How to Use XLOOKUP Function in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Using the XLOOKUP function in Excel is a simple way to search for specific information in your spreadsheets. It’s like a more advanced version of VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP, but way more flexible. In just a few steps, you can use XLOOKUP to find data in your tables. This guide will walk you through each step, ensuring you understand how to use this function effectively.

Step by Step Tutorial on Using the XLOOKUP Function in Excel

Using XLOOKUP in Excel will allow you to search for a value in a range or array and return a corresponding value from another range or array. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Ensure you have your data ready in your Excel spreadsheet.

Open the spreadsheet where you want to use the XLOOKUP function. Make sure your data is organized into columns or rows.

Step 2: Select the Cell for the XLOOKUP Result

Choose the cell where you want the result of your XLOOKUP function to appear.

Click on the cell where you want to display the result. This will be the location where Excel shows the value it finds.

Step 3: Start Typing the XLOOKUP Function

Begin by typing =XLOOKUP( into the selected cell.

This initiates the XLOOKUP function. Excel will prompt you to enter the needed parameters.

Step 4: Enter the Lookup Value

After typing =XLOOKUP(, type in the value you want to search for.

This could be a specific value like a text, number, or even a cell reference. For example, if you are looking for a name "John," type "John" in the function.

Step 5: Specify the Lookup Array

Next, indicate the range where Excel should search for the lookup value.

Click and drag to select the range where the lookup value is located, then type a comma to move to the next parameter.

Step 6: Define the Return Array

Now, indicate the range from which Excel should return the corresponding value.

Similar to the lookup array, click and drag to select the range of the return data, then type a closing parenthesis to complete the function.

Step 7: Press Enter

Finally, press Enter to execute the XLOOKUP function.

Excel will now display the corresponding value from the return array in the cell you selected.

After completing these steps, you should see the result of your XLOOKUP function in the cell you chose. This value will update automatically if the data in your lookup or return arrays changes.

Tips for Using the XLOOKUP Function in Excel

  • Use Named Ranges: Give your ranges a name for easier reference and to make your formulas clearer.
  • Check for Errors: If XLOOKUP returns an error, double-check your ranges and ensure your lookup value exists.
  • Use Wildcards: XLOOKUP supports wildcards like * and ? for partial matches.
  • Combine with IFERROR: Use IFERROR(XLOOKUP(…), "Not found") to handle errors gracefully.
  • Leverage the Search Mode: XLOOKUP allows you to search from the top, bottom, or use binary search for speed.

Frequently Asked Questions about the XLOOKUP Function in Excel

What does the XLOOKUP function do?

XLOOKUP searches for a value in a range and returns a related value from another range.

Can XLOOKUP search both vertically and horizontally?

Yes, XLOOKUP can replace both VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP by searching in any direction.

Is XLOOKUP available in all versions of Excel?

No, XLOOKUP is available in Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2019 onwards.

Can I use XLOOKUP with multiple criteria?

Yes, you can combine multiple criteria using nested functions or arrays.

What if the XLOOKUP function can’t find the value?

If the value is not found, XLOOKUP can return an error or a custom message if used with IFERROR.


  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Select the Cell for the XLOOKUP Result
  3. Start Typing the XLOOKUP Function
  4. Enter the Lookup Value
  5. Specify the Lookup Array
  6. Define the Return Array
  7. Press Enter


Mastering the XLOOKUP function in Excel can significantly boost your data handling efficiency. Unlike its predecessors, VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP, XLOOKUP offers greater flexibility and a more intuitive approach to searching for data. Whether you’re dealing with a simple list or a complex dataset, XLOOKUP’s versatility makes it a valuable tool in your Excel toolbox.

Practice makes perfect. Try setting up a few different scenarios in your spreadsheets to see XLOOKUP in action. Play around with its different options, like wildcards and search modes, to get a feel for how it can solve various data lookup challenges.

In time, you’ll find that XLOOKUP is not just a function but a powerful ally in managing and analyzing your data. Happy Excel-ing!

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