It's known that "Calculating formulas" in Google Sheet disaster is a problem in general, but I have a specific question - does it help at all if I or other concurrent users exit the sheet or does it not matter at all? I mean, will the formulas calculate faster or slower if anyone exists?

Calculating formulas

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: It depends.

To put it simplistically, while the users who have opened the spreadsheet simultaneously do not cause any change, they will not affect significant other users. Your mileage might vary.

Sometimes, the browser has problems handling the resources. The performance of coordinating the back-and-forth communication between the multiple browser tabs and Google servers might be affected by many things, which might cause problems with the recalculation.

Asking all users to close the spreadsheet will be helpful. It will work as taking time off of sending changes to the server and requesting the browsers to execute the recalculation.

Sometimes, the problem might occur to a single user. I.E. due to having low resources in their computer. Before asking others to close the spreadsheet, you might try first to do it yourself; if that doesn't work, close and restart the browser.

  1. The presence, active cell, and active selection real-time indicators consumed bandwidth is relatively minimal.
  2. I have not run formal tests. Still, by experience, I know that independent volatile functions, i.e., =NOW() not having any dependent formula, will not cause a recalculation of the spreadsheet of the other users due to events like spreadsheet opening or the spreadsheet frequency recalculation.
  3. Be careful when designing Google Apps Script functions to be called by triggers (open, edit, change, form submit).
  4. Be careful when integrating apps like Zapier, IFTTT, etc.
  5. Filters change the spreadsheet.
    • Ensure that the spreadsheet users understand this.
    • Ensure spreadsheet users know how to use filter views and convince them to use them instead of filters.
  6. Data validations drop downs change the spreadsheet.
    • Avoid using a single spreadsheet to simultaneously hold form-like sheets with complex dependent drop downs.
  • Might re-opening not try to re-calculate the formulas from scratch thus taking more time?
    – LWC
    Oct 17 at 17:55
  • What do you mean?
    – Rubén
    Oct 17 at 18:40
  • If "calculating formulas"'s energy bar looks like it's 90% done, and I re-open the file/webpage, will it continue from 90% or horribly start fresh from 0%?
    – LWC
    Oct 17 at 20:24
  • It will start from 0%. But it might be faster if there are fewer "collisions". Think that every online user might trigger a recalculation... each of the simultaneous recalculations will be included in a recalculation queue. If you close the spreadsheet and reopen it... the spreadsheet will pull only the data from the server, and only one recalculation will be included in the recalculation queue, the one corresponding to the open event. Still, if during the open event recalculation, users are editing the spreadsheet, those edits might trigger new recalculations.
    – Rubén
    Oct 17 at 21:00
  • If I make a change (e.g. modify a pivot) and it doesn't happen due to the sheet being stuck on 90%, and other users are inside, will it help me personally to exit and re-enter? I mean, will the starting fresh from 0% be quicker due to less collisions even though the other users never left?
    – LWC
    Oct 22 at 18:42

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