How to Average Numbers in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Average Numbers in Excel

Averaging numbers in Excel is super easy and incredibly useful. All you need to do is select the cells with the numbers you want to average, then use the AVERAGE function. It’s a quick way to find the mean of a set of numbers, which can save you loads of time in data analysis.

How to Average Numbers in Excel

This section will guide you through the steps to average numbers in Excel, making sure you understand each part of the process.

Step 1: Select Your Data

First, select the cells that contain the numbers you want to average.

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that include your data. If your numbers are in a continuous range, this will be easy. If they’re scattered, you can hold down the Ctrl key (Cmd key on a Mac) and click each cell individually.

Step 2: Open the Formula Bar

Next, click on the cell where you want the average to appear, and then click on the formula bar above the spreadsheet.

The formula bar is where you type your functions and formulas. By clicking here, you’re getting ready to input the AVERAGE function that will calculate your data.

Step 3: Type the AVERAGE Function

Type =AVERAGE( into the formula bar.

By starting with an equal sign, Excel recognizes that you’re about to enter a function. The AVERAGE function will help Excel understand that you want to find the mean of the selected numbers.

Step 4: Specify the Range

Specify the range of cells you want to average by either typing it in or clicking and dragging to select the cells once more.

For instance, if your numbers are in cells A1 through A10, you would type A1:A10. Excel will know to include all the numbers in that range for the average calculation.

Step 5: Close the Function and Press Enter

Close the function with a closing parenthesis ) and press Enter.

Pressing Enter will execute the function, and voila! The cell where you typed the function will now display the average of the numbers you’ve selected.

After following these steps, the cell with the AVERAGE function will display the mean of your selected numbers. It’s really that simple!

Tips for Averaging Numbers in Excel

Here are some extra tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of Excel when averaging numbers.

  • Use named ranges: Instead of manually entering ranges, you can name a range of cells and use that name in your formula.
  • Exclude zeros: If your data set has zeros that you don’t want to include in the average, use the AVERAGEIF function.
  • Check for errors: Ensure there are no text entries in your range, as these can cause errors or misleading results.
  • Use AutoSum: For a quicker method, use the AutoSum feature and select Average.
  • Drag to fill: After calculating one average, you can drag the formula to adjacent cells to apply it to other data ranges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if there are blank cells in my range?

Blank cells are ignored by the AVERAGE function, which means they won’t affect the result.

Can I average non-continuous cells?

Yes, you can use commas to separate non-continuous cells or ranges in the AVERAGE function.

What if my numbers are in different worksheets?

You can still average them by referring to each cell with its sheet name, like Sheet1!A1, in the function.

How do I average only certain criteria?

Use the AVERAGEIF function to average numbers that meet specific criteria.

Can I exclude certain numbers from my average?

Yes, use the AVERAGEIF function to exclude numbers by setting conditions.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Open the formula bar.
  3. Type the AVERAGE function.
  4. Specify the range.
  5. Close the function and press Enter.


Averaging numbers in Excel is a basic yet powerful skill that everyone should know. It not only saves time but also ensures accuracy in your data analysis. After walking through these steps, you should be able to average any set of numbers with ease. And remember, Excel offers various other functions like AVERAGEIF, which can make your calculations even more precise and tailored to your needs. Give it a try, and you’ll soon see how much easier data analysis can be. If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring more about Excel’s vast array of functions to further enhance your data-handling skills.

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