How to fix #NAME? error in Excel. 8 Reasons of #NAME? error

#NAME error in Excel, How to fix #NAME? error in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide

Struggling with the #NAME? error in Excel? Our comprehensive guide provides clear solutions to fix this common problem. Learn the causes behind the error and follow our step-by-step instructions to resolve it quickly and efficiently. Perfect for Excel users of all skill levels.

What is #NAME? error in Excel?

The #NAME?error in Excel is typically encountered when Excel doesn’t recognize text in a formula. It’s a way for Excel to tell you that something might be wrong within a particular cell’s formula.

8 Reasons of #NAME? error appears. 

1. Misspelled Function Name:

  • Details: Function names must be spelled exactly as they’re defined in Excel. Even a small typo can lead to this error.
  • Example: Using =SUME(A2:A5) instead of =SUM(A2:A5) will cause the #NAME? error since “SUME” is not a recognized function.


  • Fix: Check the spelling of all functions in the formula. Correct any typos or incorrect spellings.
  • Example: Change SUME(A2:A5) to SUM(A2:A5)

2. Missing Quotation Marks (“”)Around Text:

  • Details: When you refer to text within a formula, the text must be enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Example: IF(A1=”Yes”, “True”, “False”) is correct, while IF(A1=Yes, “True”, “False”) without quotes around “Yes” will trigger the error.

quotation mark missing

  • Fix: Enclose any text strings within quotation marks.
  • Example: Change IF(A1=Yes, “True”, “False”) to IF(A1=Yes, “True”, “False”)

quotation mark

3. Incorrect Range Name:

  • Details: If you have named a specific range and you spell that name incorrectly within a formula, Excel won’t recognize it.
  • Example: If you have named A1:A10 as “Weekly_Sales” but refer to it as “Weekly Sales” (note the “_” between Weekly and sales), it will result in an error.

range name

range error

  • Fix: Verify the spelling of any named ranges and correct them as needed.
  • Example: If you have named a range “Weekly_Sales,” make sure to refer to it as “Weekly_Sales,” not “Weekly Sales”


4. Missing Add-ins or Functions from Other Tools:

  • Details: Certain add-ins extend Excel’s functionality. If these are missing, any function relying on them will result in an error.
  • Example: Using a function from an Analysis ToolPak without enabling it in Excel’s Add-ins can cause this problem.

1) Using an Add-in Function Without Enabling It:

  • Let’s say you want to use the =EOMONTH function to calculate the last day of the month.
  • In some versions of Excel, this function is part of the Analysis ToolPak, which might not be enabled by default.

2) Writing the Formula Without Enabling the Add-in:

  • If the Analysis ToolPak is not enabled, Excel will not recognize the EOMONTH function, and it will return the #NAME? error.

add in

3) Fixing the Error by Enabling the Add-in:

  • To resolve this error, you need to enable the Analysis ToolPak.
  • Go to “File” > “Options” > “Add-Ins.”

options 2

  • In the “Manage” dropdown at the bottom, select “Excel Add-ins,” and click “Go.”


  • Check the box next to “Analysis ToolPak” and click “OK.”

tool 1

  • The formula in cell B1 will now return the correct result instead of the #NAME? error.

5. Using Excel Functions That Don’t Exist:

  • Details: Attempting to use a function that doesn’t exist in your Excel version.
  • Example: If you attempt to use a function that was introduced in a later version of Excel but are working in an earlier version, you’ll get the error.
  • Or =AVG(A1:A5) which it doesn’t exist.



  • Fix: Replace or remove any functions that don’t exist in your version of Excel.
  • Example: Check Excel’s documentation for the appropriate functions for your version.

6. Linking to External Workbooks That Are Closed:

  • Details: If you have a formula that links to another workbook, and that workbook is closed, you might experience this error.
  • Example: If a formula refers to a named range in a closed workbook, Excel may not be able to recognize that name.
  • Fix: Open the external workbooks that are being referenced, or update the formula to use available data.
  • Example: Open the closed workbook or change the reference to a local range.

7. Using Special Characters in Defined Names:

  • Details: Certain characters are not allowed in defined names, and using them may cause an error.
  • Example: Naming a range “Sales%Data” with a percentage symbol may trigger the error when referred to in a formula.
  • ix: Avoid using special characters in defined names or update formulas to match the exact defined names.
  • Example: Rename “Sales%Data” to “Sales_Data” and update formulas to match.

8. Volatile Functions and Complex Formulas:

  • Details: Occasionally, very complex or volatile formulas can lead to Excel being unable to recognize parts of the formula.
  • Example: Excessive nesting, deeply recursive formulas, or using volatile functions like =INDIRECT in complex ways can sometimes produce the error.
  • Fix: Simplify complex formulas, reduce nesting, or avoid using volatile functions inappropriately.
  • Example: Break down deeply nested formulas into smaller parts.

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General Troubleshooting Steps:

  • Use Formula Auditing Tools: Excel provides built-in tools to help you understand formulas. You can find these in the “Formulas” tab under “Formula Auditing.”
  • Evaluate Part by Part: Break down the formula into smaller parts and evaluate each part separately to identify the error’s location.
  • Consult Excel’s Help Resources: Utilize Excel’s help feature (press F1) and search for guidance on specific functions or errors.
  • Update Excel: Ensure you are using a supported and updated version of Excel, as outdated versions may lack support for certain functions.

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