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How to find and locate circular reference in Excel quickly?

When you apply a formula in a cell, says Cell C1, and the formula refers back to its own cell directly or indirectly, says =Sum (A1:C1), circular reference happens.

When you reopen this workbook with circular reference again, it pops up a circular reference error message, which warns formulas contains a circular reference and may not calculate correctly. See the following screenshot:


It tells what is the problem, however, it does not say where the error stays in. If you click the OK button, the warning error message will be closed, but it will pop up next time when you reopen the workbook; if you click the Help button, it will bring you to the Help document.

Find out and locate the cell in Status bar

Find out and locate the cell in Circular Reference

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  Find out and locate the cell in Status bar

You can find the circular reference in the Status bar.
doc find circular reference3

  Find out and locate the cell in Circular Reference

Actually, you can find out and locate the cell with circular reference in Excel with following steps:

Step 1: Go to the Formula Auditing group under the Formula tab.

Step 2: Click the Arrow button besides the Error Checking button.

Step 3: Move mouse over the Circular References item in the drop down list, and it shows the cells with circular references. See the following screenshot:


Step 4: Click the cell address listed besides the Circular References, it selects the cell with circular reference at once.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Paul Ritter · 1 months ago
    The instruction under "Zoek en zoek de cel in Circular Reference" was very-very-very helpful !

    MS-Help does not give this solution.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Anjan Kumar · 3 months ago
    Locating the Cell In Circular Reference was nicely explained with steps........... I fixed the error..... thank you very much

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mantas · 1 years ago
    Thank you! Simple and short explanation, without writing a ton of paragraphs of why finding circular references is important :)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Tony · 1 years ago
    thank you, I thought it would be even simpler by just clicking on the statement in the status bar. your explanation was spot on.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Linda · 1 years ago
    Thank you. I have been looking for the error for two hours and found it in 10 minutes with your help!