How to Calculate Average in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating the average in Excel is a piece of cake once you know the ropes. In essence, you’ll be using the AVERAGE function, which is specifically designed to do the math for you. You just need to pick the cells that hold the numbers you want to average, and Excel takes care of the rest. Ready to become an Excel whiz? Let’s dive in!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Calculate Average in Excel

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s get a quick lay of the land. The steps we’re about to explore will help you swiftly calculate the average of a range of numbers in Excel. Whether it’s your weekly grocery expenses or a series of test scores, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Open the Excel spreadsheet where you want to calculate the average.

This is where all the magic begins. Make sure you have all the data you need in your spreadsheet and that it’s organized neatly. This will streamline the entire process and minimize any chances of error.

Step 2: Select the Cells

Click and drag to select the cells that contain the numbers you want to average.

Getting your cells in a row (pun intended) is key. Ensure that you’ve selected precisely the cells you need – no more, no less. This selection will be the data that Excel uses to calculate your average.

Step 3: Click the Formulas Tab

Navigate to the Formulas tab on the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.

This tab is your command center for all things calculation in Excel. It’s where you’ll find a plethora of functions to transform your raw data into meaningful insights.

Step 4: Click on ‘Insert Function’

Click on ‘Insert Function’ (It’s the “fx” symbol) and type “AVERAGE” in the search bar.

Excel comes with a vast array of predefined functions, but for now, we’re only interested in one – the AVERAGE function. It’s tailor-made for our purpose today.

Step 5: Select the AVERAGE Function

Select the AVERAGE function from the list and click OK.

This is the final step in your command selection process. By choosing AVERAGE, you’re instructing Excel to prepare for some average-calculation action.

Step 6: Verify the Selected Range

Ensure the range of cells in the function is correct, then click OK.

Double-checking never hurts. Make sure that the range Excel has picked up matches the cells you initially selected. If everything looks good, you’re ready to hit OK and let Excel work its magic.

After completing these steps, Excel will display the average of the numbers you selected in the cell immediately below your range or in the cell you have selected to show the result. You’ll see a number that represents the mean value of your data, which is the sum of all the numbers divided by the count of the numbers.

Tips for Calculating Average in Excel

  • Always ensure that the cells you select only contain numerical values; otherwise, Excel might return an error.
  • If your dataset has blank cells or cells with text, make sure to clear or correct these before calculating the average.
  • Remember that the AVERAGE function will ignore text, logical values (TRUE or FALSE), and empty cells in your range.
  • If you want to include logical values or text representations of numbers in your average, use the AVERAGEA function instead.
  • For a more advanced averaging that factors in multiple conditions, consider using the AVERAGEIF or AVERAGEIFS functions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Calculating Average in Excel

What happens if my range includes a cell with text?

Excel will ignore cells with text when calculating the average with the AVERAGE function.

Can I calculate the average of non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and click on each cell you want to include.

How does Excel deal with empty cells in the range?

The AVERAGE function will skip empty cells and not count them in the division part of the calculation.

What’s the difference between AVERAGE and AVERAGEA functions?

The AVERAGEA function includes text and logical values in the calculation, while AVERAGE does not.

Can I use the AVERAGE function for weighted averages?

No, for weighted averages, you’ll need to use the SUMPRODUCT and SUM functions or write a custom formula.


  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cells with the numbers you want to average.
  3. Go to the Formulas tab.
  4. Click on ‘Insert Function’ and search for “AVERAGE.”
  5. Choose the AVERAGE function.
  6. Verify the range and click OK.


Excel is a powerhouse when it comes to dealing with numbers, and calculating averages is just one of the many tricks it has up its sleeve. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who loves crunching numbers, knowing how to calculate the average in Excel can save you time and give you accurate results in a snap. It’s truly a skill that comes in handy in data analysis, report making, and even everyday scenarios like budgeting.

The steps and tips we’ve covered in this article should provide you with a solid foundation for averaging numbers in Excel. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, why not open up Excel and give it a go? Play around with different sets of data, experiment with the AVERAGE function, and see what insights you can uncover. And if you ever get stuck, revisit this guide, or reach out to the vast community of Excel users online. Excel-lent adventures await!

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