A divide or divide by zero error is a mathematical error which can also be represented as #DIV/0! Error. It’s an illegal operation that shows up when the computer or the software user is using performs a mathematical division by zero or a value that is equivalent to zero. The user may also see the error message because of the limitation of hardware or software in a computer. You may see such an error while operating excel. It may help to know more than the basic functions in excel when working with it. This can help you understand the problem, the solution, and get it fixed quickly. If you are new to working with spreadsheet data, that’s okay. You can easily learn Excel with no formal training and get to inputting and interpreting data in no time. It’s true that you may come across many errors in the process, like the one talked about here. To know how to fix a divide or divide by zero error just go through the article. Hopefully you’ll get the answers of your questions.
Some facts about a divide or divide by zero error
Before discussing how to fix a divide or divide by zero error, let’s know some facts about this type of error-
- It appears when a formula performs division by zero or similar to zero.
- The #DIV/0! Error or divide by zero error is actually useful. As it shows there’s something wrong in the spreadsheet.
- You enter a data which is not complete yet. Such as a blank cell in a spreadsheet because of the absence of data.
- This error not only appears because of the attempt of divide by zero, but also displays in other formulas.
- The functions of excel that used for calculating average can return to a divide or divide by zero error.
How to fix a divide or divide by zero error?
- Incomplete data : Even though divide by zero error caused because of the attempt to division by zero or an equivalent value, it can also happen when a data is unavailable in the blank cell of the worksheet. It may show up in other formulas the reference cell displays the divide by zero error. Such as, a cell with A1:A5 can contain the divide by zero error. The sum of the formula (SUM= A1:A5) may display as #DIV/0! Error. By making sure that the data is complete, a divide by zero error can be eliminated. Go through the following tips to avoid further #DIV/0! Error.
- Use a formula in all the cells that contain valid information.
- Don’t left any cell blank to divide by other values.
- A cell with formula won’t reference or display #DIV/0! Error.
- #DIV/0! Error and blank cell: If you left any cell blank, this can lead to a divide or divide by zero error. For example- you filled column A with 11, 12, 13 and column B with no value, 3, 4 the result most likely to be #DIV/0! For the first column, 4.0 for the second column and 3.5 for the third one. Here, excel evaluate the first column in column B as zero. As a result the formula shows up as #DIV/0! Error.
- Divide by zero error with average function: In excel there’re three function for calculating averages. Such as – AVERAGE, AVERAGEIF, AVERAGEIFS. Here all the function that calculate averages may return to a divide by zero error, if the calculation of ‘Matching’ value is zero. This happens for calculating averages with a general formula which is- =sum/count, here sometimes the count can be zero.
- For example- you want to count the average of some text values. Like filled the column A with Food, Cloth, and Shelter but haven’t enter any numeric value in column B. then the average will return to a divide by zero error. Entering numeric value may eliminate such issues.
Similarly, while using AVERAGEIF and AVERAGEIFS functions with logical criteria which is unmatched to any data may return to a divide or divide by zero error. Because the matching count for the record is zero.
- For example- you filled the first column with A, B, C and put all the numeric values. In AVERAGEIF function you put A, B, D and trying to calculate average. There’s no value as D so this will return as #DIV/0! Error. The letter and number should be entered equally so that it won’t lead a divide or divide by zero error.
Even if you’re sure about the matching record, it can be confusing. The best way of preventing this issue is-
- Set up a sample of data (hand entered) to validate the using criteria.
- No matter what criteria you’re using, do it step by step.
- Add not more than one criteria at a time.
- The example should work with the criteria.
- Make a move to real data.
- #DIV/0! Error with IF Function: An easy way to trap a divide or divide by zero error is to check the values with IF Function. For example-
- A6/B6 // #DIV/0! Error has shown in C6 cell as the cell B6 is blank. By using IF function you can eliminate such error. so if you use IF here then it’ll show up as – =IF (B6=””,””, A6/B6) // nothing display even if B6 is blank.
- By using the OR Function, you can check the values of A6 and B6 to extend this idea. Then you’ll see =IF(OR(A6=””,B6=””),””,A6/B6)
- Trap the error with IFERROR: You can solve any excel error using IFERROR Function. It has the ability to catch any error and return to an alternative result.
- Here to trap the divide or divide by zero error wrap the formula with IFERROR. It might be shown as – =IFERROR (A6/B6,””) // displays nothing when B6 is empty.
- You can also add a message to trap a divide by zero error. wrapping the message into a quote should help in this case. By entering a message like “Please enter valid password”. So you can use- =IFERROR(A6/B6,”Please enter valid password”)
A divide or divide by zero may also show up if any of the malfunction of your computer’s hardware or software. We’ve broadly discussed about “How to fix a divide or divide by zero error” in this article. All the methods discussed above should work to eliminate #DIV/0! Error. Otherwise you have check the hardware and software of your computer.