In this tutorial, we will explain the reasons for the problem of why the **FIND **function in excel is not working. In **Microsoft Excel**, the **FIND **function is used to locate a particular character or substring inside a text string. Sometimes the **FIND **function doesn’t work properly and gives a **#VALUE** error. This error occurs as a result of incorrect argument selection in the **FIND **function.

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## Overview of Excel FIND Function

**Description**

The **FIND **function is used to locate a particular character or substring inside a text string

**Generic Syntax**

**FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])**

**Argument Description**

Argument | Requirement | Explanation |
---|---|---|

find_text |
Required | Substring that we want to find. |

within_text |
Required | Where the text will be searched. |

[start_num] |
Optional | The beginning position of search in the text. The default value of this argument is 1. |

**Returns**

The location of a specific substring from a string.

**Available in**

All versions after **Excel 2003**.

## 4 Reasons with Solutions to FIND Function Not Working in Excel

Throughout this article, we will demonstrate **4 **reasons and solutions to the problem of why the **FIND **function in excel is not working. To illustrate this clearly to you we will use a unique dataset for each method.

### Reason 1: FIND Function Not Working If ‘within_text’ Argument Does Not Contain ‘find_text’ Argument in Excel

First and foremost, we will discuss why the **FIND **function in excel is not working since the ‘**within_text**’ argument doesn’t contain the ‘**find_text**’ argument. In the following dataset, we have some strings in cells (**B5:B8**). We can find the positions of substrings of cell range (**b**) using the **FIND **function. Suppose we will find the position of the substring ‘**a**’ in the string **Microsoft**. If you notice the substring a is not present in string **Microsoft**. So, in this case, the ‘**within_text**’ argument does not contain the ‘**find_text**’ argument. The **FIND **function will not work in this case.

Let’s see the steps to illustrate this method.

**STEPS:**

- To begin with, select cell
**D5**. Insert the following formula in that cell:

`=FIND(C5,B5)`

- Press
**Enter**. - In addition, the above formula gives a
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**as the string**Microsoft**doesn’t contain substring**a**.

- Lastly, insert the following formulas of cells (
**E6:E8**) in cells (**D6:D8**). We get the**#VALUE**error for each case since the substrings are not present in stings.

**Solution:**

Now to solve this error copy, the following new values of substrings in column **C**. Since the ‘**within_text**’ contains the newly added values we do not get any **#VALUE** error.

** **

### Reason 2: FIND Function in Excel Not Working Due to Case Sensitivity of Arguments

In **Excel, **the **FIND **function doesn’t work if the ‘**find_tex**t’ doesn’t match exactly with the strings of ‘**within_text**’. So, the case sensitivity of arguments is another reason for which the **FIND **function in **Excel **is not working. In the following dataset, we have the same dataset just with different substrings. In cell **B5 **the string is **Microsoft**. From that string, we will find the position of substring **m**. We can see that the substring character is in lower case while the string contains the same character in uppercase.

Let’s see the steps to perform this method.

**STEPS:**

- First, select cell
**D5**. Insert the following formula in that cell:

`=FIND(C5,B5)`

- Hit
**Enter**. - Next, we can see the
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**.

- Finally, write down the following formulas of cells (
**E6:E8**) in cells (**D6:D8**). We will get a**#VALUE**error for each case since the substrings do not match exactly with any of the corresponding strings.

**Solution:**

To solve this error, replace the previous values of substrings with new values that match exactly with the ‘**within_text**’ argument. After replacing we can see that the **FIND **function works properly and does not return any **#VALUE** error.

** **

### Reason 3: Excel FIND Function Does Not Work When ‘start_num’ Argument Is Greater Than ‘within_text’ Argument

While using the **FIND **function it is mandatory that the value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument will not be greater than the number of total characters in the ‘**within_text**’ argument. The **FIND **function in excel will not work if you input a value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument greater than the ‘**within_text**’ argument. To illustrate this method we will use the following dataset.

Let’s see the steps to perform this method.

**STEPS:**

- Firstly, select cell
**D5**. Write down the following formula in that cell:

`=FIND(C5,B5,7)`

- Next, press
**Enter**. - So, we get the
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**.

This error occurs because the position of substring **M **in string **Microsoft **is **1**. But, the **FIND **function starts looking from position **7**. That’s why the function can not find the position of **M **and returns the **#VALUE** error.

- In the end, insert the formulas of cells (
**E6:E9**) in cells (**D6:D9**). We get the**#VALUE**error in all cases since the ‘**start_num**’ argument is greater than the position of that string in ‘**witin_text**’.

**Solution:**

Replace the ‘**start_num**’ argument with **1**. This action will remove all the **#VALUE** errors from the dataset. The **FIND **function returns output because the value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument is now smaller than the ‘**within_text**’ argument.

### Reason 4: FIND Function in Excel Do Not Work If ‘start_num’ Argument Is Smaller Than or Equal to 0

Another reason behind the **FIND **function not working in excel is the value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument is smaller than or equal to **0**. If we input any value of ‘**start_num**’ argument **0 **or negative the **FIND **function will return a **#VALUE** error. To illustrate this we will use the negative value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument in the following dataset.

So, let’s see the steps associated with this method.

**STEPS:**

- In the beginning, select cell
**D5**. Input the following formula in that cell:

`=FIND(C5,B5,-1)`

- Press,
**Enter**. - As a result, we get a
**#VALUE**error in cell**D5**since we have used a negative value**-1**as the ‘**start_num**’ argument.

- Lastly, input the following formulas of cells (
**E6:E8**) in cells (**D6:D8**). We get the**#VALUE**error in each cell. It happens because the value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument is negative in each formula.

**Solution:**

Since the negative value of the ‘**start_num**’ argument is the reason for the **#VALUE** error that’s why just replace all the negative values with **1**. So, the **FIND **function doesn’t return the **#VALUE** error anymore.

** **

## Conclusion

In conclusion, this tutorial will give you a clear idea of why the **FIND **function is not working in excel. Download the practice workbook that comes with this article to put your skills to the test. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below. Our team will try to reply to you as soon as possible. So, keep an eye out for more intriguing **Microsoft Excel** solutions in the future.