6 Fixes To Resolve You Cannot Change Part Of An Array Excel Error

Does your Excel showing you cannot change part of an array error? But you don’t have any idea why you are getting this error and how to fix this?

Well, in that case, this blog is really gonna help you a lot. As it covers detailed information on Excel error you cannot change part of an array and ways to resolve this.

What Does You Can’t Change Part Of An Array Mean?

Excel array formula is one such formula that can execute multiple calculations over single or multiple numbers of items in the array.

You can consider this array as the combination of value’s rows and columns. Array formula can give you single or multiple results in return.

Suppose, in the range of cells you can also make the array formulas and can use the array formula for calculating column or row. Just place the array formula within a single cell for making the calculation of a single amount.

Array formula which is having multiple cells is known as a multi-cell formula. Whereas, the array formula present in the single-cell is known as the single-cell formula.

This Excel error you can’t change part of an array arises due to the issue in the range of array formula. Now you need to choose entire cells from that array before making any changes to it.

Here is the screenshot of this error:

you Cannot Change Part Of An Array

How To Fix Excel Error You Cannot Change Part Of An Array?

Method 1# Match The Syntax

Usually, the array formulas strictly follow the standard formula syntax. It starts with an equal sign.

In the array formulas, you can use the Excel built-in functions. So, make a press over the Ctrl+Shift+Enter for entering the formula.

Excel closes array formula within the braces. But if you manually add these braces then the array formula will get converted to the text string and this won’t work correctly.

To build a complex formula, Array functions are quite an efficient option to choose from.

Suppose you are using complex formula like this: =SUM(C2*D2,C3*D3,C4*D4,C5*D5,C6*D6,C7*D7,C8*D8,C9*D9,C10*D10,C11*D11).

 So instead of using the above complex formula, you can use the array formula =SUM(C2:C11*D2:D11)

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Method 2# Rules For Changing Array Formulas

If you are rigorously trying to make changes in the formula bar or in the formula cell. But every time you are getting the same you cannot change part of an array error.

In that case, quickly make a cross-check over the below-mentioned array formula guidelines.

Breaking the rules for changing array formulas also results in you cannot change part of an array error.

  • If you are entering a single-cell array formula, then choose the cell and hit the F2 button to make easy changes.
  • After that press the Ctrl+Shift+Enter button from your keyboard.
  • If in case, you are entering the multi-cell array formula then choose the entire cell having this formula and then press the F2 button. after that below mentioned set of rules:
  • You are not allowed to move individual cells having the formula, but as a group, you can all of them at once. Ding this will automatically change the formula cell references accordingly.

To shift this to a new place, choose the entire cell and press the Ctrl+X.  Choose any new location, where you want to paste it. After that make a press over the Ctrl+V button.

  • In the array formula, you can’t delete any cells if you are trying to do so then it’s obvious to get the “You cannot change part of an array”

But you have the option to delete the complete formula and then start again from the beginning.

  • Nor, you can’t add new cells to the section of result cells. But you have the option to add new data within your Excel worksheet and then expand the array formulas.
  • After doing complete changes, hit the Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Using the array constants (part of array formula which is typed in formula bar) you can easily save up your time. But remember one thing that array constants also have a few usage and editing rules.

Method 3# Use Ctrl+Shift+Enter

It is the basic and most important component of array formulas which you need to enter by using the Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Here are the steps to create an array formula:

  • Choose cells that contain the array formula.
  • Assign the formula either by typing or using the formula bar.
  • After completing all these, enter the formula and then type Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
  • Just put the formula within the array.

Method 4# Use Names To Refer To Arrays

One plus point about the Excel arrays is that it offers the option of including the named ranges. One can use these named ranges either in the time-series or to the table formulas which is enforced for using the cell references.

With the array formulas, you will see that your spreadsheet formula will be easier to read and interpret with named cells.

Method 5# Select Arrays With A Keyboard Shortcut

If you are working with an already existing cell array formula then it’s important to choose and edit the complete array.

It’s quite tedious but there are some shortcuts available to use this.

  • To select the cell of array press the “Ctrl” and forward-slash (“/”). Similarly, you can select the entire array.
  • Press the F2 key or you can edit the formula present within the formula bar.

Last but not least after completing all this just type Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Method 6# Remove Part Of An Array In Excel

If the above fixes won’t resolve the error you cannot change part of an array then try removing some part of your array. Doing this will definitely going to work.

After deleting up the formula, you will see that result of the formula is also gets deleted. If you don’t want to remove the values then only remove the formula.

Learn how both these tasks should be performed.

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results

For deleting up the formula and keeping up the result you need to copy the formula after that paste it in the same cell. But this time you have to use the Paste Values option.

1. Choose the cell ranges or cells having the formulas in them. If you have used the array formula, then firstly you need to choose the cells present in the ranges of the cells having the array formula.

  • Tap to the cell in the array formula.
  • Hit the Home tab, and then from the Editing group, choose the Find & Select.

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results 1

  • After that tap to the Go To > Special > Current array.

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results 2

2. Go to the Home tab and then from the Clipboard group, choose the Copy

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results 3

3. Go to the Home tab and then from the Clipboard group, tap the arrow present below the Paste button, and then hit the Paste Values.

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results 4

Delete An Array Formula

For deleting up the array formula, choose all cells to present within the range of cells having the array formula in it. After that perform the following step:

  • Tap to the cell present in the array formula.
  • Go to the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select, and then click Go To.

Delete An Array Formula 1

  • Click Special>Current array

Delete A Formula But Keep The Results 2

  • At last hit the DELETE

Wrap Up:

Undoubtedly, using the Array formulas is a great option to use but it has disadvantages too. I have noticed the following points.

As per the processing speed and computer memory, large array formulas may result in slower calculation.

Other Excel workbook users maybe won’t understand the formula. Generally, array formulas are not explained within the worksheet.

So if any other user needs to edit the workbooks then it’s compulsory for them to have knowledge about array formulas or you need to avoid the array formulas.



Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.