# SQRT function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the SQRT 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

Returns a positive square root.

## Syntax

`SQRT(number)`

The SQRT 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.):

• Number    Required. The number for which you want the square root.

## Remark

If number is negative, SQRT returns the #NUM! error value.

## Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

1. Press CTRL+C.
2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

A B
Data
-16
Formula Description (Result)
=SQRT(16) Square root of 16 (4)
=SQRT(A2) Square root of the number above. Because the number is negative, an error is returned (#NUM!)
=SQRT(ABS(A2)) Square root of the absolute value of the number above (4)

Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses