"Microsoft Excel Cannot Find the Data You're Searching For" Error Message When You Use the Find Command to Search in a Workbook


Symptoms


When you try to use the Find utility to search for data in an Excel workbook, you may receive an error message similar to the following:
Microsoft Excel cannot find the data you're searching for. Check your search options, location and formatting.

Cause


This issue may occur if you are searching for text, values, or formatting that is contained in a filtered list, and the filtering criteria prevents the text, values, or formatting from being displayed.

Workaround


To work around this issue, set the filter criteria to Show All on each worksheet in your workbook before you perform the search. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Excel, and then open the workbook that you want to search.
  2. On the Data menu, point to Filter, and then click Show All.
  3. Repeat step 2 for each sheet in the workbook.
  4. Perform the search.

Status


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Excel 2003.