How to Add a Total Row in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a total row in Excel is a straightforward task that can greatly enhance the readability and functionality of your spreadsheet. Whether you’re summing up sales figures, calculating averages, or just need a quick total of numbers, Excel has got you covered. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to add a total row to your data in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Add a Total Row in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s first understand what we’re aiming to achieve here. Adding a total row in Excel allows you to automatically calculate and display the sum, average, count, or other aggregate functions at the bottom of your data range, making it simple to analyze your data at a glance.

Step 1: Select Your Data Range

Click and drag your mouse to highlight the cells containing the data you want to add a total row to.

Selecting the correct data range is crucial for accurate totals. Make sure you include all the rows and columns that you want to be considered in the calculations.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Table’ Tools

With your data range selected, click on the ‘Insert’ tab at the top of Excel and then click on ‘Table’.

Converting your data range into a table provides you with additional features not available in a regular data range, such as the total row option.

Step 3: Confirm Your Table

In the ‘Create Table’ dialog box that appears, ensure that the ‘My table has headers’ checkbox is checked if your data range includes headers. Then, click ‘OK’.

By confirming that your table has headers, Excel will be able to differentiate between your data and the column titles, ensuring accurate calculations in the total row.

Step 4: Add the Total Row

Now, go to the ‘Table Tools Design’ tab that appears after creating the table, and check the ‘Total Row’ checkbox in the ‘Table Style Options’ group.

A new row will appear at the bottom of your table, ready for you to customize with the desired calculation.

After completing these steps, you’ll see a total row added at the bottom of your table. You can then click on any cell in the total row to select from a dropdown menu of functions like SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, and MIN, among others.

Tips for Adding a Total Row in Excel

  • Ensure your data range doesn’t include any blank rows or columns, as this can cause errors in your total row calculations.
  • Use the dropdown menu in the total row cells to quickly change the function applied from SUM to AVERAGE or any other function without having to manually enter formulas.
  • Keep in mind that adding a total row will automatically make your data range a table, which might affect the formatting and functionality of your spreadsheet.
  • If you want to add subtotals within your data, use the ‘Subtotal’ feature found under the ‘Data’ tab, which is different from adding a total row.
  • Remember that you can always remove the total row by unchecking the ‘Total Row’ checkbox in the ‘Table Tools Design’ tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add multiple total rows to a single table in Excel?

No, each table in Excel can only have one total row. However, you can create separate tables for different data ranges if you need more than one total row.

Will the total row update automatically if I add more data to my table?

Yes, the total row will automatically update to include any new data you add to the table.

Can I add a total row to a data range that is not formatted as a table?

No, the total row feature is only available for data ranges formatted as a table in Excel.

How do I customize the calculations in the total row?

Click on the cell in the total row where you want to perform a calculation, and then select the desired function from the dropdown menu that appears.

Can I format the total row differently from the rest of the table?

Yes, you can format the total row just like any other cell in Excel, using font styles, colors, borders, and more.


  1. Select your data range.
  2. Go to the ‘Table’ tools.
  3. Confirm your table.
  4. Add the total row.


Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data, and adding a total row is just one of the many features that can help simplify your work. With the ability to quickly calculate sums, averages, and other functions, you can turn a simple spreadsheet into a dynamic data analysis tool. Remember to always double-check your data ranges and explore the different functions available in the total row to ensure you’re getting the most accurate results.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you should now be able to confidently add a total row to your Excel spreadsheets. But don’t stop there! Excel offers a vast array of features to discover, so keep experimenting and learning to make the most of this versatile program. Whether you’re a data analyst, a small business owner, or just someone who loves to stay organized, mastering how to add a total row in Excel is a skill that will undoubtedly come in handy.

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