How To Use The COUNT Function

The COUNT Function in Excel is useful for quickly counting the number of cells in a range that contain numbers.

It simplifies data analysis by providing a fast way to quantify numeric data in your spreadsheets.

COUNT Function Details

Count Function Syntax


Available in: All versions of Microsoft Excel
User Level: Beginners
Inputs: “range”: Cells to be counted.
Output: Number of cells with numeric values. Data Type: Number
Wildcards: Not applicable
Case Sensitive: No

Where To Find The COUNT Function

To find the COUNT function, go to the top of the ribbon on your screen.

Click Formulas > AutoSum, and scroll down to the Count Numbers button.

Not the function you need? Check out this article on the Average Function instead!

Using COUNT With Other Data Types

COUNT will typically not work with other data types as it requires numbers to function.

You can use it with currencies however!

Currency Data:

COUNT counts currency since it’s treated as a number in Excel.

Simple Example

Imagine you have a list of scores from a test in cells A1 to A5 and want to know how many students have taken the test.

You can use the COUNT function to quickly find out the number of scores listed.

The COUNT function is usually the first function anyone learns, because it builds a great foundation for working with spreadsheets.

Here’s how you do it:

Enter the formula:


This formula counts the number of cells in the range A1 to A5 that contain numbers, giving you the total number of test scores.

Advanced Example

Let’s say you have a list of sales figures for the week in cells B1 to B10 and want to count how many days had sales exceeding $500.

You can use the COUNTIF function, a more advanced version of COUNT, to do this.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

Type in the formula:

=COUNTIF(A2:A5, ">500")

This formula checks each cell in the range A2 to A5 and counts only those cells where the value is greater than $500.

The result will tell you the number of days with sales over $500.

This method is particularly useful for quickly assessing performance against a specific target!

Troubleshooting & Errors

Lets take a look at the most common error you will get when working with COUNT.

Error 1: #VALUE! Error

Cause: Non-numeric or non-date data in COUNT range.
Solution: Ensure the range contains only numbers or dates.

Error 2: Lower Count Than Expected

Cause: COUNT only considers numeric values, not text.
Solution: Use COUNTA for a total count including text.

Error 3: #NAME? Error

Cause: Incorrect function name or syntax error.
Solution: Verify the function name and syntax are correct.

What Is The COUNT Function Useful For?

The COUNT function in Excel is incredibly versatile, aiding in various aspects of data management and analysis. Here’s how it can be applied in everyday Excel tasks:

1. Data Validation: Ensures datasets have the expected number of numeric entries.
2. Data Analysis: Quickly assesses the quantity of numeric data for analysis.
3. Statistical Calculations: Forms a basis for more complex statistical functions.

You can also use it alongside the Trim Function for data analysis!

Similar Useful Functions

Other functions similar to the excel value function that are easy to use include:

  • COUNTA: Counts cells containing any type of information.
  • COUNTIF: Counts cells based on a specified condition.
  • SUM: Adds all values from a range of cells. Check our guide to the SUM Function here!


The COUNT function is a fundamental tool in Excel for efficiently counting numeric cells.

It’s essential for data validation, analysis, and forms the basis for more complex calculations.

With its simple usage and powerful applications, COUNT is an indispensable function for Excel users of all levels.

Next up, read this article on the Find Function!



About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training which he has been running for over 10 years.

He is a Natural Sciences graduate from the University of Cambridge and a qualified accountant with the ICAEW.

He previously worked as a venture capitalist and banker and so had extensive experience with Excel from building financial models before moving to learn SQL, Microsoft Power BI and other technologies more recently.