Excel Sum Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It

Excel has made performing data calculations easier than ever! However, many things could go wrong with the application’s abundant syntax. Many users have reported certain formulas, including SUM not working on MS Excel. Some have reported the value changing to 0 when running the formula or having met with an error message.

Did you just relate to the situation we just mentioned? If you unfortunately have, don’t worry; we’ll help you solve it. Keep reading this article as we list why SUM may not work and how you can fix it!

Why is Excel Sum Not Working?

The SUM function may not work on your Excel for a list of reasons. You could’ve made a typing error while entering the formula or used an incorrect format. Before hopping on to the solutions, you must understand the problem you’re dealing with.

  • Typing Error: We almost always overlook typing errors. However, even the most minor typing error can cause the most complex functions not to work.
  • Unsupported Format: In Excel, you have the feature to change the format of the data you’ve entered. If SUM isn’t working, the data you’re trying to manipulate may be set to text. Excel won’t add data that is set to the text format.
  • Unrecognized Symbol Used: This is mostly relevant to decimal and thousands separators. By default, the period and comma symbol, respectively, are used for each divider. If you’ve used these symbols incorrectly, the SUM function won’t work.
  • Show Formulas Enabled: You could’ve accidentally enabled the Show Formulas feature. When this feature is active, Excel will display the formula used to calculate the result instead of viewing the result.
  • Manual Calculation Enabled: If Excel doesn’t automatically recalculate the data you’ve changed from the selected cells, you’ve enabled Manual calculation.
  • Corrupted Program Files: The program files of your Excel may have gone corrupt. When the files get corrupted, the application won’t be able to complete some to all of its functions.

How to Fix the SUM Function in Excel?

You can easily fix a malfunctioning function in Excel on your own. After you’ve looked through the problems, you can move on to the solutions that sound more relevant to your problem. From each of the causes mentioned above, find the solutions below.

Look for Typos

Be sure you’ve written the function correctly. Additionally, see if you’ve used the correct symbols, such as the equals sign and parentheses. To call any function, you must use the equals sign first. Similarly, the parentheses sign is necessary before specifying the range of cells you want to add up.

Change Format

You’ll need to change the format of the selected entity to preferably Number to be able to perform any calculations on it. You can change the format of data from the Home ribbon on Excel.

Follow these steps to change the format of your data to Number on Excel:

  1. Open MS Excel to open your workbook.
  2. From the Menubar, make sure you’re on Home.
  3. On the Home Ribbon, locate the Number section.
  4. Select the drop-down menu. From the list of options, select Number.ChangeFormatExcel

Replace Unsupported Symbol

MS Excel uses the “.” symbol as a decimal separator by default. Excel won’t calculate the data if you use other symbols such as a comma (,) as a decimal separator. This is also true if you’ve any symbol except the comma symbol for the thousands divider.

If you have used these symbols incorrectly, find and replace the comma (,) symbol with the period (.) symbol and vice-versa.

Here are the steps to use the Find and Replace tool on Microsoft Excel:

  1. Open your document from Excel. 
  2. From your keyboard, hit the combination Ctrl + F
  3. In the Find and Replace window, head on to the Replace tab.
  4. Type in ‘,’ next to Find What. To swap it with the period symbol, type ‘.’ next to Replace with.
  5. Select Replace All.

Disable Show Formulas

To view the calculation results, you must turn off the Show Formulas option. You can disable this feature from the Formulas tab on the menu bar.

Follow these steps to disable the Show formula feature on MS Excel:

  1. Launch MS Excel to open your workbook.
  2. From the menu bar, hop on to Formulas.
  3. Locate the Formula Auditing section. 
  4. If the Show Formulas option is highlighted, select it to turn it off.formula-auditing
  5. Enable Automatic Calculation.

If you want Excel to automatically re-calculate the data you’ve changed, you need to set the calculation option to Automatic. You can find the calculation on the Formulas tab on the menu bar.

Here are the steps you can refer to enable automatic calculation on MS Excel:

  1. Open your workbook from Microsoft Excel. 
  2. Hop on to the Formulas tab from the menu bar.
  3. Navigate to the Calculations section.
  4. Drop down the menu for Calculation Options and select Automatic.EnableAutomaticCalculation

Repair the Office App (Windows)

You may have to repair the application for Microsoft Office. When you repair an application, your system scans for corrupted files and replaces them with new ones. As you cannot repair the Excel application individually, you’ll have to repair the entire Office application.

Follow these steps to repair the office app on your device:

  1. Use the combination Windows key + I to open the Settings application on your keyboard.
  2. From the panel to your left, select Apps.
  3. Hop on to Apps & Features, then scroll to Office.
  4. Next to the Office app, select the vertical three-dot menu.
  5. Select Advanced options.OfficeAppAdvancedOptions
  6. Scroll down to the Reset section, then select the Repair button.OfficeRepairApp

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