Vlookup returns incorrect value – you need to know everything

If you use a Vlookup in Excel and it returns the wrong value, there can be two reasons for this. The first reason is that you have used the wrong match type and the second reason could be that you have copied and pasted the wrong range or cell reference.

The first thing to do when this happens is to ask yourself if you always copy and paste values ​​correctly. If not, you don’t need to read on as that’s probably what happened here. After confirming that you always use the correct cell references, you should understand if your lookup value is in the first column or not.

The Vlookup should work fine with a non-zero value in the first column. If not, go back to step one and ask yourself why you copied and pasted the wrong range reference.

If your search value is in the first column and it’s not working correctly, you need to know how Vlookup’s search algorithm works. The basic principle is that you look for a value horizontally, which means that you move through the table by moving from left to right. On the other hand, you look for a value vertically, which means you move down one line at a time. This principle is very important for mastering the Vlookup function.

VLOOKUP returns the wrong column

Vlookup does not return value only formula

If Vlookup only returns one formula, there can be several reasons for this. The most common reason is that you are working with a table that has one row or one column. Since Vlookup doesn’t work correctly on tables like these, either fix the table or use an alternate function such as index or match.

There may be a problem with the header row in the table you are using. You can’t use Vlookup whether there is a non-zero value in the first column or not. If there is a header row, the table must be corrected or an alternative function used.

If the Vlookup formula also returns an error, you may be looking for values ​​that don’t exist in your table. There are two possible solutions for this problem. One way is to use a conditional formula. The other way is to replace the range in your Vlookup formula with a range that exists in your table.

Vlookup does not return formula-only value

Vlookup returning value and formula

If the Vlookup formula also returns an error, there are several reasons for this, including the fact that you are looking for values ​​that don’t exist in the table or column. One reason could be that you are looking for unmatched values, such as numbers or text values.

Another reason could be that you have copied and pasted values ​​in a different range. If so, use the Find and Replace tool to fix this problem.

If the problems are not solved, they can be solved by correcting one or more underlying errors in the formula. In other words, you need to check that all Vlookup values ​​are correct and / or correct any formula errors. You may be interested in our latest post on How to Find the Slope of Logarithmic Chart in Excel.

Vlookup which returns the same value

If Vlookup returns the same value as the one you looked up, it means you made a mistake in your formula. In other words, you are looking for incorrect values ​​or cell references.

An example would be where you are looking for a value from cell A2 but using cell B2 as the search range. If your column headers aren’t unique, that could also be the cause.

Investigating the underlying causes of this problem will help resolve them. You can fix this using the Find and Replace tool or using a conditional formula.

Vlookup which returns blank cells

If Vlookup returns blank cells and you are working with a bidirectional table, one possible reason could be that the lookup table does not include all of the matching data. In other words, you may have data in the left table that doesn’t have a match in the right table.

There may also be a problem with the column headers, such as they are not unique or you have no columns for each of your match criteria.

Correcting the underlying causes and clearing the search results are the easiest ways to fix this problem. This would simplify the LOAD INDEX worksheet function. You need to make sure you click on the search data instead of the search results cell.

When you choose “Load range”, Excel will load all matching data into a new range, giving you a blank table. If you have previously uploaded data, please choose “More than one line”.

If you don’t have empty lookup cells and your results include empty values, there’s a problem with your formulas. This is probably because you are using a formula that returns more than one value. Another reason could be that you copied and pasted values ​​in a different range. If so, use the Find and Replace function to fix this problem.

Vlookup returning blank rows

If Vlookup returns blank rows, there are two possible reasons for this: you are using a formula that returns a single value or you are looking for values ​​in a non-unique column. Apart from the previous point, there can be other causes for this problem. In other words, you have no matching data in your lookup table. Or there might be something wrong with the column headers or maybe you copied and pasted values ​​from another range.

If you’re using a formula that returns a single value, you made a mistake in the formula. Checking the underlying causes would be the easiest way to fix this problem. In other words, we need to find how many rows the function returns. If your result is not what you expect, it could be due to an error in the formula. Changing the column reference will also work.

Conclusion

In this article, I have explained the Vlookup feature in detail. I have described the types of problems that can occur. You’ll be able to use this particular feature for many tasks, like finding specific values ​​in multiple columns or looking up data from a table that isn’t in your spreadsheet.

Additionally, this topic has looked at all the possible causes and errors that can occur when using this particular formula. I also explained how to fix any of these problems and use the feature effectively.

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