[Solved!] MINVERSE in Excel Not Working

In this article, we’ll help you to solve the issue of MINVERSE in Excel not working. We will navigate you through any challenges and unleash the full potential of matrix calculations for your professional needs.

In professional life, matrices play a crucial role in various fields such as finance, engineering, and data analysis. Excel provides powerful functions to handle matrix operations, including the MINVERSE function for finding the inverse of a matrix. However, sometimes we find that the MINVERSE Excel function is not working.

As it holds immense importance in solving complex equations and optimization problems. Such problems can disturb our work performance and consume our important productive time.

overview image of minverse excel not working

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MINVERSE Function in Excel

The MINVERSE function in Excel is a built-in mathematical function that calculates the inverse of a matrix, allowing for effective solutions to complex equations and optimization problems.


minverse function syntax



array Required A square numeric array with matching rows and columns.

MINVERSE in Excel Not Working: Common Reasons with Solutions

It is important to note that the function may encounter certain issues or produce error values if the following conditions are present.

Reason 1: The Input Range Contains Blank Cells

If any of the input ranges or cells contain blank cells or have no values, the MINVERSE function will return a #VALUE error.

blank space returns an error

Solution: Ensure Valid Cell Data

It is necessary to ensure that all required cells have valid data for the function to work correctly.

no blank cells in matrix data

Reason 2: Cell Contains Text Values Instead of Numbers

If any of the cells in the input range contain text values instead of numbers, the MINVERSE function will return a #VALUE error.

text values in the input range cause an error

Solution: Avoid Text Values or Alphabets in Dataset

The function can not calculate text values, so it is necessary to make sure that all the cells have a numerical value.

final output of MINVERSE function in Excel using no text values

Reason 3: Matrix Is Not Square

In case the matrix is not square, the MINVERSE function will return a #VALUE error.

unequal rows and columns in the matrix

Solution: Maintain an Equal Number of Rows and Columns

For the MINVERSE function to work properly, the matrix must be a square matrix, meaning it should have an equal number of rows and columns.

MIVERSE in Excel is not working solution

Reason 4: The Determinant of a Matrix is zero

If the determinant is zero, it indicates that the matrix has no inverse, and the MINVERSE function will show #NUM! error.

Excel has limitations when using MINVERSE in the case of a non-invertible matrix. This is because Excel requires the matrix to be square and non-singular (non-singular means invertible).

error handling when the determinant of a matrix is zero

Solution: Ensure That the Matrix Is Invertible

To use the MINVERSE function successfully, the matrix must be invertible, meaning it should have a non-zero determinant.

MINVERSE in Excel is not working solution in case of non-invertible matrix

NOTE: Non-invertible matrices arise from interdependent variables, redundant data, or model inconsistencies. Understanding them is crucial for solving real-world problems involving linear systems and matrix operations.

Reason 5: Lack of Space in Output Range

Ensure sufficient output space (e.g. 4×4) matching the matrix dimensions (e.g. 4×4) to avoid #SPILL! error with the MINVERSE function.

not sufficient space for output

Solution: Provide Enough Space in the Output Range

Make sure there is enough space in the output range for the MINVERSE function to work.

using enough space at the output range

How to Use MINVERSE Function in Excel

Before delving into the potential reasons for the MINVERSE Excel function not functioning correctly, let us first set the stage with a hypothetical scenario.

Consider that, as a supply chain analyst in a manufacturing company, your objective is to enhance the sourcing and transportation of raw materials. Calculating the inverse of the transportation cost matrix enables you to identify the most cost-effective supply routes.

dataset for using MINVERSE excel function not working

The matrix is structured, with each row representing a supplier and each column representing a production facility. In our dataset, each number in the matrix represents the transportation cost (in dollars per unit) associated with sourcing raw materials from different suppliers. The value at position (i, j) represents the cost of transporting materials from supplier i to production facility j.

To begin, we will proceed by selecting cell C12 and then entering the MINVERSE function. Next, we will carefully choose the array C5:F8.

how to use the MINVERSE function in Excel

NOTE: If you have Microsoft Excel 365, enter the formula in the top-left cell of the output range and press ENTER.

For previous Excel versions, first, select the output range, enter the formula in the top-left cell, and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. Excel adds curly brackets to the formula.

Upon execution, you will witness the result elegantly displayed in the cell range C12:F15, accompanied by a subtle bluish shading that enhances the visual presentation of the array.

output from the MINVERSE function in Excel

In the output array, Negative and positive values in the inverse matrix represent less efficient and more efficient transportation routes, respectively. Analysts can use these values to identify cost-effective routes and optimize the supply chain.

Things to Remember

  • For all other versions of Excel (except Excel 365), first select the output range.
  • Then, enter the formula in the top-left cell of the output range.
  • Finally, press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to confirm the formula as an array formula. Excel will automatically add curly brackets to the formula. Following this process will make your work smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How can I check if my matrix is square?

To determine if your matrix is square, simply compare the number of rows and columns. If they are equal, your matrix meets the requirement for the MINVERSE function and can be used effectively.

Q2. Why does MINVERSE give inaccurate results?

When working with the MINVERSE function, it’s important to be aware of the precision limitations in Excel. Keep in mind that Excel has a 16-digit precision limit, which means that large matrices or those requiring high levels of precision may lead to inaccurate results. Rounding errors or loss of precision can occur during the calculation process

Q3. Can Excel version impact the performance of MINVERSE?

Yes. The performance of the MINVERSE function can be influenced by the version of Excel being used. In previous versions, a three-step process involving selecting the output range, entering the formula, and using the CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER shortcut was required. However, newer versions, such as Microsoft Excel 365, have simplified the process.

Q4. How can I fix the MINVERSE function not working?

To resolve MINVERSE issues, ensure correct formula syntax, use a square and compatible matrix, and handle error values or empty cells.

Q5. I’m getting an error message when using MINVERSE. What does it mean?

Error messages related to MINVERSE can indicate issues such as a non-invertible matrix, incompatible dimensions, or an incorrect formula structure. Analyzing the error message details can help identify the specific problem and guide you in resolving it effectively.


In conclusion, the proper functioning of MINVERSE in Excel is essential for professionals in various fields such as finance, engineering, supply chain management, and data analysis. It is crucial for professionals to understand the potential issues and take the necessary steps to ensure accurate results, enabling them to make informed decisions and drive efficiency in their professional endeavors.

Factors such as incompatible dimensions, non-invertible matrices, the presence of error values or empty cells, and Excel version limitations can result in the MINVERSE Excel function not working properly.

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Ishrak Khan
Ishrak Khan

Qayem Ishrak Khan, BURP, Urban and Regional Planning, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, has been working with the ExcelDemy project for 1 year. He wrote over 40+ articles for ExcelDemy. He is an Excel and VBA Content Developer providing authentic solutions to different Excel-related problems and writing amazing content articles regularly. Data Visualization, DBMS, and Data Analysis are his main areas of interest. Besides, He has passions about learning and working with different features of Microsoft... Read Full Bio

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