Repeat Last Action in Excel (Shortcut)

Sometimes we have to repeat the same action several times.

As Smart Excel users, it is essential that we know the shortcut for repeating the previous action.

The Repeat Last Action shortcut can be a lifesaver when you’re working on a project that requires a lot of repetitive tasks.

For example, if you just applied a border and red fill to one cell, you can use this shortcut to apply the same formatting to one or more selected cells.

This can be especially useful when you’re working with large data sets and need to make the same changes to multiple cells.

In this short tutorial, I will show you the keyboard shortcuts you can use to quickly repeat the last action in Excel.

Shortcut to Repeat Last Action in Excel

Below are the keyboard shortcuts to repeat the last action in Excel:




How to Use the Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Select the cell in which you need to apply the last action.
  2. Press the F4 key (or hold the Control key and then press the Y key)

If the function keys are locked, the F4 is not working for you. Then, you have to press F4 while holding the Fn key.

The Control + Y shortcut works independently of the function keys and works every time as expected.

Important Things to Know

Let’s look at some important things to know when using a keyboard shortcut to repeat the last action.

  1. The F4 shortcut key repeats only the last single action you performed. For example, assume that you have changed the font color and then added a cell border to a cell. Next, you go to another cell and press F4. Excel will repeat only the last action – adding cell borders to the cell. It will not repeat the action of changing the font color of the cell.
  2. Some actions cannot be repeated. For example, using an Excel function in a cell, sorting data, etc.
  3. Action can be repeated only if it is available. For example, if you copied data in another worksheet and pressing F4 will only repeat that action if the data you copied is still in the clipboard.
  4. Copy and paste action can be repeated a maximum of 1 time using the keyboard shortcut. However, other actions such as fill color, alignment, and font formatting can often be repeated using the shortcut.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Repeat Last Action Shortcut

When using the Repeat Last Action shortcut in Excel, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that you get the desired results.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of this shortcut:

  • Make sure the action is repeatable: Before using the Repeat Last Action shortcut, make sure that the action you want to repeat is actually repeatable. For example, if you want to repeat the formatting of a cell, you can use this shortcut. But if you want to repeat a calculation, this shortcut won’t work.
  • Be careful when using the shortcut on multiple cells: If you want to repeat an action on multiple cells, be sure to select all the cells before using the shortcut. Otherwise, you may end up repeating the action on just one cell.
  • Undo the action if necessary: If you accidentally repeat an action that you didn’t intend to, you can use the Undo shortcut (Ctrl+Z) to undo the action. This will revert the cells back to their previous state.

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I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel and love sharing my knowledge through articles and tutorials. I work as a business analyst and use Microsoft Excel extensively in my daily tasks. My aim is to help you unleash the full potential of Excel and become a data-slaying wizard yourself.

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