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Excel Found A Problem with One Or More Formula References in This Worksheet [Solved]

You receive the error Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet while saving the Excel workbook. Read this post to know how to fix Excel found a problem with one or more formula references errors. If you have excel file loss problems, download Stellar Excel recovery and repair software to get back Excel files.

 

Table of Contents

Excel Found a Problem with One Or More Formula References!

"One of my least favorite messages that Excel provides is: Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet. Check that the cell references, range names, defined names, and links to other workbooks in your formulas are all correct. But I can never find the bad references. It's usually buried somewhere very deep, in a chart series formula, or a name definition, or who knows where else".

a formula in this worksheet contains one or more invalid references

If you are experiencing the error - Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet in the Excel workbook, it indicates that the Excel file is corrupt or partially damaged. Resolving the error is critical as it doesn't let you save the file and may cause Excel data loss.

Here are some methods that you can follow to fix the error "Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet".

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Isolate the Spreadsheet Tab Copy your tabs from the old workbook to a new one. Keep checking which tab...Full steps
Run Excel Repair Software Download, install and launch Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. Go to the software's home screen and...Full steps
Check Formulas in Excel Go to Formulas and click on the "Error Checking" button. This runs a scan...Full steps
Check the External Links Go to the "Data" Tab. In the Connections group, click on "Edit Links". It opens...Full steps
Other Workable Solutions

Check Your Charts...Full steps

Check Pivot Tables...Full steps

Solution 1. Isolate the Specific Spreadsheet Tab

The first thing you need to do is isolate the specific Excel sheet. If you have a file with lots of tabs, you may want to start by isolating the specific tab to solve the case. It's easy to isolate the tab.

Step 1. Copy your tabs from the old workbook to a new one.

Step 2. Keep checking which tab in the new workbook throws the error message.

Step 3. Click "Save" after copying each of the tabs. The error message usually appears at the time of saving the event. Then, you can find the problematic tab.

This will help you find the faulty sheet from the workbook that you can review. In case you can't fix the error, back up the specific sheet and remove it after the backup.

Solution 2. Run Excel Repair Software to Repair Excel Files

If Method 1 can't solve the error - Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet, you can turn to advanced Excel repair software. Stellar Toolkit for File Repair is a powerful tool that can repair corrupt Word documents, Excel files, PPT files, and PDFs. Follow the steps below to recover and repair Excel files.

Step 1. Select the Excel Files

Download, install and launch Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. Go to the software's home screen and click "Repair Spreadsheet".

Select the Excel Files

Step 2. Repair the Excel Files

Browse to select the corrupt Excel files (XLS/XLSX). You can click on the Search option if you don't know its location. Once the file is selected, click "Repair". The software will initiate the scanning and repairing process.

Repair the Excel Files

Step 3. Preview and Save

Once the scan and repair process is over, the items will be displayed in a tree-view on the software's left-hand panel. Preview the items by double-clicking on them.

If the file preview is satisfactory, click the "Save File" button on the main menu. When prompted, choose the destination to save the salvaged file. Click "OK".

Preview and Save

Solution 3. Check Formulas in Excel to Fix Excel Errors

Small and silly formula errors in excel can also lead to big consequences. To avoid such a case, it's advised to check your formula and make it error-free.

Step 1. Go to Formulas and click on the "Error Checking" button

Step 2. This runs a scan on the sheet and displays the issues. 

check formulas in excel

If no issue is found, it displays the following message:

"The error check is completed for the entire sheet."

Then, you can try to save the Excel file again. If the error message persists, proceed to the next method.

Solution 4. Check the External Links

The next option to solve this issue is to find the external links that have errors. Follow the steps below to check out the external links containing errors:

Step 1. Go to the "Data" Tab.

Step 2. In the Connections group, click on "Edit Links". It opens the Edit Links dialog box will list all the workbooks that are being referenced.

Step 3. Check the links. If you find any faulty link, remove it and then save the sheet.

check external links

Solution 5. Check Your Charts

If you are still experiencing the fault, you can try to review the charts to solve the problem. As you know, if the error is within a chart it will pop up after you have selected the chart or when you are entering the Select Data Source dialog box.

Here is a list of area locations where you need to check for errors.

  • In the source data of the chart.
  • In each of the chart series formulas present within the Select Data Source dialog box.
  • Check for the errors in the horizontal axis formula which is present inside the Select Data Source dialog box.
  • Also, check in the chart's Secondary Axis.
  • Also check in the linked Axis Labels, Data Labels, or the Chart Title.

Solution 6. Check Pivot Tables

There could be an error in your Pivot Table's Data Source formula. To check Pivot Tables, follow these steps:

Step 1. Go to "PivotTable Tools > Analyze > Change Data Source > Change Data Source…"

Step 2. Check out whether any of your formulas are having the error or not.

check pivot tables

Conclusion

This article has provided you with almost all the fixes to troubleshoot this error "Excel found a problem with one or more formula references in this worksheet" error. But the solutions may lead to a partial loss of information. Therefore, you'd better make a backup to external devices in advance.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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