How to Apply XLOOKUP in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Applying XLOOKUP in Excel is like uncovering a hidden treasure—it can simplify your data search process, making it more efficient. To apply XLOOKUP, you need to know the value you’re looking for, the range where you’ll find it, and the range where the results should be. Follow these steps, and you’ll master XLOOKUP in no time.

How to Apply XLOOKUP in Excel

XLOOKUP is a powerful function in Excel that allows you to search for a value in a range and return a corresponding value from another range. This tutorial will guide you through each step to make sure you can use XLOOKUP effectively.

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the result

Click on the cell where you want the XLOOKUP result to appear.
Choosing the right cell is crucial because this is where your search result will be displayed. Make sure the cell is empty and ready to receive the data.

Step 2: Type the XLOOKUP function

Type =XLOOKUP( into the selected cell.
This is the initial command that tells Excel you’re about to use the XLOOKUP function.

Step 3: Enter the lookup value

Enter the value you are searching for, followed by a comma.
This is the value you want to search for in the data range. It could be a specific number, text, or even a cell reference.

Step 4: Define the lookup array

Input the range where you want to search for the lookup value, followed by a comma.
The lookup array is the range of cells that contains the data you’re searching through. Make sure this range is correct, as errors here can lead to incorrect results.

Step 5: Specify the return array

Enter the range where the corresponding values are located and close the parenthesis.
The return array is the range where the function will find the result for the lookup value. This should be parallel to the lookup array.

Step 6: Press Enter

Hit the Enter key to complete the function and see the result.
After pressing Enter, Excel will search the lookup array for your value and return the corresponding value from the return array.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you should see the result in the cell where you initiated the XLOOKUP function. This powerful tool can save you loads of time when dealing with large datasets.

Tips for Applying XLOOKUP in Excel

  • Always double-check the ranges you select for the lookup and return arrays.
  • Use absolute cell references if you plan to copy the XLOOKUP formula to other cells.
  • Remember that XLOOKUP can search for text, numbers, and even dates.
  • Utilize error handling to manage cases where the lookup value isn’t found.
  • Combine XLOOKUP with other Excel functions for more complex data analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions about Applying XLOOKUP in Excel

What is the main advantage of using XLOOKUP over VLOOKUP?

XLOOKUP can search both vertically and horizontally, offering more flexibility than VLOOKUP.

Can XLOOKUP return multiple values?

Yes, by using array formulas, XLOOKUP can return multiple values.

What happens if the lookup value is not found?

You can use the optional [if_not_found] argument to specify a message or value to return if the lookup value isn’t found.

Is XLOOKUP available in all versions of Excel?

XLOOKUP is available in Excel for Office 365 and Excel 2019. It’s not available in earlier versions.

How can I make my XLOOKUP case-sensitive?

By default, XLOOKUP is not case-sensitive. You can use a combination of other functions like EXACT to create a case-sensitive search.


  1. Select the cell where you want the result.
  2. Type the XLOOKUP function.
  3. Enter the lookup value.
  4. Define the lookup array.
  5. Specify the return array.
  6. Press Enter.


Applying XLOOKUP in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it. This function is a game-changer for anyone dealing with extensive data, making your search and retrieval tasks much more efficient. Remember to double-check your ranges and use error handling to make your functions robust. XLOOKUP’s versatility doesn’t stop with just searching for values; it can also be combined with other functions to perform more complex data analysis.

If you’ve found this guide helpful, why not dive deeper into Excel’s vast array of functions? Mastering Excel can make you a data wizard, capable of tackling any spreadsheet challenge. Happy Excel-ing!

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