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Known issues – add-ons for Google Sheets

Below you can find a list of possible issues that can occur when working with Google Sheets add-ons. They are caused by current technical limitations on Google's end. We are looking for ways to go around them, though in some cases the only thing we can do is wait for bug fixes or new possibilities for third-party developers. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

If the problem you are having is not described here, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to write to us or email straight to support@ablebits.com

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Installation issues

The only option in the add-on menu is Help

Sometimes when you're trying to run the add-on, the only option you can see in the drop-down menu is Help. This is usually caused by Google internal problems.

Current solution: Reload the spreadsheet a few times and see if other options appear. If this doesn't help, email us to support@ablebits.com

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

drive.google.com refused to connect

This problem is caused by an issue on the side of Google when you are logged in under more than one account.

Current solution: Sign out of all accounts and log back in only under the account you used to grant permissions to the add-on. If this doesn't help, email us to support@ablebits.com

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

The add-on doesn't install at the first attempt

This is a known Google problem that affects all add-ons in Google Workspace Marketplace (formerly G Suite Marketplace). You click Install, allow permissions, see the spinning arrows working, then they disappear but the page still says Install. There's no confirmation of the successfull installation whatsoever.

Current solution: Since we can't control the problem, we have to ask you to try and install the add-on a few more times.

Before you do so, make sure to sign out and log back into only one Google account — it often helps.

Also, please try to install from both the Extensions > Add-ons > Get add-ons menu in your spreadsheet and from a Google Workspace Marketplace page in a new browser tab.

If the installation still doesn't go through, please report the problem to Google — this will help them in debugging. Just click the icon with a question mark at the upper-right corner of the installation page/window and select Send Feedback:
Send feedback in Google Workspace Marketplace.

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

I removed the add-on but it's still in the list of my tools

First, check if you share you spreadsheet with someone. If so, the Extensions menu will show all add-ons used by all users in this document. It's just the way spreadsheets work.

If you don't share the spreadsheet with anyone, contact your Admin to make sure the add-on is not installed on your entire domain. If it is, please ask your Admin to remove the tool for you or simply change its settings.

If the add-on is not installed to the entire domain, go to Google Workspace Marketplace and install the tool from there.

Tip. No worries, Google Workspace doesn't have to be paid for.

After that, click the gear wheel icon at the upper-right corner of the page (next to your account picture) and pick Manage Apps:
Manage apps in Google Workspace Marketplace.

If the tool is in the list, click the icon with three dots on its image and choose Uninstall.

Then return to your spreadsheet and remove the add-on once again the standard way.
If this doesn't help, email us to support@ablebits.com

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

I can't make the add-on run automatically

Unfortunately, at the moment it's impossible to run our add-ons automatically.

Current solution: Our Remove Duplicate Rows and Merge Sheets now support scenarios — the sets of options that you choose often. This lets you automate repetitive tasks and process data in a click.

All you need to do is click one button to save these settings, name this scenario, and run it from the menu later. You will find all the details concerning scenarios on the related help pages.

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

Common issues related to data processing

The add-on doesn't work (the Next button is disabled, "working" arrows are spinning all the time, or there is no result)

This issue occurs if you are logged in under more than one Google account. It happens due to an issue with multiple Google accounts on Google side.

Possible solution: Please sign out and log back in with an account under which you want to work with your spreadsheet.

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

Custom functions don't work — formulas return 'Loading' endlessly

Some of our add-ons return the result as a formula. In this case, they use custom functions that we created for Google Sheets. Alas, their performance depends on the work of Google Sheets which is beyond our control. At the moment, they work too slow and we're unable to fix this.

We've already reported the problem in the Google internal bug tracker system and will continue investigating the issue and searching for ways to influence it.

Current solution: All formulas successfully load over a short period of time. Please try to clear the cache in your browser, sign out and back into your Google account, or even make a copy of the problem spreadsheet. The formulas will load eventually.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Combine Sheets, Consolidate Sheets, Power Tools.

The add-on cannot paste the formula: limit for 50k chars in a cell

When you insert the result as a formula with some tools, the length of the formula depends on the number of sheets/files you refer to. In some cases (mainly with Combine Sheets and Consolidate Sheets), the formula may exceed the maximum of 50,000 characters in a single cell. To our regret, Google Sheets prevents such long inputs into cells.

Current solution: Process data by parts.

Issue-prone add-ons: Combine Sheets, Consolidate Sheets, Function by Color, Multiple VLOOKUP Matches, Power Tools, IF Formula Builder.

IMPORTRANGE — internal error

When you combine data from multiple sheets into one, the IMPORTRANGE function used for this purpose may return an internal error. Since this function is standard for Google Sheets and we simply utilize it for our add-on, we cannot control or affect it.

The bug has already been reported to Google. But, unfortunately, they can't fix it since too many different circumstances cause it. So here are the found temporary workarounds.

Possible solution: Change the case of a letter used in the range (the second argument), like this:

IMPORTRANGE("id", "A:A") > IMPORTRANGE("id", "A:a")

If the above solution doesn't help, duplicate your IMPORTRANGE inside IFERROR, where the first IMPORTRANGE is your original one, while the second features a letter of another case. For example:

IFERROR(IMPORTRANGE("id", "A:A"), IMPORTRANGE("id", "A:a"))

Do this for each IMPORTRANGE from your formula.

Get help from the Google support team: Open a new Google Workspace Support Case where your particular problem can be analyzed by a support specialist.

Issue-prone add-ons: Combine Sheets, Consolidate Sheets, Power Tools.

All records starting with a single quote (') are processed as numbers.

Due to the Google Sheets peculiarities regarding data formats, if you enter '12 in your cell and then process it with the add-on, it will be considered as a number – 12.

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

Custom functions are not updated automatically

Caused by a known bug in Google Sheets, unless you change a value in one of the cells, we can't automatically update the formulas we insert.

Current solution: Function by Color introduced the Refresh option to update all custom formulas it inserts into your sheet in one go.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Power Tools.

Scenarios don't appear in the Extensions menu

When you place the results into a new spreadsheet, you won't see your saved scenarios in that file under the Extensions drop-down.

Current solution: Run the add-on once in that new spreadsheet and all your scenarios will appear in the Google Sheets menu.

Issue-prone add-ons: Remove Duplicates, Merge Sheets, Power Tools.

Dates cannot be processed

When the add-ons process dates, they don't get them in the same way you see them. When the add-on script gets an array of data to process, it receives the date as a combination of numeric characters that differ from the date format displayed to you in the sheet, e.g. the script sees "Mon May 05 2014 00:00:00 GMT" instead of "5/5/2014". This is the reason why neither search nor replacement will return correct results. And that's why many of our add-ons do not process dates — to avoid data corruption.

Issue-prone add-ons: Advanced Find and Replace, Merge Values, Modify tools in Power Tools.

No results with merged cells in the range

There is no technical possibility for the add-on to find out if the selection contains merged data, which prevents us from showing you a message with an explanation. When the script processes your data by row or column and it encounters merged cells in the selection, it can't correctly fulfil the task and returns no results.

Possible solution: Select the option to Unmerge under Format > Merge cells prior to running the add-on.

Issue-prone add-ons: Power Tools.

The add-on gives a Server error

This is a very general error. It may be caused by exceeding the limit of 5 million cells in Google Sheets. If you have a large spreadsheet, you can check this by trying to duplicate the sheet with your data, you will see the error right away.

Current solution: Avoid the options that add cells and skip the option to create a backup copy of the sheet.

Issue-prone add-ons: All Google Sheets add-ons.

The add-on returns no results

When you work with a large range of various data and if you have a very slow Internet connection, the add-on may hit Google's 360-second time limit for operation. Our developers work hard to avoid such issues, please let us know if you encounter it with any Ablebits tools.

Issue-prone add-ons: Advanced Find and Replace, Table Styles.

Specific issues with some add-ons

The Clear tool doesn't remove comments

When you run the option Clear all, it removes everything but comments from cells since Google Spreadsheet Service doesn't allow to access and manage comments at the moment.

Issue-prone add-ons: Power Tools.

Function by Color doesn't work

A lack of locale in your spreadsheet may prevent the function from calculating the results as it doesn't know what delimiter should be used.

Possible solution: Set the locale in File > Settings.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Power Tools.

Function by Color cannot process large data sets (over 200K cells) with one formula

Due to some Google Sheets limits for custom functions, our Function by Color tool cannot process large data sets (over 200K cells) with one formula.

Current solution: Process your data in smaller parts with a few Function by Color formulas. You can sum up their results afterwards if needed.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Power Tools.

Function by Color freezes when trying to refresh results for numerous formulas. Some valuesByColor formulas disappear

Due to Google limitations for custom functions, in order to recalculate formulas there has to be some change made in the values. Instead, our Function by Color temporarily deletes its own formulas and inserts them back triggering the recalculation. Once the process is over, all formulas are back and updated.

Nevertheless, in rare cases with too many formulas, the add-on freezes unable to return all results.

Current solution: Restore your data through File > Version history > See version history and process data in smaller parts.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Power Tools.

Function by Color doesn't support Theme colors

Though theme colors were introduced to Google Sheets a few years back, their algorithm still doesn't allow our add-on to get all colors in the selected range.

Current solution: Use standard Fill colors rather than Theme colors.

Issue-prone add-ons: Function by Color, Power Tools.

Multiple VLOOKUP Matches returns incorrect results

When looking for matches in a column with both dates and time, the add-on pulls incorrect/not all matches.

Current solution: Apply the same number format to the entire column with your records: Format > Number > Date time in the Google Sheets menu.

Otherwise, with values formatted differently within the column, for instance, pure dates (9/27/2019) and date and time (9/27/2019 9:00 AM), the add-on won't be able to process data correctly.

Issue-prone add-ons: Multiple VLOOKUP Matches, Power Tools.

Sheets Manager copies/moves a Chart sheet incorrectly

When Sheets Manager copies/moves a Chart sheet (a sheet without cells, with a Chart separated from its source data), you may sometimes see that the Chart looks different or it is empty whatsoever. This happens due to the Google Sheets limitations and affects Charts without the data in the X-axis.

Issue-prone add-ons: Sheets Manager, Power Tools.