MIN function

Excel MIN Function is a powerful tool that helps you find the smallest value in a set of numbers or a range of cells. It’s like finding the lowest score in a game or the cheapest item in a list of prices.


MIN(number1, [number2], …)


number1The first number or range you want to compare.
[number2](Optional) Additional numbers or ranges to compare. You can have up to 255 arguments.

How to use

You can use the MIN function in Excel to find the smallest value among a group of numbers or a range of cells. Here’s how you can use it:

Suppose you have a list of test scores in cells A1 to A5, and you want to find the lowest score:

This formula will return the smallest score from the range A1 to A5. It’s like asking Excel to look at all the numbers in that range and tell you which one is the smallest.

If you have multiple sets of numbers, you can compare them by including them as separate arguments:

Excel will find the minimum value among all the specified ranges. It’s like finding the smallest score from three different classes of students.


Let’s take a look at a few more examples:

Example 1: Finding the lowest price among different products:

This formula will return the value 8 because it’s the smallest number among the given values, just like finding the cheapest item among different prices.

Example 2: Finding the earliest year among a range of years:

Excel will return 1995, which is the earliest year in the list, similar to finding the oldest year in a set of historical events.

Example 3: Finding the minimum temperature for a week in Celsius:

If your temperature data is in cells C2 to C8, this formula will give you the lowest temperature recorded during the week, like identifying the coldest day.

Additional Information

If you’re dealing with non-numeric values, Excel will consider them as 0 when using the MIN function. So, be careful when using it with text or empty cells.

The MIN function is incredibly useful when you need to identify the smallest value within a dataset, making it an essential tool for tasks like finding the lowest price, the lowest score, or the earliest date.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.