Excel error messages explained

Common Excel error messages

If you make a mistake when creating a formula in your Excel spreadsheet, Excel will show an error message such as #VALUE!

Here are some of the common error messages you may see when working with formulas in Excel.

Common Excel error messages

#NAME? Excel can’t recognise the text in a formula. You’ve entered an incorrect function name, cell range or cell reference.

#VALUE! One of the variables in the formula is of the wrong data type. For example, you have used text instead of a number in one of the cells.

#REF! The result of an invalid cell reference. You may have deleted a cell or moved it so the formula can no longer find the correct parameters to work with.

#DIV/0! This appears if you try to divide a number by zero or by an empty cell.

#NUM! There’s a problem with a number in a formula or function. For example, the calculation produces a number too high or too small for Excel to cope with. This can also occur if the wrong data type is used in a function, which requires numerical data.

#N/A! A formula or a function inside a formula cannot find the referenced data

#NULL! The cell references in your formula are not correctly separated. For example, cell ranges aren’t separated by colons or you’ve used a space rather than a mathematical operator to separate cell references in a formula.

####### The spreadsheet column is too narrow to display the result of the calculation. Excel will only show an answer if there’s enough space in the cell, so you need to autofit the column size or manually resize it.

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