# How to fix a circular reference error

Circular reference errors occur when a formula refers back to its own cell. For example, in the example shown, the formula in F7 is:

=F5+F6+F7

This creates a circular reference because the formula, entered in cell F7, refers to F7. This in turn throws off other formula results in D7, C11, and D11:

Circular references can cause many problems (and a lot of confusion) because they may cause other formulas to return zero, or a different incorrect result.

### The circular reference error message

When a circular reference occurs in a spreadsheet, you'll see a warning like this:

*"There are one or more circular references where a formula refers to its own cell either directly or indirectly. This might cause them to calculate incorrectly. Try removing or changing these references, or moving the formulas to different cells."*

This warning will appear sporadically while editing, or when a worksheet is opened.

### Finding and fixing circular references

To resolve circular references, you'll need to find the cell(s) with incorrect cell references and adjust as needed. However, unlike other errors (#N/A, #VALUE!, etc.) circular references don't appear directly in the cell. To find the source of a circular reference error, use the Error Checking menu on the Formulas tab of the ribbon.

Select the Circular References item to see the source of circular references:

Below, the circular reference has been fixed and other formulas now return correct results:

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