Excel provides us with a plethora of advanced functions for data analysis. A standout among these is the ‘IFERROR’ formula. Simply put, the ‘IFERROR’ formula provides a way to manage error messages that Excel formulas can generate.


The primary purpose of ‘IFERROR’ is to replace standard Excel error messages with customized output or perform alternative calculations. It’s a handy tool when you’re engaged in data analysis and it significantly enhances the readability of your spreadsheet. It’s a valuable part of the excel formulas list, making Excel calculations more automatic, user-friendly, and less prone to unexpected surprises.


To employ the ‘IFERROR’ formula, you have to adhere to the following syntax:

IFERROR(value, value_if_error)

Remember, each element within the parenthesis holds significant importance.


The ‘IFERROR’ formula uses two parameters:

  1. Value: This parameter signifies the expression or formula you want to test for errors.
  2. Value_if_error: This is the action Excel will take or the value it will return if the ‘value’ parameter results in an error.


The ‘IFERROR’ formula either returns the original calculation result, provided there are no errors. Otherwise, it returns the custom output you’ve defined for an error scenario.

Usage Notes

To create formulas in Excel using ‘IFERROR’, ensure you specify both parameters. The first one represents your primary calculation, and the second one is your safety net, defining what should happen in case of an error.


As of my last knowledge cut-off in September 2021, the ‘IFERROR’ formula is available in Excel 2007 and subsequent versions, including Excel 365.

Example #1

Consider a scenario where you’re using one of the most common excel formulas, like division:


Now, let’s assume cell B2 is blank or has a zero. In this cases, Excel will show a ‘#DIV/0!’ error.

You can use the ‘IFERROR’ formula to handle this error:

=IFERROR(A2/B2, "Error occurred")

Example #2

You can also use the ‘IFERROR’ formula with VLOOKUP formula to prevent the error. For instance:

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(D2, A2:B5, 2, FALSE), "Data not found")

In this case, if the VLOOKUP formula doesn’t find the data, it will return ‘Data not found’ instead of an error message.

Example #3

The ‘IFERROR’ formula can be used with the ‘AVERAGE’ formula also:

=IFERROR(AVERAGE(B2:B5), "No data to calculate")

This will return ‘No data to calculate’ if the specified cells are empty.

Example #4

Consider a scenario where we want to sum a range of cells and handle errors:

=IFERROR(SUM(B2:B5), "Check data input")

Example #5

Here’s how to use the ‘IFERROR’ function with the ‘COUNT’ function:

=IFERROR(COUNT(D2:D5), "Invalid range")

Tips and Tricks

  1. Combine ‘IFERROR’ with other Excel functions for data analysis to enhance their error-handling capabilities.
  2. Use descriptive, user-friendly error messages to improve the user’s experience and make troubleshooting easier.


The ‘IFERROR’ formula handles all error types in Excel. However, sometimes you might want to manage different errors in different ways. For such requirements, you might need a more complex error handling mechanism.

Common Errors and Solutions

The most common error while using ‘IFERROR’ is not including both parameters. Ensure you always provide the ‘value’ and ‘value_if_error’ to avoid complications.

Best Practices

  1. Keep error messages clear and understandable.
  2. Try to point towards a possible solution within your error message.
  3. Be consistent with your error handling approach across your spreadsheet.

List of Related Functions

‘IFERROR’ often pairs with functions like VLOOKUP, AVERAGE, SUM, and COUNT. These combinations lead to powerful and effective data analysis tools within Excel.

Frequently Used with Formulas

As stated before, ‘IFERROR’ works well with various other formulas like VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, AVERAGE, SUM, COUNT, etc. Employing it alongside these formulas helps in creating a robust excel calculator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does ‘IFERROR’ work with all Excel formulas?

Yes, ‘IFERROR’ works with all Excel formulas. It’s one of the most versatile Excel functions for error handling.

Q. Can ‘IFERROR’ handle all types of Excel errors?

Yes, ‘IFERROR’ can handle all types of Excel errors, returning a specified output for any error scenario.

Q. How does ‘IFERROR’ enhance Excel data analysis?

‘IFERROR’ improves data analysis by providing custom responses to error scenarios, making spreadsheets cleaner and more professional.

Q. What should I do if ‘IFERROR’ doesn’t handle my error as expected?

In cases where ‘IFERROR’ isn’t sufficient, consider using ‘ISERROR’ or ‘ERROR.TYPE’ for a more detailed error management approach.

Q. Is it possible to use the ‘IFERROR’ formula with Excel custom formulas?

Absolutely, ‘IFERROR’ formula is compatible with custom formulas, making it easier to handle any errors that might occur.

This tutorial offers a comprehensive guide on Excel’s ‘IFERROR’ formula, an indispensable tool for error handling in Excel. From syntax and usage to examples and best practices, we’ve got it all covered here. Make your Excel data analysis more professional by integrating ‘IFERROR’ in your work today!

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