How to Do AutoSum in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you’re looking to quickly add up numbers in Excel, the AutoSum feature is your best friend. With just a few clicks, you can sum up rows or columns without having to manually type in formulas. Here’s a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of using AutoSum in Excel to make your number-crunching tasks a breeze.

How to Use AutoSum in Excel

In this section, we’ll cover how to use the AutoSum feature in Excel. Following these steps will help you quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Open the Excel file where you want to use the AutoSum feature.

You can either double-click the Excel file from your computer or open Excel first and then navigate to your file. Make sure your data is organized in a way that makes sense for summing up.

Step 2: Select the Cell for the Sum

Click on the cell where you want the sum to appear.

It’s crucial to select the correct cell, usually at the end of a row or column of numbers. This is where Excel will show the result of the AutoSum function.

Step 3: Click the AutoSum Button

Go to the "Home" tab on the Ribbon, then click the AutoSum button, which looks like the Greek letter Sigma (Σ).

This button is usually easily visible and can be found on the far right of the Ribbon. Clicking it will automatically generate a formula to add up the selected numbers.

Step 4: Confirm the Selected Range

Press the Enter key to confirm the range Excel has selected for summing up.

You may see a flashing border around the cells that Excel thinks you want to add. If it’s correct, just hit Enter. If not, manually adjust the range by clicking and dragging.

Step 5: Check the Result

Look at the selected cell to see the sum of the numbers.

If everything went well, the cell you selected in Step 2 will now display the sum of the numbers. Double-check to ensure the numbers add up correctly.

After following these steps, you will see the total sum of your numbers displayed in the cell you selected. It’s a quick and simple way to add up rows or columns without any hassle.

Tips for Using AutoSum in Excel

  • Check Your Data: Always double-check that your data is correctly entered, so you sum up the right numbers.
  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts: Press "Alt + =" to quickly use AutoSum without navigating through menus.
  • Adjust Ranges: If Excel doesn’t capture the right cells, you can manually adjust the range by clicking and dragging.
  • Multiple Sums: You can apply AutoSum to multiple rows or columns at once by selecting a larger range.
  • Error Checking: If you get an error, double-check the cells for any text or non-numeric values that might be causing issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if AutoSum selects the wrong range?

You can manually select the correct range by clicking and dragging over the cells you want to sum.

Can I use AutoSum for non-adjacent cells?

Yes, but you’ll need to manually select each range while holding down the Ctrl key.

Does AutoSum work with filtered data?

Yes, but it will only sum the visible cells when you use the SUBTOTAL function.

What happens if there are blank cells?

AutoSum will ignore blank cells and only add up the cells with numbers.

Can I sum up both rows and columns at the same time?

Yes, you can select a range that includes both rows and columns, and AutoSum will handle it.


  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cell for the sum.
  3. Click the AutoSum button.
  4. Confirm the selected range.
  5. Check the result.


Using AutoSum in Excel is a straightforward way to tally up your numbers without the hassle of writing formulas. Whether you’re summing up a list of expenses or calculating totals in a data set, AutoSum gets the job done quickly. Remember to double-check your range and manually adjust if needed. Excel even allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process further. Now that you know how to use AutoSum, you’ll find it much easier to manage and analyze your data. So go ahead, open your spreadsheet, and let AutoSum take care of the math for you!

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