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


Michael Collins

Calculating an average in Excel is a simple process that can be accomplished by using the AVERAGE function. This function allows you to quickly and easily find the mean, or average, of a range of numbers. All you need to do is select the cells that contain the numbers you want to average, and then use the AVERAGE function to do the math for you. It’s a handy tool that can save you time and ensure accuracy in your calculations.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Calculate Average in Excel

Before we dive into the specific steps, let’s understand what they will accomplish. By following these steps, you’ll learn how to use the AVERAGE function in Excel to calculate the mean of a set of numbers. This function is useful for a variety of purposes, such as averaging test scores, calculating average sales figures, or finding the average temperature over a certain period.

Step 1: Select the Cells Containing the Numbers

Click and drag your mouse to highlight the cells with the numbers you want to average.

When using the AVERAGE function, you can select individual cells, a range of cells, or even entire rows or columns. If your data has gaps or you only want to include certain cells, you can press and hold the Ctrl key (Cmd key on Mac) and click each cell you want to include in the average.

Step 2: Type the AVERAGE Function

In the cell where you want the average to appear, type "=AVERAGE(" without the quotes.

This step is where you actually begin to use the AVERAGE function. You’ll see the function appear in the formula bar at the top of your Excel window. Make sure you start your function with an equal sign, which tells Excel you’re about to enter a formula.

Step 3: Complete the Function

After typing the function, press Enter, and Excel will calculate the average for you.

Once you press Enter, the cell where you typed the function will display the average of the numbers you selected. If you need to include additional numbers in the average or exclude some, you can simply adjust the cell selection in the function.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully calculated the average of your selected numbers using Excel’s AVERAGE function.

Tips: How to Calculate Average in Excel

  • Make sure your data doesn’t have any non-numeric characters, as this could cause errors in the calculation.
  • Use the AVERAGEIF or AVERAGEIFS function if you need to calculate the average based on certain criteria.
  • You can quickly apply the AVERAGE function to multiple ranges by selecting multiple cells where you want the averages to appear and typing the function once.
  • If you have a header row with text, be careful not to include it in your selection for the average calculation.
  • Remember that the AVERAGE function will ignore empty cells, but if a cell contains a zero, it will be included in the calculation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to exclude certain cells from the average?

If you want to exclude certain cells, simply do not include them in the range you select when entering the AVERAGE function.

Can I use the AVERAGE function with non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can use the AVERAGE function with non-adjacent cells by holding down the Ctrl key (Cmd key on Mac) as you click each cell you want to include.

Does the AVERAGE function include cells with text in them?

No, the AVERAGE function will only include cells with numerical values in the calculation.

What’s the difference between AVERAGE and AVERAGEA functions in Excel?

The AVERAGEA function includes cells with text and logical values (TRUE/FALSE) in the calculation, treating them as 1 for TRUE and 0 for FALSE, while the AVERAGE function ignores them.

How can I calculate a weighted average in Excel?

To calculate a weighted average, you’ll need to use the SUMPRODUCT and SUM functions together, rather than the AVERAGE function.


  1. Select the cells containing the numbers.
  2. Type the AVERAGE function.
  3. Complete the function by pressing Enter.


Calculating an average in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it. The AVERAGE function is a powerful tool that can help you quickly find the mean of a range of numbers, whether you’re analyzing data for work, school, or personal projects. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to use this function like a pro. Plus, with the additional tips and answers to frequently asked questions, you’ll be prepared to tackle even more complex average calculations. And remember, Excel is a robust program with countless functions and features. So, don’t stop at averages! Continue exploring and learning to make the most out of this versatile software. Happy calculating!