The #REF error occurs in Microsoft Excel when a formula refers to an invalid cell. This usually happens when cells that were referenced by formulas get removed or pasted over.
How do I find REF errors in Excel?
Follow the steps below to find errors located in your Excel spreadsheet:
- Press Ctrl + F or click the Find and select button on the Home tab in the Editing group.
- A Find and Replace dialog box will open.
- Type into the Find What entry box the #REF error or any other error you are looking for; you can click either Find All or Find Next.
- Excel will find the #REF error.
How to fix the #REF error in Excel
Follow the method below to fix the #REF error in Microsoft Excel:
- #REF error caused by deleted column.
- VLOOKUP with incorrect range references
- INDEX with an incorrect row or column reference
1] #REF error caused by deleted column
If a column is deleted, it will trigger a REF error. If you accidentally delete the column, press the Ctrl + Z combination keys to undo the mistake.
2] VLOOKUP with incorrect range references
You can get a #REF error in Excel if there is an incorrect range or column in the VLOOKUP formula.
For instance, in the photo above, we have received a #REF error due to inputting the incorrect column (3) in the range.
To fix the issue, place the correct column in the range.
3] INDEX with an incorrect row or column reference
Having an incorrect row or column in your INDEX formula can trigger the #REF error, for instance, in the photo above, we have an incorrect row (7) and an incorrect column (4).
To fix this issue, use the correct column or row in the range.
We hope this tutorial helps you understand how to fix the #REF error in Microsoft Excel.