The IF function is one of the most used functions in Excel. We use it in a single form or a nested formula for different kinds of logical tests. But sometimes you may face some issues while using the IF function. If you are already suffering from one of them and finding solutions for that then you have come to the right place. Here, we’ll show 4 major reasons and solutions when the IF function is not working in Excel.
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4 Possible Fixes When IF Function Is Not Working in Excel
Here’s our sample dataset that we’ll use to explore the reasons and solutions. It represents some person’s name and gender.
1. Remove Leading Space
Leading space is the most common reason for which some formula doesn’t work properly. It can affect the IF function too. Have a look at the dataset, we applied the IF function to return Yes for Males and No for Females. But the second output is returning the wrong result.
Here’s the formula and there’s nothing wrong with the formula.
The reason is there is remaining a leading space in the value of Cell C6. that’s why the IF function couldn’t recognize the value and returned the wrong result.
- Simply delete the space or use the TRIM function before the cell reference like the image below.
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2. Change Wrong Delimiter
Another common issue is using the wrong delimiter or character. While using a function in Excel we had to use commas between the arguments. So mistakenly if you use a semicolon or any other delimiter in the IF function then Excel will show an error message like the image below.
- Delete the wrong delimiters and use commas between the arguments.
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3. Change Cell Format
If we store numbers in Text format then it creates a lot of problems in many formulas. Consequently, it affects the IF function too. Look, at the image below. We modified the dataset by inserting the ages of the persons.
And when we used the IF function to return Yes for ages greater than 18 then it’s returning the wrong result. There are no mistakes in the formula. Then what can be the reason?
The reason is we stored the numbers in a Text format instead of a Number format. So the IF function was considering it as text values and returning the wrong result.
- Store the numbers in Number format or convert them. To convert them, select the cells and click on the error icon, then select the Convert to Number option.
Now see, it’s giving the accurate result after the conversion.
4. Remove Unusual Characters from Argument
While inserting text in a formula we had to use double quotation marks (“”). But some values don’t need it. Here’s another modified dataset that is showing TRUE for married persons and FALSE for unmarried persons. Now we’ll apply the IF function to return Allowed for married persons and Not Allowed for unmarried persons.
Here’s the formula, there’s nothing wrong with the formula but look, it’s showing Not Allowed for every value.
The reason is, we used double quotation marks in the logical part C5=”TRUE” but Excel considers the value TRUE as the number 1 and FALSE as the number 0. As we know numbers don’t need double quotation marks in the logical test, So it doesn’t need the double quotation marks additionally.
- Just delete the double quotation marks from TRUE or FALSE in the formula.
Now see, the formula is giving the right result.
That’s all for the article. I hope the procedures described above will be good enough to fix the problem when the IF function is not working in Excel. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section and please give me feedback.