Error Messages

Error Messages

❓ Related article: Troubleshooting API Requests

You may encounter the following error messages while using the API Connector add-on for Google Sheets.

ERROR: Please enter request name

All API requests must have a name before they can be run. This is true even if you don't save the request. Enter a name (as a best practice, choose a name that will easily differentiate the request from other API requests in your sheet).

ERROR: Please enter API URL path

All API requests must contain an API URL. This URL should consist of at least a domain name and endpoint, e.g. Optionally, it can also contain query strings, e.g.

ERROR: Please enter destination sheet

Before running an API request, set a destination sheet for the output. To set a destination sheet, you can click on a tab in your worksheet and then click Set to choose that sheet as the destination. Alternately, you can type in your tab name directly.

ERROR: Destination tab doesn't exist

Your output tab must exist before you choose it as a destination. If you enter a tab name that hasn't been created yet, you'll receive this error message. To resolve, first create the tab in your spreadsheet, and then Set it as your destination tab.

Failed to save request as the name already exists.

All API requests must have a unique name. If you re-use a name that already exists, the request will not save. To resolve, change the request name and retry.

Request failed: Attribute provided with invalid value: Header:{HeaderKey}

This means you've entered an invalid header key. Please check your API documentation and make sure you've entered the header key exactly as written; e.g. if the header key is 'api-key' make sure you haven't entered 'apikey'. Also double-check that you haven't inadvertently pasted in an errant space or other character at the beginning or end of your header key.

Request failed: Bad request

This means the API URL hostname is malformed. A request like http://87000 would trigger this error. Make sure you've entered a valid API URL, including a full hostname.

Request failed: DNS error

This means the server you're trying to reach doesn't exist or isn't responding. Check if your server has reported any outages. If not, double-check your API URL and run again.

Request failed: Expected argument of type object, but instead had type boolean

This means that the server has responded with a boolean, i.e. 'true' or 'false', instead of a standard JSON object. API Connector only supports JSON and CSV responses (and receiving a true/false response to your request usually indicates some issue with the API platform itself).

Request failed: Invalid argument

This occurs when your URL contains an invalid character, like a space or bracket. These are some common causes of this error:

  1. copying & pasting code snippets like 'GET' into the API URL path box. This field can only accept a valid URL.
  2. not replacing example variables with actual values:
  3. not encoding special characters. Generally, URLs can only contain the characters A to Z (upper or lower case), numbers, and /.=?-+%&*:. Other characters should be be URL encoded. Google Sheets provides a built-in function ENCODEURL() for encoding URLs (info).

Request failed: Invalid POST body data

This error occurs when your POST body is incorrectly formatted. Ensure your POST body is valid JSON. Consult this article for more detailed instructions: Add a Request Body to a POST Request

Request failed: Server responded with an error (###)

This error message occurs when the platform you're trying to connect to refuses to run your request and has returned an HTTP Response Status error code. This error code is displayed within the parentheses.

You can see a listing of all HTTP error codes and their explanations here: Common causes of these errors include:

  • you have entered a non-existent or malformed API URL. Your API URL should look like a standard web URL, and shouldn't include special characters like '{' or '<'.
  • your request contains misspelled or missing Header keys. Double-check the requirements; if you need to enter a header key named 'api-key', it won't work with 'apikey'.
  • the API endpoint only accepts HTTP POST requests but you're sending a GET request (or vice versa)
  • your POST request contains a malformed or missing POST body
  • you've included an invalid parameter (e.g. 'num=50', when the value of 'num' must be less than 20)

To resolve, please check the documentation of your API service, and ensure your request matches all requirements exactly. Make sure you've replaced any example variables with the actual value, e.g. a variable like {your API key} should be replaced by your actual API key.

Request failed: Server response not in JSON or CSV format

This error occurs when the server responds with data in a format other than valid JSON or CSV (e.g. XML). Most modern API platforms provide a JSON option, so please look for a JSON endpoint to resolve this error. If you're requesting public (no authentication required) XML files, Google Sheets supports this natively with the IMPORTXML() function.

Request failed: This action would increase the number of cells in the workbook above the limit of 5000000 cells.

Google Sheets permits a maximum of 5 million cells (documentation) per sheet, including empty cells. Therefore, you will see this error message from Google if your request would cause your sheet to surpass the limit. To address, you can split your requests into separate worksheets, or limit the size of the data response you’re requesting. You can also delete any unused tabs, rows, and columns from your worksheet, in case that frees up enough cells to run your request.

Request processed, no records found

This is more of a notification rather than an error message. It means that there is no issue with the setup of your API request, but the API service returned an empty response.

ScriptError: Authorization is required to perform that action

This is an error from Chrome that sometimes occurs when you have multiple Google accounts open in the same session. To resolve, sign out of your other accounts, or re-open the add-on in a new incognito window.

Service invoked too many times for one day: urlfetch

This error message comes from Google itself. Google has quotas on its usage, as described here: A URL Fetch call is a request to get a URL, so one API request is one URL fetch call, and URL Fetch calls are limited to 20,000/day for consumer accounts.

Please note that Google applies this limit to each individual account (each email address), and sums together all the fetch calls from all the sheets you're using. This includes all scripts, functions, and other add-ons that you may be running in addition to API Connector. Unfortunately Google doesn't provide any breakdown of where URL fetch calls come from, or any indicator of how close you are to the limit, so you will need to review your sheets manually for excess URL fetch calls. Pay attention to any time-based triggers in your scripts, as well as functions like =importJSON() and =GoogleFinance(), as these may produce URL fetch calls every minute.


In some cases, API platforms will accept a request but return an error message containing additional requirements or information as their response. In those cases, their custom error message will be displayed in the output sheet.


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