How to Calculate Average in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating average in Excel 2010 is a straightforward process that involves selecting the cells containing the numbers you want to average, and then using the AVERAGE function to compute the mean value. Afterward, you’ll have a clear understanding of the central tendency of the dataset you’re working with.

Once you complete the average calculation in Excel 2010, you’ll have the mean value displayed in the cell where you input the formula. This allows you to quickly assess the central value of a group of numbers, which can be essential for various data analysis tasks.


We all know that crunching numbers can be a bit of a headache, right? But what if I told you that Excel 2010 could make your life a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to calculating averages? That’s right, whether you’re a student, a business analyst, or just someone who loves to keep everything organized, knowing how to calculate average in Excel 2010 is a skill that will surely come in handy.

So why is calculating averages so important? For starters, averages help us understand the middle ground. Think about it – if you’re looking at test scores, you want to know what the typical score is, not just the highest or the lowest. In business, averages can show you typical sales figures, helping you to set realistic goals. And let’s not forget about everyday life – ever tried to split a bill evenly or work out your average weekly spend on coffee? Yep, averages are everywhere!

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of calculating averages in Excel 2010. It’s not rocket science, I promise. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be an average-calculating ninja in no time!

Step by Step Tutorial: Calculating Average in Excel 2010

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we will achieve. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to select a range of cells in Excel 2010 and use a simple formula to calculate their average. This is an essential skill for anyone who works with data and wants to find central values quickly.

Step 1: Select the cells

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

Selecting the correct cells is crucial. Make sure you include all the numbers you want to calculate the average for, but exclude any headers or text that might be in the range.

Step 2: Type the AVERAGE formula

Type =AVERAGE( followed by the range of cells you selected, then close the parentheses and press Enter.

For example, if you’re averaging numbers in cells A1 through A5, you’ll type =AVERAGE(A1:A5). This tells Excel to find the mean of the numbers in these cells.

Step 3: Press Enter

After entering the formula, hit the Enter key to execute it.

Once you press Enter, the cell where you typed the formula will display the average of the selected numbers. If you need to adjust the range, you can always go back and edit the formula.


Simplifies data analysisCalculating average in Excel 2010 streamlines the process of finding central tendencies within a dataset, making it easier to conduct basic data analysis.
Saves timeWith the AVERAGE function, you can quickly compute the mean value without having to use manual calculations, saving valuable time.
Highly accurateExcel’s built-in functions are reliable, ensuring that the average calculations are precise and free of human error.


Limited to numerical dataThe AVERAGE function can only be used with numbers, so it’s not applicable for averaging non-quantitative data.
Affected by extreme valuesOutliers or extreme values within the data set can skew the average, leading to a less representative mean.
Requires basic Excel knowledgeUsers need to have a basic understanding of Excel functions and formulas to use the AVERAGE function effectively.

Additional Information

When it comes to calculating the average in Excel 2010, there are a few additional tips that can make your life even easier. First off, remember that Excel is pretty smart – if you don’t specify a range and just select the cells and click the AutoSum button (it looks like a Greek letter sigma, Σ), Excel will often suggest the AVERAGE function for you.

Also, if you’re dealing with a large dataset and want to ensure you’ve selected the correct range, you can click on the first cell, hold down the Shift key, and then click on the last cell. This will select everything in between. Another thing to keep in mind is that Excel will ignore blank cells in the range when calculating the average. However, if there are cells with a zero value, those will be included in the calculation, potentially lowering the average.


  1. Select the cells containing the numbers for the average.
  2. Type the AVERAGE formula with the selected cell range.
  3. Press Enter to execute the formula and display the average.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have blank cells in my range?

Excel will ignore blank cells when calculating the average. Only cells with numbers will be included in the calculation.

Can I include cells that contain text in the average calculation?

No, the AVERAGE function only works with numerical data. Cells with text will not be factored into the calculation.

What happens if my selected range includes zero values?

Zero values are considered in the average calculation and will lower the overall average.

Can I calculate the average of non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can. Simply separate the cell references with commas. For example, =AVERAGE(A1, A3, A5) will calculate the average of those specific cells.

Is there a shortcut to calculate the average?

Yes, after selecting the cells, you can click the AutoSum button (Σ) in the Home tab, and Excel may suggest the AVERAGE function.


Calculating average in Excel 2010 is a fundamental skill that can significantly enhance your ability to analyze data effectively. Whether you’re in school, the corporate world, or just managing personal finances, this simple yet powerful function can provide you with insightful information about the central tendency of your data.

Remember that while the AVERAGE function is incredibly useful, it’s also essential to understand its limitations, such as its sensitivity to outliers and the need for a basic understanding of Excel. So go ahead, give it a try and watch how Excel 2010 turns you into an average-calculating wizard!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

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