I'm using the IMPORTRANGE function in Google Sheets to reference data from spreadsheet1 and display it in spreadsheet2. This works fine, but if I edit spreadsheet1 and then go to spreadsheet2 it's not automatically updated, nor does it update if I refresh the page. I've set my cache to be limited to 0MB so it shouldn't be saving anything locally.

Any ideas how I can get it to check back to the master spreadsheet more often and update its values accordingly?


1 Answer 1


Short answer

Instead of using IMPORTRANGE use Google Apps Script


According to Change a spreadsheet's locale, time zone, recalculation, and language the recalculation interval for IMPORTRANGE is 30 mins. If shorter recalculation interval is needed then somehow the formula parameters should be changed.

Unfortunately, in the new Google Sheets is not possible to use NOW, RAND or RANDBETWEEN functions, so the alternative is to use a Google Apps Script.

Explanation about the use of non-deterministic functions

In the thread provided in the comment by Jacob Jan Tuinstra it's mentioned the use of an extra URL parameter that it's updated at certain intervals. That thread is from 2011.

The core idea was to add to the URL something like "&workaround="&NOW() and set the recalculation setting to on change and every minute but this could be too frequent as the import task could take more than one minute, so instead of NOW() you should round it to a good enough interval, let's say 10 minutes, then instead of NOW() use


Let name this formulas time_interval.

The cell formula containing IMPORTRANGE will look like this


Unfortunately the above formula returns the following error

This function is not allowed to reference a cell with NOW(), RAND(), or RANDBETWEEN()

The same happens with the other import functions (IMPORTDATA, IMPORTHTML, IMPORTFEED, IMPORTXML)


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