How to Fix Formula Not Working on Microsoft Excel

Is your formula not working on Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is the leading spreadsheet tool in the world, with more than 20 years of experience. However, despite its status, this doesn’t mean that Excel is safe from bugs and other glitches. 

Like any platform or software, Microsoft Excel can also suffer from errors and downtimes. And if you are here, we can assume that you are experiencing one. 

Recently, there have been complaints from several users who encounter issues using the formula function of Excel. The formula function allows you to process various data in your spreadsheet and output them in one cell. 

According to the reports, their formula always returns a zero value no matter what they do. 

Based on what we know, this issue is usually caused by improper data settings. It’s possible that data in your cells are being read as text and not as numbers. On the other hand, it can also be due to outdated software, corrupted data, or improper configurations. 

To help you out, we’ve decided to make a guide for fixing your formula if it’s not working correctly on Microsoft Excel. 

Let’s get right into it!

1. Check Your Cell Settings. 

As we’ve mentioned, the main reason why your formula is not working is if the cells you’re trying to process are set as text. In computer language, texts don’t hold value, which explains why your formula is not working. 

To address this, follow the steps below: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel on your computer and access your spreadsheet. 
  2. After that, highlight the cells that you need to process. 
  3. Now, click on the yellow warning icon to open the pop-up menu.
  4. Lastly, choose Convert to Number
formula not working on microsoft excel

Once done, your formula should work and return the correct value. 

2. Enable Automatic Calculation. 

There is also a possibility that your formula calculation mode is set to manual. If this is the case, you simply have to set it to automatic, and your formulas should work. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your worksheet, go to the Formula tab in the menu bar. 
  2. Next, click on Calculation Options
  3. Lastly, choose Automatic
formula not working on microsoft excel

Restart Microsoft Excel afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

3. Update Microsoft Excel. 

If your formulas are still not working on Microsoft Excel, you might want to check if you are using the latest version of the software. The version you are running might have an issue with the formula function, explaining the error. 

To update Microsoft Excel, follow the steps below: 

  1. Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer. 
  2. After that, go to the File tab. 
  3. Now, access the Accounts tab and click on Update Options
  4. Finally, select Update Now or Enable Updates
formula not working on microsoft excel

Restart your computer afterward and check if your formulas are working. 

4. Reinstall Microsoft Excel

If none of the solutions above worked, we suggest reinstalling Microsoft Excel. This should ensure that you have the latest version of the app and there are no missing or broken resources on your storage. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your computer, go to the Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program
  2. Look for Microsoft Excel afterward and right-click on it. 
  3. Finally, choose Uninstall and follow the prompts. 

Reinstall Microsoft Excel and check if the problem is solved. 

That ends our guide on how to fix a formula that is not working on Microsoft Excel. If you have questions, please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to respond. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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