How to Remove Average in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for All Users

Removing an average in Excel isn’t as hard as it sounds. Essentially, you’ll use a few basic Excel functions to subtract the average value from each data point in your set. This process is handy if you’re looking to normalize data or just want to see variations more clearly.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Remove Average in Excel

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to remove the average from a range of data in Excel. By the end, you’ll have a new column showing the deviation of each value from the average.

Step 1: Calculate the Average

First, we’ll find the average of your data set.

Click on an empty cell where you want the average to appear. Type =AVERAGE(range) where "range" is your data range. For example, if your data is in cells A1 through A10, you’d type =AVERAGE(A1:A10).

Step 2: Apply the Formula

Next, we need to apply a formula to subtract the average from each data point.

In the cell next to your first data point, type =[Cell] - [Average], replacing [Cell] with the cell reference of the first data point and [Average] with the cell reference where you calculated the average. For example, if your first data point is A1 and the average is in B1, type =A1 - B1.

Step 3: Drag the Formula Down

Copy the formula down the column to apply it to the rest of your data points.

Click on the small square at the bottom-right corner of the cell where you just typed the formula. Drag it down to the last cell in your data range.

Step 4: Adjust for Negative Results

Check for any negative results and adjust if needed.

Sometimes, subtracting the average might result in negative values. If you want to keep all values positive, you can use the ABS function to get the absolute value. Modify your formula to =ABS([Cell] - [Average]).

Step 5: Verify Your Results

Finally, make sure everything looks correct.

Double-check your formulas and the results to ensure they make sense. If something looks off, go back and verify each step.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll see a new column of data showing the deviation of each value from the average.

Tips for How to Remove Average in Excel

  1. Use Named Ranges: If you have a large data set, consider using named ranges for easier reference.
  2. Check for Errors: Always double-check your formulas to ensure there are no errors.
  3. Use Conditional Formatting: Highlight cells that are above or below the average for better visualization.
  4. Keep It Dynamic: Use cell references in your formulas to keep them dynamic, so they update automatically if your data changes.
  5. Document Your Steps: Add comments to your Excel sheet to remind yourself or inform others of the steps taken.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Remove Average in Excel

What if my data set is large?

For large data sets, using named ranges can make your formulas easier to read and manage.

Can I remove the average for non-numeric data?

No, the average function only works with numeric data.

What if my average calculation returns an error?

Double-check your data range and ensure that all cells are numeric.

Is there a way to automate this process?

Yes, you can use Macros or VBA to automate the calculation and subtraction process.

Can I visualize the deviations?

Absolutely! Use Excel’s built-in charting tools to create visual representations of your data.


  1. Calculate the average.
  2. Apply the formula.
  3. Drag the formula down the column.
  4. Adjust for negative results.
  5. Verify your results.


Removing the average in Excel is a simple yet powerful technique to analyze data more effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily subtract the average from each data point, helping you see the variations more clearly.

Whether you’re working on a small data set or a large one, these steps will help you get the job done.

If you found this tutorial useful, consider exploring other Excel functions and features. There’s a whole world of data analysis possibilities waiting for you! Happy data crunching!

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