# COUNTIFS function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the **COUNTIFS** function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

## Description

Applies criteria to cells across multiple ranges and counts the number of times all criteria are met.

## Syntax

COUNTIFS(criteria_range1, criteria1, [criteria_range2, criteria2]…)

The COUNTIFS function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

**criteria_range1**Required. The first range in which to evaluate the associated criteria.**criteria1**Required. The criteria in the form of a number, expression, cell reference, or text that define which cells will be counted. For example, criteria can be expressed as 32, ">32", B4, "apples", or "32".**criteria_range2, criteria2, ...**Optional. Additional ranges and their associated criteria. Up to 127 range/criteria pairs are allowed.

** Important ** Each additional range must have the same number of rows and columns as the **criteria_range1** argument. The ranges do not have to be adjacent to each other.

## Remarks

- Each range's criteria is applied one cell at a time. If all of the first cells meet their associated criteria, the count increases by 1. If all of the second cells meet their associated criteria, the count increases by 1 again, and so on until all of the cells are evaluated.
- If the criteria argument is a reference to an empty cell, the
**COUNTIFS**function treats the empty cell as a 0 value. - You can use the wildcard characters— the question mark (?) and asterisk (*) — in criteria. A question mark matches any single character, and an asterisk matches any sequence of characters. If you want to find an actual question mark or asterisk, type a tilde (
**~**) before the character.

## Examples

The workbook below shows examples of this function. Inspect them, change existing formulas, or enter your own formulas to learn how the function works.

To work more in-depth with the example data in Excel, download the embedded workbook to your computer, and then open it in Excel.