While working with Excel Sometimes you will face situations when formulas will not work properly. There can be many reasons why the formula is not working. This articleâ€™s main focus is to explain why formula is not working in Excel and how you can make them work properly.

**Table of Contents**hide

## Why Formula Is Not Working in Excel (15 Reasons with Solutions)

Here, I have taken a dataset that contains studentsâ€™** Name** and their numbers in** Math **and **English**. I will be using this dataset to show you why formula is not working in Excel. I am going to explain 15 possible reasons why the formula is not working in Excel.

### 1. Check Cell Format

If you type the formula and see results like the picture shown below. Which means you are seeing the **formula as text**. The possible reason why the formula is not working is maybe you have secreted the cell format as **Text**.

To check this, go to the **Number Format **of the** Home** ribbon and check if **Text **is selected as the following picture.

Now, let me show you how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell that is showing this error. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - Secondly, go to
**Number Format**on the**Home**ribbon and select**General**. - Now, press
**ENTER**.

This will solve the problem and give you the correct result for the selected cell.

- After that, drag the
**Fill Handle**and you will get your desired results in all the other cells.

Now, you have your formula working and you are getting your desired results.

**Read More: **[Fixed!] Formula Not Working and Showing as Text in Excel

### 2. Check for Space Before Formula

In this 2nd case, the cells are showing text like in the previous case. The possible reason why formula is not working can be unnecessary space before the formula.

To check it select the cell where this problem is showing and check if there is any space before the formula.

Letâ€™s see how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where this problem is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - Secondly,
**Delete**the space before the formula.

- After that, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result in that cell.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy this formula to all the other cells.

Now, you have solved your problem and got your desired results in all the cells.

**Read More: **[Fixed]: Excel Formula Not Showing Correct Result

### 3. Check If Formulas Are Enclosed in Double Quotes

The next reason why formula is not working in Excel is enclosing the formula in double-quotes. If you accidentally or intentionally enclose a formula in double quotes, it wonâ€™t work. So, when you are copying a formula from somewhere, keep it in mind.

Let me show you how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly,
**Delete**the double quotes from the formula.

- Secondly, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result for that cell.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to all the other cells.

Now, you have the correct result for all the cells and your formula is working properly.

### 4. Check If Numbers Are Enclosed in Double Quotes

In this case, we will see another reason why formula is not working in Excel. If you are getting a result like an image, shown below the possible reason behind this is enclosing the numbers in double-quotes.

To begin with, select the cell and check the **Formula Bar** to see if this is the problem.

Now, I am going to show you how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:Â __

- Firstly, select the cell where the error is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - Secondly,
**remove**the double quotes from the numbers.

- After that, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result for the cell.**Â**

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to the rest of the cells.

Now, you have all the correct answers and your formula is working properly.

### 5. Check for Circular References

**Circular References **are another reason why formula is not working in Excel. If you are seeing a result like the following image then maybe **Circular References **is the reason behind this.

Letâ€™s see how you can check the **Circular References**.

- First, go to the
**Formulas**tab. - Second, go to
**Formula Auditing**. - Next, click
**Error Checking**. - After that, put your cursor over
**Circular References**. And, that will show you the cell that is causing this problem. Here, cell**E10**is causing the**Circular References**.

Letâ€™s see how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where this problem is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E10**. - After that, remove the cell from the formula that is causing the
**Circular references**. Here,**E10**is causing the problem so I removed it from the formula.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and you will see that your formula is working.

### 6. Entering Numbers with Formatting

In this scenario, we are considering a case where you want to get a sign in the result and you are formatting the number accordingly but not getting the result you want.

For example, here I want a **currency ($)** sign in the result but formatting the number is not giving me the result I want.

You can solve this problem by following these simple steps.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where you want the
**currency ($)**sign. - Secondly,
**Delete**the**currency ($)**sign from the formula.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and you will get the result for the cell.

- Next, select the cell again. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - After that, go to
**Number Format**on the**Home**ribbon and select**Currency**.

Now, you will get the **currency ($) **sign in your desired cell.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to get the**Currency**formal in other cells.

And, now you will get your desired sign in the results.

### 7. Check If Automatic Option Is Selected in Calculation Option

In this case, when you enter the formula at first you will see that it works properly Like in the picture shown below.

But, when you drag the **Fill Handle** to copy the formula to the other cells you will see that the formula is not working as it was supposed to. The possible reason behind this is **Manual **is selected in the **Calculation Options**. When **Manual **is selected Excel does not calculate until you force it to.

Letâ€™s see how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, go to the
**Formulas**tab. - Secondly, go to the
**Calculations Option**. - After that, select
**Automatic**.

Finally, you will see that your formula is working and you are getting the correct results.

### 8. Check If You Have Deleted Row/ Column/ Cell

Now, we will learn about another reason why formula is not working in Excel. If you see an error like the following image, the possible reason behind this can be a deleted **Row**, **Column**, or **Cell**.

To check this you can select the cell that is showing the error. Here, I selected cell **D5**. And then check the formula and see if there is any missing value.

__Solution:__

- To solve this problem you have to be careful while deleting a
**Column**or a**Row**.

### 9. Check All Opening and Closing Parenthesis

Not using opening and closing parenthesis properly is another reason why formula is not working in Excel.

For example, in the following image, you can see that I wanted to calculate the **Total Percentage** but we are not getting the correct results. The reason behind this is not using any parenthesis.

You can easily solve this problem by placing some parenthesis by following the **BODMAS **rule. Letâ€™s see how you can solve this problem for this example.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where the problem is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - Secondly, use
**parenthesis**accordingly by following the**BODMAS**rule. Make sure to use the opening and closing parenthesis properly.

- After that, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to the rest of the cells.

Now, you will see that your formula is working and you are getting all the correct results.

### 10. Check If All Required Arguments Are Entered Properly

The next reason why formula is not working in Excel is not entering the arguments of a function properly.

For example, in the following image, you can see that there is an error showing. The possible reason behind this may be not entering the arguments properly.

To check this, first select the cell where the error is showing and check the formula bar to see if all the arguments are entered correctly. Here, I selected cell **H5**.**Â **

You can see that here I used a** VLOOKUP function**. I wrote the formula as shown below.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,B5:E8,3)`

Here, I took **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, and **3** as** col_index_number**. But, I left the **range_lookup **blank. As a result, the formula is not working.

You can easily solve this problem by entering all the arguments properly. Now, letâ€™s see how it is done.

__Solution:__

- At first, select the cell where the error is showing. Here, I selected cell
**H5**. - After that, in that cell write the formula correctly with all the arguments. Here, I wrote the following formula.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,B5:E8,3,FALSE)`

Here, I have selected **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, **3** as** col_index_number**, and **FALSE **as **range_lookup**. Now, I have entered all the arguments properly.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and you will see that the formula is working properly and giving you the correct answer.

**Read More: **[Solved]: Excel Array Formula Not Showing Result

### 11. Check for Incorrect Syntax of Function

In this case, you will see a result like the previous case. The reason why formula is not working can be the incorrect use of syntax of the function.

To check this select the cell where the error is showing. Here, I selected cell **H5**. You can see that I wrote the following formula in that cell.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,B5:E8,3,TRUE)`

Here, I have selected **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, **3** as** col_index_number**, and **TRUE **as **range_lookup**. The problem with this formula is I selected **TRUE **as **range_lookup **while I want an exact match for the **lookup_value**. **TRUE **is for approximate match and **FALSE **is for an exact match.

You can solve this problem by following some easy steps.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where you want the correct result. Here, I selected cell
**H5**. - Secondly, in that cell write the formula properly will all the correct syntax. Here, I wrote the following formula.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,B5:E8,3,FALSE)`

Here, I have selected **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, **3** as** col_index_number**, and **FALSE **as **range_lookup**. Now, I have entered all the syntax correctly.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and you will see that the formula is working and giving you the correct result.

### 12. Check for Absolute Cell Reference

The next reason why formula is not working in Excel is not Using the **absolute cell reference **properly.

For example, if you see a result like the following image, some results are showing properly and some results are showing errors. Then, not using **absolute cell reference **can be the reason behind this.

To check this select the cell and look at the formula bar to see the formula. Here, I have selected cell **H5**. And in cell **H5 **I wrote the following formula.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,B5:E8,3,FALSE)`

Here, I have selected **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, **3** as** col_index_number**, and **FALSE **as **range_lookup**. There is nothing wrong with this formula if you are writing this for that particular cell. But, when you will drag the **Fill Handle **to copy the formula to the other cells the cells in the formula will change accordingly. This will cause this type of error. You can easily solve this problem by fixing the required cells with the use of **absolute cell reference**.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where you want to write the correct formula. Here, I selected cell
**H5**. - Secondly, in that cell write the formula with the required absolute cell reference. Here, I wrote the following formula.

`=VLOOKUP(G5,$B$5:$E$8,3,FALSE)`

Here, I have selected **G5 **as **lookup_value**,** B5:E8 **as **table_array**, **3** as** col_index_number**, and **FALSE **as **range_lookup**. I used **absolute cell reference** for the **table_array **so that the selected range remains fixed while using **Autofill**.

- Now, press
**ENTER**to get the correct result in the cell.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to all the other cells.

Now, you can see that your formula is working properly and you have the correct results in all the cells.

### 13. Check If Full Path to a Closed Workbook Is Included

The next reason why formula is not working in Excel is not including the full path to a closed workbook.

If you are seeing results like the following image then this might be the reason.

To check this select the cell and check the **formula bar **to see the formula. Here, I selected cell **E5** and found the following formula.

`=C5+D5+'[Biology.xlsx]Biology'!C5`

Here, I summed cells **C5**,** D5**, and** C5** from another workbook named **Biology.xlsx **from the worksheet named **Biology**. The problem with this formula is I did not use the full path of the workbook thatâ€™s why I am getting an error.

Letâ€™s see how you can solve this problem.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select the cell where the error is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - Secondly, in the selected cell write the formula with the full path of the workbook. Here, I wrote the following formula.

`=C5+D5+'E:\This PC\Documents\[Biology.xlsx]Biology'!C5`

Here, I summed cells **C5**,** D5**, and** C5** from another workbook named **Biology.xlsx **from the worksheet named **Biology**. In this formula I used the whole part of the workbook which is **E:\This PC\Documents\[Biology.xlsx]Biology**.

- After that, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result. - Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to all the other cells.

Now, you will see that your formula is working properly.

### 14. Enclosing Workbook or Worksheet in Double Quotes

In this case, the reason why formula is not working in Excel is enclosing the formula in double-quotes. If you accidentally or intentionally enclose the worksheet name in a double quote in the formula then the formula will show an error like the image below.

You can easily solve this problem by following a few simple steps.

__Solution:__

- Firstly, select
**OK**to close the error message.

- Secondly, select the cell where the error is showing. Here, I selected cell
**E5**. - After that, write the formula without enclosing the worksheet name in double quotes. Here, I wrote the following formula.

`=C5+D5+Biology!C5`

Here, I summed cells **C5**,** D5, **and **C5 **from the worksheet named **Biology.**

- Now, press
**ENTER**and you will get the correct result.

- Finally, drag the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula to all the other cells.

Now, you have all the right results and your formula is working properly.

### 15. Nesting Functions More Than Capacity

Another reason why formula is not working in Excel is nesting functions more than capacity. Sometimes, you need to nest functions to get your desired results. But if you nest more than capacity then the formula wonâ€™t work.

__Solution:__

- If you are using Excel 2003 or lower, you can use up to 7 nested functions.
- And if you are using Excel 2007 or any newer version then you can nest up to 64 nested functions.

**Download Practice Workbook**

## Conclusion

To conclude, in this article I tried to explain 15 reasons why formula is not working in Excel. Hopefully, it was helpful for you. If you gave any questions or any suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

## Related Articles

- [Fixed!] Excel Formulas Not Working on Another Computer
- [Fixed!] SUM Formula Not Working in Excel
- [Solved:] Excel Formula Not Working unless Double Click Cell
- [Fixed!] Formula Result Showing 0 in Excel
- [Fixed!] Excel SUM Formula Is Not Working and Returns 0
- Solved]: Excel Formulas Not Updating Until Save