 # Excel – How do I sum a range of cells that include #N/A or #DIV/0! errors?

Posted: April 13, 2015

I think most of us will agree that error values can be helpful, and sometimes extremely unhelpful.  For example, the #N/A error (Value Not Available error) is very helpful when cross-referencing two lists using the VLOOKUP function.  If Excel can’t find a lookup value the #N/A error makes it very obvious.

However if you are wanting to total a range that includes #N/A errors all of a sudden they aren’t so special any more.

## Sum a range of cells that include #N/A or #DIV/0! errors

If you have tried this you will probably be totally frustrated that the SUM function just returns another #N/A value and not the required total.  The same happens with the #DIV/0! (Divide by 0 error) as well. In this post I want to give you a couple of options that can be used to get past the error values and give you the range total.

## Use this option if you still want to see the errors in the worksheet

Using the SUMIF function you can create a total which excludes the cells containing errors.
This option allows you to still see the #N/A errors in the Total range.

First select the cell that will hold the TOTAL.  From the Formulas tab, in the Formulas group click Math & Trig.  Select ‘SUMIF’ from the list.

In the ‘Range’ and ‘Sum_range’ boxes enter the range you want to total.  In the ‘Criteria’ range enter “<>#N/A” and then click OK. The arguments you have just entered perform the following tasks:

The ‘Range’ is the range that Excel will evaluate using the ‘Criteria’.  In the example below Excel has looked at the range E5:E28 and using the criteria setting of <> (not equal to) #N/A it has then only included in the Total the cells that don’t contain ‘#N/A’. You can use the same function to total a range with #DIV/0! errors as well. ## Use this option to replace the errors with a value

Of course if the errors were replaced with a value the SUM function will perform as normal.  Let’s look at how to do this for the #DIV/0! error.  You can easily do the same for any error that you need to deal with.

In the example below the SUM function isn’t able to display a total due to the errors in the cells within the range. However, if I re-write the ‘Unit Cost’ formula to include the IFERROR function I can replace the #DIV/0! errors with a 0 (zero) value.  IFERROR checks if the formula you are using will return an error.  If it does it will then replace the error with a value. With all cells in the range now holding a value the SUM function held in C10 has an easy time of creating the range total. We cover VLOOKUP, SUMIF and IFERROR in our very popular Excel Stage 2 and 3 courses. If you are wanting to learn the features of Excel that save you huge amounts of time these courses are definitely for you!

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