of formulas will remain after you turn off autocomplete.