Troubleshooting Errors and Warnings

We frequently run into error messages and warnings in these workshops! No need to fret this happens to the best R users all the time. It may be helpful to go over them quickly.

Common Errors2

File does not exist, or No such file or directory

This generally means one of two things. You misspelled the filename or you forgot to tell R where to look. To fix it you should check a few things

  1. Check to make sure that the name of the file is spelled correctly
  2. Check to make sure that your working directory is set correctly
    • If the file is living in a folder in the working directory specify that folder with the correct slash
    • This is probably the most common ones
  3. If the file is open in Excel close it. Sometimes Excel will hold things hostage so that could be your issue.

Could Not find function “functionineedtouse”

This is just R saying that it does not know what you are trying to do to the object because it can’t figure what the function is.

  1. Is the function spelled correctly(my most common mistake)
  2. If so did you run library(packagewithfunctionname)
  3. Do you need to install the package that function is living in?

Object Not found

If you get this error than this is R telling you that you are trying to reference an object that does not exist.

  1. Make sure the object name is spelled right
  2. Make sure that you have in fact assigned the said object
    • Did you do something with all the neccessary R code, but forgot to assign it before running the code in question?

Column Does Not Exist

If you get his error than this means you are trying to reference a column that does not exist.

  1. Is the name of the variable spelled correctly?
    • This can also include white space which requires you to use Name of Var
  2. Make sure you are referencing the right object
    • i.e. Did you create a new variable and assign it to a different object?
  3. When referencing the column did you drop it along the way?


  1. Both examples are derived from Statistical Inference via Data Science: A ModernDive into R and the Tidyverse↩︎

  2. These are the ones I tend to run into and the coverage and advice is from Nick Huntington-Klein’s post↩︎