Use Excel Watch Window to Keep a Tab on Important Cells and Formulas

When working with large datasets full of formulas in Excel, it becomes difficult to keep a track of important cells and formula results. You may have a data set that spans across hundreds or even thousands of records, and going back and forth to know the result of important formulas could be a big waste of time.

For such cases, Excel introduced the Watch Window feature in Excel 2010.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to  :

  • Keep track of important cells/formulas using the Watch Window.
  • Use Watch Window to keep track of cells in multiple sheets.
  • Delete cells/formulas from the watch window.

Let’s get started.

How to Keep Track of Important Cells using Watch Window

Suppose you have student’s scores dataset as shown below and you want to keep a track of the average score in the three subjects.


You can do that by adding these cells to the Watch Window in Excel.

Here are the steps:

  • Select the cells that you want to track.
  • Go to Formulas –> Formula Auditing –> Watch
  • In the Watch Window dialog box, click on Add
  • This will open the Add Watch box where the selected cells will already be referenced. In case you want to change the reference, you can do it in this
  • Click on Add.

This would instantly add all the three cells to the Watch Window dialog box.


Docking the Watch Window in Excel 2013 and 2016: While the watch window is a floating window by default, you can dock it to the right pane of the worksheet in Excel 2013 and 2016. To do this, simply drag it to the extreme right and leave it and it will automatically dock there.

Watch Cells from Multiple Worksheets

You can easily add cells from multiple worksheets in the same watch window. This is helpful when you have data that spans across multiple worksheets.

For example, below I have data for student scores for two different exams (something like mid-term and finals) in two different worksheets.

To add the average scores from both these sheets to the same watch window, simply repeat the steps shown above for both the sheets.

Here are the steps:

  • Select the data in Sheet 1 (Exam 1 in this case).
  • Go to Formulas –> Formula Auditing –> Watch
  • Click on Add Watch and then click on Add. This will add the three cells to from Sheet 1 to the watch
  • Again click on Add window in-excel-add-watch-multiple-sheets
  • In the Add Watch dialog box, click on the icon to select the range and go to the second sheet and select the cells that you want to add.
  • Click on Add.

This will add all the six cells from two different sheets to the same Watch Window.


Delete Cells from Watch Window

You can easily delete cells once you have added these to the watch window. Just select it and click on Delete Watch.


To select multiple cells to delete, hold the shift key, and select the first and the last cells to select all the cells between these.

If you want to select non-adjacent cells, hold the Control Key, and then select the cells.

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Sumit Bansal
Hello there! I'm Sumit Bansal, founder of and an Excel MVP. I started this website in 2013 with a simple goal: to share my love for Excel through easy to follow tips, tutorials and videos. I'm here to help you get the best out of MS Excel to save time and boost your productivity.

2 thoughts on “Use Excel Watch Window to Keep a Tab on Important Cells and Formulas”

  1. How to import text data to Exel from other programs ? And I want to do that as a bridge to Access to avoid to much printing. The search functions in Access is valuable to me

  2. I use this feature, it can save quite a bit of time. Though it doesn’t let you see a chart on another page, so I also use the Camera Tool.


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