How to Record a Macro in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide

As a marketer, I always strive to find ways to streamline my tasks and increase productivity. One of the tools I use to achieve that is Microsoft Excel. You might have heard about Excel’s ability to automate certain tasks, but did you know that you can record your own macros? In this guide, I’ll show you how to record a macro in Excel step by step.

What is a Macro?

Before we dive in, let’s briefly explain what a macro is. In Excel, a macro is a series of actions that you can record and replay with a single click. Essentially, macros are scripts that automate repetitive tasks in Excel. If you regularly perform a series of steps in Excel, recording a macro can save you a lot of time and frustration. Once you’ve recorded a macro, you can then assign it to a button or a keyboard shortcut to make it more accessible.

How to Record a Macro in Excel?

Now, let’s get started with the actual process of recording a macro in Excel. Please note that the instructions below refer to Microsoft Excel 2016 for Windows. While the process may be similar in other versions of Excel, there might be slight differences.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workbook

Open a new or existing workbook that you’d like to record a macro in. Make sure the workbook is free of any confidential or sensitive information as the macro will record every keystroke and mouse click.

Step 2: Enable the Developer Tab

The Developer tab in Excel houses all the tools needed for VBA programming. If you don’t see the Developer tab in your ribbon, follow these steps to enable it:

  1. Click on the File tab in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select Options at the bottom of the left-hand menu.
  3. A new window will appear on your screen. Select Customize Ribbon from the menu on the left.
  4. In the Main Tabs section on the right, check the box next to Developer and click OK.

Step 3: Start Recording the Macro

With your workbook open and the Developer tab enabled, you’re now ready to start recording your macro. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Developer tab.
  2. Click on Record Macro.
  3. The Record Macro dialog box will appear. In this dialog box, you can name your macro, add a description, and assign a shortcut key if you’d like. You can also choose where you want to save the macro – whether in the current workbook or in your Personal Macro Workbook. If you’re not sure, leave all the defaults as they are.
  4. Click OK to start recording your macro.
  5. Perform the actions that you want to record. Every keystroke and mouse click will be recorded, so be deliberate and avoid unnecessary actions.
  6. When you’re done recording, click on Stop Recording in the Developer tab.

Step 4: Test Your Macro

Now that you’ve successfully recorded your macro, it’s time to test it out. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Developer tab.
  2. Click on Macros.
  3. Select the macro you just recorded.
  4. Click on Run.
  5. Watch as your Excel workbook performs the recorded actions automatically.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to record a macro in Excel. By automating repetitive tasks, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and increase your productivity. I hope this guide has been helpful and that you’ll start tinkering with macros in Excel. Have fun and happy automating!

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