Unlike formulas, pivot tables in Excel do not update automatically if the original table changes. There are two methods for updating a pivot table manually, depending on how the original table has changed:

  1. Refresh: if the size and location of the source dataset have not changed, select Refresh from the PivotTable Analyze tab.
  2. Change data source: if the size and/or location of the source dataset have changed, select Change Data Source from the PivotTable Analyze tab and select the new source range.

Note that the PivotTable Analyze tab will only appear if you have selected a cell within the pivot table.

We’ve placed a slideshow illustrating both cases in the Learning Environment. When you’re ready to try this yourself, get started on the next set of instructions!


When you’re ready to practice what you’ve learned, download and work through our interactive exercise spreadsheet.

If you get stuck, feel free to download our solutions spreadsheet!

Reflection Question: What happens if the layout of a table changes and you update a pivot table?

Our Answer
As long as the columns used in the pivot table setup still exist, the pivot table will update. If the columns used in the pivot table don't all exist or don't all have the same names, then the pivot table will no longer work.

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