To find values, we frequently use the Find and Replace tool by using the shortcut CTRL+F. But you might face some unexpected problems while using the shortcut if you don’t know the reasons. No worries! We are here to help you. In this article, we’ll describe all the problems and will give proper solutions to fix the issue if CTRL+F is not working in Excel.
CTRL+F Is Not Working in Excel: 5 Solutions
To demonstrate the reasons and solutions, we’ll use the following dataset that represents the 5 best-nominated movies in the Best Picture category for Oscar Award 2022.
1. Set Option to Look in Values to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel
Now, have a look that I have tried to find the movie Dune but see what happened then in the following image.
Excel found nothing! That’s awkward, right?
Actually, I made a mistake before finding it. See that, in the Look in box, I selected Notes and that’s why Excel couldn’t find anything. Because there are no Notes in my sheet, Excel was finding the values in Notes.
- The solution is simple, just choose Values or Formulas options and then press Find Next.
Now you see, Excel has found the value in the sheet with a green rectangle in the cell.
2. Unselect Multiple Cells If CTRL+F Doesn’t Work in Excel
In this section, see that I again searched for Coda and all the options were in the right form, but Excel failed to find it.
Again, Excel showed the error message.
Here, the reason is I selected multiple cells excluding my look-up value. And for that, Excel was only searching between those cells, so got nothing.
- Keep in mind, don’t select multiple cells before finding values. Select none or just select one cell.
Then it will work properly.
3. Unmark Match Entire Cell Contents If You Cannot Use CTRL+F Shortcut Command
Another most common mistake is- maybe you are searching for a particular part from the value of a cell but marked the Match Entire Cell Contents option. If you mark this then Excel will only search for the total value of every cell. See, I searched for the word Drive from the movie name Drive My Car.
And it’s showing an error message.
- Make sure you unmarked that option if you don’t want to search for entire cell contents.
Then Excel will be able to find any part from the value of a cell.
Read More: How to Check If a Value is in List in Excel
4. Remove Extra Space to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel
If there remains any unwanted extra space between the words of a cell then also the CTRL+F won’t work. I searched for the movie name Drive My Car but the finding tool failed to find it.
The same error message.
Because there is an extra space between the word ‘My’ and ‘Car’.
Simply remove the extra spaces and apply the CTRL+F command then it will work properly.
5. Unprotect Worksheet to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel
You may face that you are unable to edit a sheet, applying a command in Excel because your sheet is protected with a password. In this case, you will only be able to view the sheet just.
If your sheet is protected, then you will see the Unprotect Sheet option. To check it, click as follows: Home > Cells > Format > Unprotect Sheet.
- To unprotect, click as follows: Home > Cells > Format > Unprotect Sheet.
- Then give the password and press OK.
And then you will be able to use the CTRL+F command.
Download Practice Workbook
You can download the free Excel template from here and practice on your own.
I hope the procedures described above will be good enough to solve the problem if CTRL+F does not work in Excel. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section and please give me feedback.
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