How to Refresh a Pivot Table in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pivot tables in Google Sheets are a fantastic way to summarize and analyze data. But what if your data changes? Don’t worry, refreshing your pivot table is a piece of cake. Just follow a few simple steps, and you’ll have your pivot table updated in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Refresh a Pivot Table in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Refreshing a pivot table updates it with any new or changed data from the source sheet. This is important because you want your analysis to be based on the most current information, right? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets document

Open the document that contains the pivot table you need to refresh.

This step is pretty straightforward. Just navigate to Google Drive, find your spreadsheet, and open it up.

Step 2: Select the pivot table

Click on any cell within the pivot table that you want to refresh.

Once you click on a cell in the pivot table, you will see the Pivot Table Editor on the right side of your screen. This is where the magic happens!

Step 3: Refresh the pivot table

Click on the ‘Data’ menu, then select ‘Refresh Pivot Table.’

After selecting ‘Refresh Pivot Table,’ Google Sheets will update the pivot table to include any new data or changes from the source sheet. It’s that simple!

After completing these steps, your pivot table will be refreshed, and the data will be current. This means you can confidently analyze your data, knowing it’s up-to-date.

Tips: Maximizing Efficiency When Refreshing Pivot Tables in Google Sheets

  • Always ensure your data range includes all the data you want to analyze. If your data range is too small, your pivot table won’t capture all the information.
  • If you frequently add new data to your source sheet, consider using a dynamic range for your pivot table. This way, you won’t have to adjust the data range manually each time.
  • Use the ‘Pivot table options’ to set your pivot table to refresh when you open the document. This can save you a step!
  • Double-check your pivot table after refreshing to make sure all the data looks correct. Sometimes errors can occur if the structure of your source data has changed significantly.
  • Remember that refreshing a pivot table only updates the data; it doesn’t alter the layout or format of your pivot table.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pivot table?

A pivot table is a powerful tool that allows you to summarize, analyze, and present data from a larger data set.

Can I refresh multiple pivot tables at once?

Yes, you can refresh all pivot tables in your sheet by clicking ‘Refresh all’ under the ‘Data’ menu.

Will refreshing a pivot table change its layout?

No, refreshing a pivot table updates the data but maintains the layout and formatting you’ve set.

What if my pivot table isn’t updating correctly?

Ensure your data range is correct and that there are no errors in the source data. If issues persist, try recreating the pivot table.

Can I undo a pivot table refresh?

Yes, like any other action in Google Sheets, you can use the ‘Undo’ button or press Ctrl + Z (Cmd + Z on a Mac) to revert the refresh.


  1. Open your Google Sheets document.
  2. Select the pivot table.
  3. Refresh the pivot table.


Refreshing a pivot table in Google Sheets is an essential skill for anyone looking to keep their data analysis sharp and current. With just a few clicks, you can update your pivot tables to reflect the latest information, ensuring that your insights and decisions are based on accurate data. Remember, the key to a useful pivot table is not just in its creation but in its maintenance. Regularly refreshing your pivot tables can make the difference between good and great data analysis. And who doesn’t want to be great at analyzing data?

Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who loves to organize information, mastering the refresh function of pivot tables will make your life easier. So, go ahead and give it a try. And if you run into any trouble, refer back to our tips and FAQs for a quick solution. Happy analyzing!