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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Disable time grouping

The new automatic time grouping in PivotTables should be an option within Excel. Users should not need to make a registry edit to disable this feature, and the time grouping should not be on by default.

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    Andy shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    completed  ·  Dan Battagin [MS XL] responded  · 

    Hi all,

    This ability to turn off time grouping from the UI was recently added to the O365 version of Excel. File→Options→Advanced→Data→“Disable automatic grouping of Data/Time columns in PivotTables”.

    We’re considering adding this back to the perpetual release of Office 16. Until that’s available, you can also turn it off manually using the registry, outlined in this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-off-time-grouping-in-PivotTables-in-Excel-2016-for-Windows-6be5afed-348c-4db2-9f87-5ac262d67b3f.

    Regards
    Ashvini Sharma [MS]

    65 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        HATE THIS - COMPLETELY SCREWING UP MY ABILITY TO ANALYZE DATA BY CAMPAIGN DROP DATE. Effing Microsoft.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Same comment as the rest, just wanted to add another voice. Feature should be an option and by default, should be off.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        please remove automatic grouping for mac version of Office 2016. It is very frustrating making it almost impossible to organize reports.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The date automating in excel is awful and entirely useless. An option to turn it off should have been made available a decade or two ago.

        If most excel users are like me, more than 99% of cells used aren't denoting dates. To turn "12-13" into "December 13" is not helpful. If i need to write a date, i'll write a date.

        Yes, yes you can preemptively set a cell to text instead of general to avoid the auto-format, but why should you have to take unnecessary steps to avoid an unnecessary auto-format?!?

        If you work with any sort of coded list, (such as BLS OES occupational codes) it's a nightmare when you have hundreds or thousands of rows imported in a ##-#### format and any code with the first two digits <13 get converted into dates.

        It's stupid.

        If there's any good argument for keeping the date auto-format, I'd love to hear it, because in my experience discussing this stupid topic everyone has agreed that it's an inefficient pain. Get rid of it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If this feature is turned off it would be greatly appreciated. For one who need grouping, it is easy to group but for all other it is a nightmare.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would have appreciated the _option_ to do this, as it can be an useful feature. To absolutely force it by default was an asinine decision. This isn't the kind of thing that needed forced adoption.

      • Renee commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Turning of that feature in teh Data section DOES NOT WORK. So very annoying.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea to group months of different years together. I have a table with dates in one column, category in another, and balance in the last one. I want to plot a different line for each category, but with the actual date value on the X axis. Why is this so hard for Microsoft to figure out. Even Power-BI falls on its face trying to do this.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Date grouping is a most frustrating feature in Excel 2016 - tips to turn it off do not work. You have made my job much more difficult. Yes, it is a useful feature but you are making my life difficult.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        another user said it best, quote below. But seriously, do you have a group of daily excel users on hand to provide input BEFORE release? This is a great example of something that really only works conceptually for non-users. 'Features' are often really bugs that 'look cool' or 'seem cool' but in practice lack common sense.

        his seems a very good idea, but clumsily implemented rolled out. It seems the principles for a breaking change like this should be:

        1. Preserve the existing behavior
        2. Put an easily discoverable control to show the new feature. Eg, a right-click menu item like "Group by period"
        3. Make sure that configuration changes apply without a save/reopen

        "...seems a very good idea, but clumsily implemented rolled out. It seems the principles for a breaking change like this should be:

        1. Preserve the existing behavior
        2. Put an easily discoverable control to show the new feature. Eg, a right-click menu item like "Group by period"
        3. Make sure that configuration changes apply without a save/reopen

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Since my Outlook is in our company licensing, I found that to remove this I had to open a Pivot table and then go to the Analyze menu within the workbook and there is a segment called Group: click the Ungroup to remove this annoying "enhancement."

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am trying to show things by week commencing the 'blah' still showing months! why on earth did you do this!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed. This was driving me mad until i found this web page. Just give me what I ask for!!

      • igsy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While we are on the subject of dumb changes to pivot tables, a couple of versions back it was possible to expand a report filter/old pagefield selection box and it would stay expanded for subsequent use. Now you have to resize the **** thing every time. Fine if you have half-a-dozen items, but extremely tedious otherwise, which is most of the time. OK, you can insert a slicer, but the slicer doesn't display on a pivot chart. So when I use pivot charts for non-trivial analyses, I spend much of my time resizing selection boxes. Water torture comes to mind, particularly when not using a mouse but a laptop touchpad. Can you fix this please?

      • A commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This was a completely unnecessary change. There was literally no reason to make this change and, if this board is any indication, the majority of your user-base hates this change. I can't believe this ever got through the QA period. How did someone come up with this brain-dead idea and not realize it was the stupidest idea excel has ever had (and that's a very high bar for stupidity).

      • Ben commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I completely agree with the complaints. There is no reason to default to grouping.

        Try looking at invoices by month. The suggestion to turn off the grouping in the options menu doesn't work. I cannot change the registry.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As a part of my job I've heavily utilized excel every day for the past 8 years. This is one of the most annoying and useless 'features' I've ever seen in excel. 99 times out of 100 I need time/dates represented exactly as they are in pivots. In the off chance I need them grouped into some category, I will gladly do that myself. My company also uses a fiscal calendar. I cannot imagine how this 'feature' passed any sort of muster. I'm guessing the people at Microsoft responsible for Excel don't actually have to use the program. Stop trying to be cute. If it ain't broke.....

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You must have too much time to spare to make unnecessary things like this one... come on !!

      • DKS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        neither editing registry nor checking “Disable automatic grouping of Data/Time columns in PivotTables” worked for me...what I did do was select "Show Hidden" under "Home" in the Power Pivot window and deleted the offending columns. It seems to have worked.

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