How to Display a “0” Instead of #N/A in Excel VLOOKUP

To display a “0” instead of #N/A when using VLOOKUP in Excel, you can wrap your VLOOKUP formula in the IFERROR function. Simply put your VLOOKUP formula inside the IFERROR function, and specify “0” as the value to return if an error is encountered. This method ensures that any #N/A errors are replaced with a “0”, making your data look cleaner and more professional.

After completing this action, your Excel sheet will show a “0” in cells where the VLOOKUP formula would typically return a #N/A error. This can help prevent confusion and make your data easier to interpret and analyze.


VLOOKUP is a powerful tool in Excel that allows users to search for a value in the first column of a table and return a value in the same row from another column. However, one common issue with VLOOKUP is that it can return a #N/A error when it doesn’t find a match. This error can be unsightly and confusing, especially when sharing the data with others who may not be familiar with Excel’s error messages.

Replacing the #N/A error with a “0” can make your data more presentable and easier to understand. This technique is particularly useful for financial reports, inventory sheets, or any other situation where a “0” is more appropriate than an error message. Whether you’re an Excel beginner or a seasoned pro, learning how to avoid the #N/A error when using VLOOKUP is a valuable skill that can make your spreadsheets more professional and user-friendly.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Display a “0” Instead of #N/A When Using VLOOKUP in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that this approach will help you clean up your data by ensuring that all VLOOKUP errors are replaced with a zero. This can be especially useful when dealing with large datasets where manual correction is not feasible.

Step 1: Select the cell with the VLOOKUP function

Click on the cell that contains your VLOOKUP formula.

In this step, you’re identifying the cell where the change needs to be made. Make sure you’re selecting the cell with the VLOOKUP formula and not the cell where the data is being pulled from.

Step 2: Wrap the VLOOKUP formula with IFERROR

Place the cursor at the beginning of the formula in the formula bar, type IFERROR(, and then go to the end of the VLOOKUP formula and type ,0).

The IFERROR function in Excel checks for an error in the formula and returns a specified value if an error is found. In this case, the specified value is “0”.

Step 3: Press Enter

After adding IFERROR around your VLOOKUP formula, press Enter to apply the changes.

This step finalizes the process, and the cell should now display a “0” instead of the #N/A error if the VLOOKUP formula does not find a match.


Cleaner DataBy displaying a “0” instead of #N/A, your data will look more organized and professional.
Easier AnalysisIt’s easier to analyze numerical data without having to filter or ignore errors.
Better PresentationsWhen sharing your data with others, replacing errors with zeros can prevent confusion and make your work more presentable.


Possible MisinterpretationA “0” can sometimes imply the presence of data where there is none, potentially leading to misinterpretation.
Not Suitable for All DataIn some cases, it might be important to know that a value is not available rather than just seeing a “0”.
Can Hide ErrorsUsing this method can sometimes hide actual errors in your data which might need attention.

Additional Information

When working with VLOOKUP in Excel, displaying a “0” instead of #N/A can make your data look neater and more readable. However, it’s crucial to understand the context of your data. There are cases where a “0” might not be the best representation for missing data. For example, in a dataset where “0” signifies an actual value, replacing #N/A with “0” could lead to incorrect conclusions.

It’s also worth noting that IFERROR is not the only function that can handle errors in Excel. You can also use IFNA or even combine IF with ISNA to manage how Excel displays errors. However, for simplicity and efficiency, IFERROR is usually the go-to choice.

Remember to always review your data after applying these changes to ensure accuracy and integrity. While displaying a “0” can be more visually appealing, always prioritize the quality and correctness of your data.


  1. Select the cell with the VLOOKUP function.
  2. Wrap the VLOOKUP formula with IFERROR.
  3. Press Enter to apply the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is VLOOKUP?

VLOOKUP is a function in Excel that searches for a value in the first column of a table and returns a corresponding value in the same row from another column.

What does #N/A mean in Excel?

N/A is an error message in Excel that stands for “Not Available”. It appears when Excel cannot find a match in a lookup function.

Can I use IFERROR for functions other than VLOOKUP?

Yes, IFERROR can be used to handle errors for any Excel function, not just VLOOKUP.

Will using IFERROR affect my original data?

No, using IFERROR only changes how errors are displayed in Excel, not the actual data itself.

Is there a way to show a different value instead of “0” for errors?

Absolutely! You can replace the “0” in the IFERROR formula with any value or text string you prefer.


Using VLOOKUP in Excel is a common task, but dealing with pesky #N/A errors can be a hassle. By incorporating the IFERROR function into your VLOOKUP formula, you can make your data cleaner and more user-friendly by displaying a “0” instead of #N/A. This simple yet effective trick can significantly improve the readability and professionalism of your spreadsheets.

Remember, while this approach is handy, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Always consider the context of your data and whether a “0” is truly the best way to represent missing information. Happy Excel-ing!

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