How To Calculate The Mean In Microsoft Excel

How To Calculate The Mean In Microsoft Excel

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Microsoft Excel is useful for countless purposes, but one of its handiest features is its ability to perform calculations and other mathematical functions.

This includes calculating the mean average of numbers in your spreadsheet – but how do you do this?

In this handy step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the process of calculating mean averages in Microsoft Excel.

So let’s get started, shall we?


Calculating mean averages in Excel

Calculating mean averages in Excel: a step-by-step guide



Open A New Excel Spreadsheet

First things first, you’ll need to open a new Excel spreadsheet. Double click the Excel icon on your homepage to boot up Excel, and then select a fresh spreadsheet.

Don’t worry about any fancy templates – just a basic blank spreadsheet will work.



Fill In Your Numbers

Now you can start filling in the cells in the spreadsheet with your numbers.

The way you do this is important, so be careful to fill each number in properly.
Start in cell A1 and enter your first number.

Press enter, and Excel will automatically move you onto the next cell: A2. Continue down the A column, filling each cell with a number in the set that you want to find the average of.

For example, if you wanted to find the mean of the numbers 1-25, you would have one number in each cell from A1 to A25.

You don’t need to worry about the order of the numbers, as Excel will sort them automatically when calculating the mean of the set.

However, it’s important to just stick to one column and not leave any gaps between cells.



Use The Average Function To Calculate The Mean Of Your Numbers

When you’ve finished filling in the numbers you want to find the mean of, you can start running your calculations!
Click on cell B1 to highlight it. From here, you need to input a specific formula into this cell.

Enter this into B1 exactly (but without the quotation marks): “=AVERAGE(A:A)”. The ‘A’s in the brackets are the range of cells you’re calculating, and you’ll need to fill this in yourself; using the same example as earlier, this would look like “=AVERAGE(A1:A25)”.

Once you’ve input the formula and entered the cell range, press enter.

From here, Excel will automatically sort and find the average of the numbers in these cells, and the mean of the numbers will appear in cell B1.
The mean is the default average on Microsoft Excel, although you can also use Excel to calculate other forms of average (we’ll get to that in a minute). This means that you can just use =AVERAGE to find the mean in no time at all!



Changing Your Numbers

If you accidentally input the wrong numbers or simply want to change some, don’t worry – this is simple to do.

All you have to do is click on the cell you want to change and input the new number.

Now you can just re-enter the =AVERAGE(A:A) formula and the answer will update to the new mean!

If you want to find other averages, this is also easy to do. Here’s how:

  • To find the Mode of a set of numbers, enter “=MODE.MULT(A:A)” in B2
  • To find the Median, enter “=MEDIAN(A:A)” in B3
  • To find the Range, enter “=MAX(A:A)-MIN(A:A)”

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Now you know exactly how to use the =AVERAGE(A:A) function in Microsoft Excel to find the mean of a set of numbers.

Just use this simple guide and you’ll be able to calculate averages in no time!

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.