IFERROR Function

Returns a customized result when the result of a formula is an error

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What is the IFERROR Function?

IFERROR[1] is a function found under the Excel Logical Functions category. IFERROR belongs to a group of error-checking functions such as ISERR, ISERROR, IFERROR, and ISNA. The function will return a customized output – usually set to a string of text –  whenever the evaluation of the formula is an error.

In financial analysis, we need to deal with formulas and data. Often, we may get errors in cells with a formula. IFERROR is often used for error handling/capture. It handles errors such as #N/A, #VALUE!, #REF!, #DIV/0!, #NUM! #NAME? or #NULL!.

For example, the formula in C2 is A2/B2, where:

IFERROR Function

Instead of the resulting error, we can use IFERROR to return a customized message such as “Invalid input.”




The IFERROR Function uses the following arguments:

  1. Value (required argument) – This is the expression or value that needs to be tested. It is generally provided as a cell address.
  2. Value_if_error (required argument) – The value that will be returned if the formula evaluates to an error.

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How to use IFERROR in Excel

As a worksheet function, IFERROR can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet.

To understand the uses of the function, let’s consider a few examples:

IFERROR – Error Capturing

Suppose we are given the following data:

IFERROR Function - Example 1

Using the IFERROR formula, we can remove these errors. We will put a customized message – “Invalid data.” The formula to be used is:

IFERROR Function - Example 1a

We will get the result below:

IFERROR Function - Example 1b


A very common use of IFERROR function is with the VLOOKUP function, where it is used to point out values that can’t be found.

Suppose we operate a restaurant and maintain an inventory of a few vegetables and fruits. Now we compare that inventory with the list of items we want according to the day’s menu. The results look like this:

IFERROR Function - Example 2

Instead of the #N/A error message, we can input a customized message. That looks better when we are using a long list.

The formula to use will be:

IFERROR Function - Example 2a

We get the result below:

IFERROR Function - Example 2b

Suppose we are given monthly sales data for the first quarter. We create three worksheets – Jan, Feb, and March.

Now we wish to find out the sales figures from certain order ids. As data would be derived by VLOOKUP from three sheets, using IFERROR, we can use the following formula:

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,’JAN’!A2:B5,2,0),IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,’FEB’!A2:B5,2,0),IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,’MAR’!A2:B5,2,0),”not found”))) 

Things to remember about the IFERROR Function

  1. The IFERROR Function was introduced in Excel 2007 and is available in all subsequent Excel versions.
  2. If the value argument is a blank cell, it is treated as an empty string (”’) and not an error.
  3. If the value is an array formula, IFERROR returns an array of results for each cell in the range specified in value.

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