The #N/A error happens most often when a lookup function cannot find a result. You can manually remove the all of your #N/As or you can stop them in your original formula. A simple and effective way of trapping the #N/A errors and replacing them with whatever you would like is to use the ISNA() function.

ISNA() is a simple function that checks to see if a cell contains N/A. If it does it returns TRUE, if not it returns FALSE. For example, cell A1 has #N/A, in B1 you type ISNA(A1). The result would be TRUE. We can use this function in conjunction with other functions to test if a result will be NA before we see the result. For Example:


The function above looks in the table a4:b6 for whatever is in E4, if it finds it, it returns a result from column 2 of the table. If it does not find a result, it returns #N/A. We can stop the results from showing #N/A by using ISNA as below:


The formula above shows the result in the highlighted red section rather than #N/A. In this case it is showing a NULL (“”).

Joseph Harris
Excel Help
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Excel Hints, Functions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Removing #N/A error in Excel using ISNA()”

  1. JP on February 19th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Why not use COUNTA to check if the value is present first, otherwise you are doing VLOOKUP twice?


  2. Joseph Harris on February 20th, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Sure JP,
    You can use COUNTA…There are many more methods than that as well. I was attempting to point out what ISNA() can be used for. Your counta formula saves 4 or 5 characters over the ISNA method.


  3. Excel Yogi’s » Blog Archive » #VALUE! Error in Microsoft Excel on March 3rd, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    [...] #VALUE error is an error that is seen almost as often as #N/A. In short, the VALUE error occurs when a formula refers to a cell that contains a different than [...]

  4. Amit on March 14th, 2009 at 6:06 am


    I am in a big problem. I have this code


    This cell already have 7 IF’s so I cannot use ISERROR. Any idea how to get #N/A issue sorted.


    Please e-mail me the response if you know how to do it @

  5. Sai on April 4th, 2010 at 4:55 am


    This is my function

  6. Sai on April 4th, 2010 at 4:59 am


    This is my function
    users is another sheet in the excel, now when I drag this function, I want only AT2 to changes as per the cell but not users!A2:B66 to become users!A3:B67. There are some million records in the other sheet, so I don’t get these values right. Can you tell me how to fix this.

    Thank You

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