COUNT function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the COUNT 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.


The COUNT function counts the number of cells that contain numbers, and counts numbers within the list of arguments. Use the COUNT function to get the number of entries in a number field that is in a range or array of numbers. For example, you can enter the following formula to count the numbers in the range A1:A20:


In this example, if five of the cells in the range contain numbers, the result is 5.


COUNT(value1, [value2], ...)

The COUNT 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.):

  • value1    Required. The first item, cell reference, or range within which you want to count numbers.
  • value2, ...    Optional. Up to 255 additional items, cell references, or ranges within which you want to count numbers.

 Note   The arguments can contain or refer to a variety of different types of data, but only numbers are counted.


  • Arguments that are numbers, dates, or a text representation of numbers (for example, a number enclosed in quotation marks, such as "1") are counted.
  • Logical values and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted.
  • Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers are not counted.
  • If an argument is an array or reference, only numbers in that array or reference are counted. Empty cells, logical values, text, or error values in the array or reference are not counted.
  • If you want to count logical values, text, or error values, use the COUNTA function.
  • If you want to count only numbers that meet certain criteria, use the COUNTIF function or the COUNTIFS function.


Use the embedded workbook shown here to work with examples of this function. You can inspect and change existing formulas, enter your own formulas, and read further information about how the function works.

In these examples, the COUNT function counts the number of cells that contain numbers and numbers in the list of arguments.

To work in-depth with this workbook, you can download it to your computer and open it in Excel. For more information, see the article Download an embedded workbook from OneDrive and open it on your computer.

Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses , Excel 2007, Excel 2003