How to Fix Plus Cursor Not Showing on Excel

Is the plus cursor not showing on Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is the most used spreadsheet tool in the world. It has over 700 million users globally and is incorporated into the Microsoft Office Suite. 

One of the most used features of Excel is the fill handle. This is a small rectangular control tool that shows in the lower right corner of a cell whenever a cell or range of cells is selected. When you hover your cursor over the fill handle, it will turn into a plus symbol, which can be dragged to fill in more cells. 

This can be used to copy repetitive data from one cell over multiple other cells. You can also use it to number cells in ascending order, format cell dates, and more. 

However, there have been reports that the plus cursor is not showing on Microsoft Excel when users point their mouse over the fill handle. This can be a problem since it will force users to manually copy data from one cell to another. 

Fortunately, we are here to help. 

In this guide, we will show you how to fix the plus cursor if it is not showing on Microsoft Excel when you hover your mouse over the fill handle. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

Before doing anything, we suggest restarting your computer when you encounter issues with Microsoft Excel. This way, you can ensure that the problem is not caused by a simple bug or glitch. 

Here’s how you can restart your computer: 

  1. First, tap on the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start Menu
  2. After that, access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, click on Restart to reboot your computer. 
Restart your PC

Go back to Microsoft Excel afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

2. Enable the Fill Handle. 

The most common reason the plus cursor is not showing on Excel is if the fill handle is disabled. Without the fill handle, Excel won’t allow you to drag over cells to copy their formatting or value. 

Check out the guide below to enable the fill handle: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel on your computer. 
  2. Access your workbook and navigate to File > More > Options
  3. Now, go to the Advanced tab. 
  4. Lastly, look for Editing Options and ensure that the ‘Enable Fill Handle and Cell Drag-and-Drop’ option is marked checked. 
plus cursor not showing on Excel

Save the changes afterward and go back to your worksheet to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Update Mouse Drivers. 


If you are using an external mouse for your laptop, we suggest updating its drivers if you encounter cursor issues on Microsoft Excel. Like any hardware, your mouse should have the proper drivers installed to function correctly. 

See the steps below to update your drivers: 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows + X keys to open the Quick Menu
  2. Now, click on Device Manager to launch it. 
  3. Inside the Device Manager, click on Mice and Other Pointing Devices to expand it. 
  4. Finally, right-click on your device and choose Update Driver
plus cursor not showing on Excel

Restart your computer afterward and check if the plus cursor is now showing. 

4. Run Excel As Administrator. 

You can also try running Microsoft Excel as an administrator if you encounter cursor problems on the software. This should bypass any restrictions set by your system and grant Excel full access to your computer. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, look for Microsoft Excel on your desktop. 
  2. After that, right-click on the app and choose Properties
  3. Lastly, go to the Compatibility tab and enable the ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ option. 
plus cursor not showing on Excel

Save the changes and restart your system. Go back to Microsoft Excel and check if the problem is solved. 

5. Check for Updates. 

The version of Excel you are using might have an underlying issue that causes the problem with the plus cursor and fill handle. To rule this out, we suggest updating Microsoft Excel to patch bugs and glitches. 

See the steps below to update Excel: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel and access the File tab. 
  2. Now, go to Accounts
  3. Lastly, click on Update Options and choose Update Now or Enable Updates
plus cursor not showing on Excel

Relaunch Microsoft Excel after the update and check if the problem is solved. 

6. Reinstall Microsoft Excel. 

If none of the solutions above worked, we recommend reinstalling Microsoft Excel on your computer. Some of Excel’s data may have gotten severely corrupted, and the update can no longer fix them. 

Follow the guide below to reinstall Microsoft Excel: 

  1. On your computer, go to the Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program
  2. Look for Microsoft Excel afterward and right-click on it. 
  3. Finally, choose Uninstall and follow the prompts. 

Reinstall the software and check if the problem is solved. 

That ends our guide on how to fix the plus cursor if it’s not showing on Excel when you point your mouse over the fill handle. If you have other concerns, drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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