How to Use COUNTIFS in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Countifs in Excel is a powerful function that lets you count the number of cells that meet multiple criteria. It’s like having a super-smart assistant who can quickly tally up cells that fit certain conditions, and it’s super useful for organizing and analyzing data. If you’ve got a list of numbers, names, or anything else, and you need to know how many fit certain criteria, countifs is your go-to tool. Let’s dive into how you can use it to make your Excel life easier!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Use Countifs in Excel

Countifs can seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be counting like a pro. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to use countifs successfully.

Step 1: Open Excel and select your data range

Select the range of cells you want to apply the countifs function to.

This will be the area where Excel will look for the criteria you set. Make sure you select the right cells to get accurate results.

Step 2: Start the Countifs function

Type “=COUNTIFS(” into the cell where you want the count to appear.

This is like calling over your super-smart assistant and saying, “Hey, I need a count of certain things, please!”

Step 3: Define your criteria range

Click on the first range of cells that you want to apply your first criteria to.

This tells Excel where to start looking. It’s like telling your assistant, “Start counting over there.”

Step 4: Enter your first criteria

Type your first criteria after the criteria range.

This is like telling your assistant, “I want you to count all the cells that have this specific thing in them.”

Step 5: Add more criteria (if needed)

If you need to count based on multiple conditions, continue adding criteria ranges and their respective criteria.

This is like adding more tasks for your assistant, “And also count the ones that have this other thing, and this other thing.”

Step 6: Close the function and press Enter

Type “)” to close the function and then press Enter to get your count.

And just like that, Excel gives you the number of cells that meet your criteria!

After completing these steps, Excel will display the count of cells that meet your specified criteria. It’s like getting the answer to a complex question with just a few clicks. You can now use this information to make better decisions, organize your data, or just satisfy your curiosity.

Tips for Using Countifs in Excel

  • Always ensure that your criteria ranges are the same size and shape to avoid errors.
  • You can use wildcards like “*” and “?” in your criteria for partial matches.
  • Remember that countifs is case-insensitive, so it doesn’t differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • When counting dates, use DATE functions within countifs to avoid confusion with Excel’s date formatting.
  • Use “&” to combine multiple criteria into one, like “>20&<30” to count cells with values between 20 and 30.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between COUNTIF and COUNTIFS?

COUNTIF is used for counting cells with a single criterion, while COUNTIFS can handle multiple criteria.

Can I use cell references in the criteria for countifs?

Yes, you can use cell references instead of typing out the criteria, which makes your formula more dynamic.

How do I count cells with text criteria in countifs?

You can enclose your text criteria in quotation marks directly in the formula, like “Completed” for example.

Can countifs be used across multiple sheets in Excel?

Yes, you can reference different sheets within your countifs formula to count cells across sheets.

What kind of criteria can I use with countifs?

You can use numerical, text, and date criteria, as long as they’re relevant to the content of the cells you’re counting.


  1. Open Excel and select your data range.
  2. Start the Countifs function.
  3. Define your criteria range.
  4. Enter your first criteria.
  5. Add more criteria (if needed).
  6. Close the function and press Enter.


Mastering the countifs function in Excel can significantly boost your productivity and data analysis skills. It’s like having a secret weapon that gives you the power to sift through tons of data in seconds. With the ability to set multiple criteria, countifs offers flexibility and precision, making it an indispensable tool for anyone looking to make sense of large datasets. Remember to keep the tips in mind, and don’t hesitate to refer back to the frequently asked questions if you ever find yourself stuck. Happy counting, and may your Excel adventures be ever fruitful and error-free!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy