Most of us will agree that error values can be helpful and sometimes extremely unhelpful.  For example, the #N/A (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 obvious.

However, if you want to total a range that includes errors such as #N/A or #DIV/0, they suddenly become less special.

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

If you have tried this, you will probably be frustrated that the SUM function 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 that excludes the cells containing errors. This option lets you 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.  Enter “<>#N/A” in the’ Criteria’ range and 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 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 would 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 you must make.

In the example below, the SUM function is unable to display a total due to errors in the cells within the range.

However, if I rewrite 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 in C10 makes it easy to create the range total.

In my very popular Excel Stage 2 and 3 courses, I cover VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IFERROR. If you want to learn the features of Excel that save you huge amounts of time, these courses are definitely for you!

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## 4 Comments

1. Tom says:

This was a help ! Thanks for complete and brief explanation.

2. Sharyn Baines says:

Thanks Tom! So happy our article was helpful to you. Thank you so much for letting us know.

3. WL says:

With the SUM function, what formula should I use if I want the cell to show the sum of a range if there are numbers in the range, but to show “NA”, when they are totally no numbers in the range?

4. Sharyn Baines says:

Hi there. You can use an IF function. For example, if you were trying to sum the range B6 to B10 this would work =IF(SUM(B6:B10)>0,SUM(B6:B10),”N/A”)
I hope this helps 🙂