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

When you’re crunching numbers, finding the average in Excel can save you a ton of time. Basically, you use Excel’s built-in functions to quickly calculate the average of a range of numbers. Whether you’re working on a school project or managing a budget, learning this skill will make your life easier.

How to Find the Average in Excel

In this step-by-step section, we’ll walk you through how to calculate the average of a group of numbers in Excel. By the end of these steps, you’ll know how to use the AVERAGE function in Excel to get your results in a flash.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

First things first, you need to open the Excel file that contains the numbers you want to average.

After opening Excel, locate your file and double-click it to open. If you don’t have Excel installed, you can also use Excel Online through your web browser.

Step 2: Highlight the Range of Cells

Next, highlight the range of cells that contains the numbers you want to average.

Simply click and drag your mouse over the cells. Make sure all the cells you want to include in your average are selected. This helps Excel understand exactly which numbers to use.

Step 3: Navigate to the Formulas Tab

Go to the Formulas tab at the top of the screen.

The Formulas tab is where you’ll find all the functions you need for calculations. It’s like the toolbox for number crunching in Excel.

Step 4: Click on the ‘More Functions’ Drop-Down

Within the Formulas tab, click on the ‘More Functions’ drop-down menu.

This drop-down menu includes various functions that Excel offers. You’ll be looking for statistical functions here.

Step 5: Select ‘AVERAGE’

From the ‘More Functions’ menu, select ‘AVERAGE’ from the list.

When you select ‘AVERAGE’, Excel will prompt you to confirm the range of cells you highlighted. Make sure it’s accurate and then click OK.

Step 6: Press Enter

Simply press Enter on your keyboard to complete the process.

After pressing Enter, Excel will instantly calculate and display the average in the cell you selected. It’s like magic, but better because it’s math.

Once you’ve completed these steps, Excel will display the average of the numbers you highlighted. You can use this average to analyze your data more effectively.

Tips for Finding the Average in Excel

Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your Excel average calculations.

  • Always double-check your selected range to ensure no numbers are missing.
  • Use the ‘AutoSum’ feature for quicker access to the AVERAGE function.
  • You can also type =AVERAGE() directly into a cell and manually enter the cell range inside the parentheses.
  • If you need to find the average of non-contiguous cells, you can manually enter each cell reference separated by commas.
  • Remember that Excel ignores empty cells and text when calculating the average.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data includes text or blanks?

Excel automatically ignores text and empty cells when calculating the average, so you don’t need to worry about them affecting your result.

Can I find the average of non-contiguous cells?

Yes, you can. Just manually enter each cell reference within the AVERAGE function, separated by commas.

What does the AVERAGE function return if all cells are empty?

If all cells are empty, the AVERAGE function will return a #DIV/0! error because you can’t divide by zero.

Can I use the AVERAGE function with columns that have different types of data?

Yes, but Excel will only include numerical data in its calculation and will ignore text or any other non-numeric data.

Is there a shortcut to find the average quickly?

Yes, you can use the ‘AutoSum’ feature to quickly access the AVERAGE function. Just click on the AutoSum button and select ‘Average.’

Summary of Steps

  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Highlight the Range of Cells
  3. Navigate to the Formulas Tab
  4. Click on the ‘More Functions’ Drop-Down
  5. Select ‘AVERAGE’
  6. Press Enter


Finding the average in Excel is an incredibly useful skill that simplifies data analysis. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to quickly find the average of any range of numbers, saving time and reducing errors. Whether you’re new to Excel or just looking to brush up on your skills, mastering the AVERAGE function is a great way to boost your productivity.

Excel is a powerful tool, but it’s only as good as the person using it. Practice these steps a few times, and they’ll soon become second nature. You’ll find that calculating the average is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Excel’s capabilities. So, roll up your sleeves and start experimenting with different features. Happy Excel-ing!

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