[Solved!] CTRL+F Not Working in Excel (5 Fixes)

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.


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5 Solutions: CTRL+F Is Not Working in Excel

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.

Set Option to Look in Values to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Excel found nothing! That’s awkward, right?

Set Option to Look in Values to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

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.

Set Option to Look in Values to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Solution:

  • The solution is simple, just choose Values or Formulas options and then press Find Next.

Set Option to Look in Values to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Now you see, Excel has found the value in the sheet with a green rectangle in the cell.

Read More: FIND Function Not Working in Excel (4 Reasons with Solutions)


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.

Unselect Multiple Cells If CTRL+F Doesn’t Work in Excel

Again, Excel showed the error message.

Unselect Multiple Cells If CTRL+F Doesn’t Work in Excel

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.

Unselect Multiple Cells If CTRL+F Doesn’t Work in Excel

Solution:

  • Keep in mind, don’t select multiple cells before finding values. Select none or just select one cell.

Then it will work properly.

Read More: How to Find Multiple Values in Excel (8 Quick Methods)


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.

Unmark Match Entire Cell Contents If You Cannot Use CTRL+F Shortcut Command

And it’s showing an error message.

Unmark Match Entire Cell Contents If You Cannot Use CTRL+F Shortcut Command

Solution:

  • 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.


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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.

Remove Extra Space to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

The same error message.

Remove Extra Space to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Because there is an extra space between the word ‘My’ and ‘Car’.

Remove Extra Space to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Solution:

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.

Unprotect Worksheet to Fix CTRL+F Not Working Problem in Excel

Solution:

  • 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.


Conclusion

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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Mithun

Mithun

Hello! I am Md. Sourov Hossain Mithun. Welcome to my profile. Currently, I am working at Exceldemy as an Excel and VBA Content Developer. Excel is amazing software. Here I will post excel related useful articles. I am a graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. I love to learn new things and work with them. Thank you.

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