Pivot Table field name is not valid

Getting the “Pivot table field name is not valid” error message while trying to create a pivot table or doing something else with the pivot table, then this article is for you. Here learn the complete information about what goes wrong with your pivot table and how to fix Pivot table field name is not valid error in Excel.

Microsoft Excel is a very powerful and useful application of the Microsoft Office suite. But apart from its popularity and usefulness, this is a very complex application as well.

And this is the reason Microsoft has offered various useful features to make the task easy for the users.

The Pivot table is one of them; this is the most powerful feature of MS Excel.  It helps in extracting main information from the detailed and large datasets. This is created for tracking details to make the task easy for the users.

But many users informed that while creating the Pivot Table they come across The PivotTable field name is not valid.” error message. The error simply states that source data is not suitable and this is the main reason for getting the error.

So here you need to make your data suitable for a Pivot Table or utilize data that is organized as a list with labeled columns. Make sure if you are changing the name of a Pivot Table field, then must type a new name for the field.

Apart from that, it is also possible the error appears because Excel needs a field name (column header) for indexing data in a pivot table form and with the missing field names, Excel, cannot index and utilize data.


How to Fix Pivot Table Field Name is not Valid Error


Well, the error message is quite confusing as there are many reasons responsible for getting the Excel error. Users might also get the error if one or more spaces are presented in range first row where Pivot Table tries extracting data.

Microsoft has offered various working solutions to fix the error message, here follow each one.


Solution1: Alter First Row


In this case, you need to modify the table first row in a way that it should not contain a single empty cell.

And after doing so check the error is resolved or not.


Solution 2: Modify the Range


Changing or altering range that Pivot Table mentions to a range in which the first row does not include any empty cells help you to fix MS Excel Pivot Table error message

Here check out the complete process to change the range of active Pivot Table references as shown.

  • In the Pivot table > choose a cell
  • The in the data menu > click on PivotTable Report
  • After that click on the back button will show the PivotTable Wizard
  • Then in the window that shows the > current range for Pivot Table will appear> edit Source Data Range
  • Lastly, click Finish > exit the window

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Solution 3: Unhide/ Delete Empty Columns


This is the quick fix that helps you to solve PivotTable Field Name is not Valid error.

Follow the steps to do so:

  1. To the left of cell A1,> click Select All button

  1. Then right-click any column heading > choose Unhide.
  2. Try to create Pivot Table again.

Hope this works for you but if not then delete empty columns as this worked for many users.


Solution 4: Fix the Field Name Issue


The error message commonly appears as one or more heading cells in source data are blank. For creating a pivot table, you require heading for each columns.

And to locate the issue, try the below-given steps:

  • In creating PivotTable dialog box > check the Table/Range selection to assure you haven’t selected blank columns next to the data table.
  • Or check for hidden columns in source data range > add headings whether they are missing.
  • If in the heading row there are any merged cells > unmerge them > add a heading in each separate cell.
  • Choose each heading cell > check its contents in formula bar > text from one heading might overlap blank cell beside it. For example, the Product Name heading overlapped empty heading cell next to it.

Tip: From your data, if you create an Excel Table, then the column headings are automatically added to columns with blank heading cells.

Hope this works for you.


#Bonus Tip: How to Insert Pivot Table on Excel


Follow the given steps to do so:

  1. Inside data set > click on any single cell
  2. Then in the insert tab > click on the PivotTable
  3. And in the PivotTable window > Excel automatically picks data
  4. The default location for the New Pivot Table is New Worksheet
  5. Click on OK > exit Create PivotTable window
  6. The PivotTable Field List appear

Example: If the Pivot Table is created for Order Tracking including various fields to different columns to get the total amount exported of each product:

  • Drag the Product field to Row Labels column
  • And drag the amount field to Values column
  • Drag the Country field to Report Filter area

Now the Pivot Table would display entire products along with total sum details in the next step. You can now check major export product easily.

Hence, with the help of various features in Pivot Table, you can easily list, sort, filter or modify it.




If you regular Excel users then must be aware of how useful Excel Pivot Table is. But, in many users start facing the Pivot Table corruption and errors related to it.

Here, check out the complete fixes to get rid of the Excel error Pivot table field name is not valid error.

I tried my best to put together the working solutions to fix the Excel error.

Try the given solution one by one and check which one works for you.

However, if you want to become more advanced in Excel and learn new features then simply visit Learn Advanced Excel and become an Excel Expert.


How to Fix MS Excel Error – “The Pivot Table Field Name is not Valid”
How to Fix MS Excel Error - "The Pivot Table Field Name is not Valid"
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How to Fix MS Excel Error - "The Pivot Table Field Name is not Valid"
Looking how to fix the Pivot Table field name is not valid error message in Excel, then here follow the complete ways to fix it and create Pivot table...
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