Google Sheets Fill Down Handle – Simple Tips for 2022

Google Sheets fill down can save you a lot of time when doing data entry or working with data.

To use the fil handle Google Sheets recognizes a pattern and then allows you to quickly use the pattern to fill down the data.

For example, suppose you have 1 in cell A1 and 2 in cell A2, you can simply drag the Fill handle, and it will fill the cells with the series of numbers (as shown below):

Fill Down in Google Sheets Using Fill Handle -Numbers

What Is the Google Sheets Fill Down Handle?

When you select a cell or a range of cells, you will notice a small blue square at the bottom-right of the selection. This square is the fill handle.

Fill handle is the small square icon at the bottom right of the selection

To use it, you need to hover your cursor over this blue square icon. When you do this, the cursor will change to a plus icon (as shown below):

Cursor changes to plus icon when you hover on the fill handle

Now you hold the left mouse button and drag it down. It will fill down the data to all the cells that till while dragging.

Examples How to Use Fill Handle in Google Sheets

Fill handle can help you speed up data entry.

Here are some of the examples where you can quickly fill down data using fill handle.

Filling a Series of Data

As shown in one of the snapshots above, you can use fill handle to fill down the data when there is a pattern.

For example, if you have 1 and 2 in two consecutive cells in a column, you can use fill handle to get other numbers in the series (3,4,5 and so on).

Similarly, if you have a pattern where the number increments by .5 (as in 1, 1.5, 2), then you can get other numbers in this series by using the fill handle.

Fill down with decimals in Google Sheets

Filling Data with Blank Rows

If you want to get the serial numbers with alternate blank rows, you can do that using the fill handle as shown below.

Getting alternate blank while filling down

Similarly, if you want the blank row after every two numbers, have the numbers in first two cells, have the third cell blank, and select all three and drag the fill handle.

Google Spreadsheet Fill Down for Month Names

You can easily fill the month names in cells using the fill handle. All you need to specify is the month in the first two cells. This is needed as Google Sheets needs to understand the pattern.

For example, if you want the names of the months, enter January in first cell and February in the cell below it and fill down. Note that if you go beyond 12 cells, the months would repeat. So after December, it will start with January.

Month Fill down in Google Sheets

Note that this works as Google understands January and February as months. You can do the same with the shortened names of months such as Jan, Feb, and Mar.

Short Month names fill down in Google Sheets using fill handle

You can also use the month name along with the year. Google sheets will recognize it as a date and fill down accordingly. While in the case of month names, the names repeat after all the 12 months are covered, however, in the case of month name with the year, it will move on to the months in the next year (as shown below):

Fill down data with month and year in Google Sheets

Note that after Dec 2018, it moves to Jan 2019.

How to Autofill in Google Sheets Without Dragging – Double Click

If you have data in a column, then you can also double-click on the fill handle to fill down. It will fill the data up to the point where there is data in the adjacent column.

Below is an example where the month name is filled to 10 cell as there is data up to ten cells in the adjacent column.

Fill down using double click in Google Sheets

How to Autofill Formula in Google Sheets

In the same way, you can also use this method for Google Sheets fill down to work with formulas. In the case of formulas, if relative references are used these will automatically adjust themselves (just like it does when you copy-paste data). As you can see, the formula in cell E6 stays relevant to the adjacent cell of D6.

Autofill formula example Gif

Google Sheets Fill Down FAQ

How Do You Autofill in Google Sheets Without Dragging?

The simplest method is to double-click the fill handle. Google Sheets is usually smart enough to figure out the cells you want to apply the values or formula to.

You could also use an array formula that calculates the value based on the specified range automatically.

As you can see in the above example, once we specified the ranges in the spreadsheet, the ARRAYFORMULA automatically filled the adjacent column with the correct calculations.

How Do I Turn On Autofill in Google Sheets? / How Do You Hide and Display the Fill Handle?

You can navigate to Tools>Auto complete to adjust the setting for autofill (like turning off suggestions) but you can’t turn it off completely.

What Is the Fill Handle in Sheets?

The fill handle is the small blue square in the right corner of a select cell or range of cells. You can pull this along other cells to automatically apply formulas or to predict your inputs.

Can I Use the Fill handle to Copy The Exact Same Data Over Cells?

Yes, if you fill two cells with the exact same data, select them, then drag  across the other cells with the fill handle it will automatically fill them with the same values.

Now That You’re Familiar With Google Sheets Fill Down, You May Also Like the Following  Tutorials:

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