How to Find MIN IF or MAX IF in Excel

Excel MIN IF and MAX IF

When you were first learning how to use Excel, you quickly discovered the basic Excel functions, like SUM, COUNT, MIN, MAX, and AVERAGE. Now you're ready for advanced calculations, like how to find MIN IF or MAX IF in Excel.

Beyond the Basics with MIN IF

In this example, we want to see the MIN and MAX for a specific product. There is a SUMIF function and a COUNTIF function, but no MINIF or MAXIF.

So, we'll have to create our own MINIF formula, using MIN and IF. I've selected a product in cell C11, and the formula will be built in cell D11.

To make it easy to select a product, I created a drop down list of product names, by using data validation.

NOTE: You can also calculate MIN IF and MAX IF with Multiple Criteria

MIN IF Formula

The formula starts with the MIN and IF functions, and their opening brackets:


Next, we want to find the rows where the product name matches the product in C11:

  • Select C2:C8, where the product names are listed
  • Type an = sign
  • Click on cell C11



Next, select D2:D8, where the quantities are listed. If the product name matches, we want to check the product quantity



To finish the formula:

  • Type two closing brackets
  • Then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to array-enter the formula.


MIN IF or MAX IF formula

NOTE: If you plan to copy this formula down a column, use absolute references to the product and quantity ranges:

Array Entered Formula

If you select cell D11, and look at the formula in the Formula Bar, there are curly brackets at the start and end of the formula. Those were automatically added, because the formula was array-entered (Ctrl + Shift + Enter).

If you don't see those curly brackets, you pressed Enter, instead of Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

To fix the formula:

  • Click in the formula bar (it doesn't matter where you click within the formula)
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.


Create a MAXIF Formula

To find the maximum quantity for a specific product, use MAX instead of MIN.


or use absolute references for the product and quantity ranges:


And remember to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter


Multiple Criteria for MIN IF or MAX IF

These formulas have only one criterion -- the product name. If you're ready for the next challenge, you can also calculate MIN IF and MAX IF with Multiple Criteria

Watch the MIN IF or MAX IF Video

To see the steps for creating MIN IF and MAX IF formulas, watch this short Excel video tutorial. The sample file for this video can be downloaded from my Contextures website, on the MIN and MAX page.


Excel MIN IF and MAX IF


128 thoughts on “How to Find MIN IF or MAX IF in Excel”

  1. I like it!
    can use in VBA:
    Range("D11?).FormulaArray = "=MIN(IF(C2:C8=C11,D2:D8))"

  2. Thanks VERY much!!! I spent about 4 hours trying to work out how to take the highest number from a large list of numbers if the first three numbers were "x" and with the help of your webpage, I got it sorted. Thanks again!!!!

  3. Hi thank you for great article. Is it possible to combine more conditions? I tried to put and function inside if but it didnt work. Can you please help me?

  4. That formula is not working. I even tried the exact same information. I am using excel 2010. It gives me error: #value!

  5. Brilliant! Am at a coal mine in the middle of nowhere going through some data, and found your website in a frantic google search while sitting outside in the carpark with 1 bar of signal. Lifesaver. Cheers for the humourous instructions.

    A 0 10 0
    B 12 0 0
    C 0 0 9
    How I will get the maximum nos by using if formula.

  7. THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! I spent hours trolling around the internet trying to find a MAXIF-like formula. This website saved my PowerPoint deck (and my tail)

  8. It's a shame such a normal (and useful) function as this still has to be done with the memory-hogging Array formula. I guess Microsoft won't get around to adding it as a normal function until Office 2025?

  9. Thanks for this; is there anyway to know in advance whether I will need to convert formulas in excel into array formulas. Not 100% sure of when a formula should be an array vs a standard formula.
    ty in advance

  10. That's great, but I'd like to take it a bit further. I'd like to combine the small/large functions with an if condition. Basically, I want to find the top/bottom 20 values in a column, given that 2 other conditions hold true. Does that make sense?
    I can obviously do this with a pivot table using filters, but prefer to avoid having to update them each time. Thanks.

  11. I have run into two issues...maybe someone can help.
    1) The calculations take a long time when adding this formula.
    2) if there is a #N/A in the data, it comes up with #N/A instead of ignoring it

    1. Hi,
      You probably found an answer to this as it was a few months ago, but if not, use:
      =IF(ISERROR(insert debra's fantastic formula here),"",insert debra's fantastic formula again)

      1. Why not just use:
        =IFERROR(insert Debra's fantastic formula here),"")
        This way you don't have to repeat the resource consuming Debra's fantastic formula...

    2. Very valid issue where this formula stumbles is that if the cells are blank or null, then it returns the min value as zero, and I solved it like this. It ignores all ZERO blank NA values and calculates perfectly:

  12. This is a great method and it seems to work very well. I have a situation where the data is not arranged in a "vertical" array. By this I mean the records are listed column-wise, not row-wise. Unlike the capability of the built-in function =averageif() which works both ways, I can't seem to get this method to work in an array where new records are added horizontally in columns.
    Can you verify if this is true?
    thanks, -doug

  13. Thnk you evry much. I've been working on this for quite a while, but this is an easy solution. Thanks for putting it online for everyone! I'm sure you've helped a lot of people, most people dont post a thankyou...

  14. Thanks - this array function is working well for me as a substitute for MAXIFS in my local file. However, after I got is all tested and working, I posted these changes into the live file which is a shared Excel file on my company's internal network server. Turns out, it does not work well in a shared file. When one tries to copy, or insert rows, Excel 2007 returns this error:
    Error 1004:
    Cannot copy or move array entered formulas or data tables in a shared workbook.
    Does anyone know of any way to do MAXIFS without using array formulas? e.g. without using Ctrl+Shift+Enter?

  15. So I have used the MIN IF many times now, but for the first time I have gaps in the data, while the min function would traditional ignore blanks, the MIN IF inserts a 0. Certainly something to mindful of but does anyone know a work around?

  16. Debra:
    This explanation is excellent and easily understood. More importantly, it has helped me immensely with several projects which would have been quite complicated without your great help.

  17. This is great and works well. How can you change the formula to look up the Product column and then list each product and its corresponding highest or lowest value?
    Thus you don't have to referenc cell C11 i.e. here is a list of all my products show me the max/minmum for each.


  19. Hi,
    If I enter "paper" in C12 and "pens" in C13, can I copy the array formula down? Don't seem to be able to do that - it still seems to link only to C11 (even if I remove the absolute reference)? Any help?

    1. I am having this same issue. The cell reference copies down to all other rows as if it was an absolute reference. I haven't found a solution to this yet.

  20. Can I use this formula with 2 conditions?
    I try = MIN(IF(AND(..., ...),...)) --> Ctrl+Shift+ENter but it doesn't work 🙁
    Please advise.

  21. Thanks, works great. I learnt something new today. The only issue is it's a bit processor heavy when dealing with large spreadsheets. Still I suppose there is no way round that. Thanks again.

  22. An easier-to-remember way to achieve this is using the SUBTOTAL formula. E.g. SUBTOTAL(5,filteredRange) will give the MIN value, and SUBTOTAL(4, filterRange) will give the MAX value.

  23. I've spent years dealing with donor ids and giving histories by gift and having to sort to only show the last gift. MAXIF would have saved me countless hours and headaches. Thanks so much!

  24. It fails if you are using tables in 2013, eg: =MAX(IF(A2=Tx_Hist[@Description],Tx_Hist[@[Prd_date]])). It works OK for the first 2 rows, then returns zero for the rest of the table.

  25. I want to extend this formula "one step" further. That is in column E let's say I have first names listed. So instead of finding the maximum value 20 for "paper", I want the formula to return the name in column E. Specifically cell E4 in the above example.
    I have found formulas that will return E4 if it is a number, but I get an error if the cell in non-numeric.

  26. This was very helpful, worked like a charm! saved me so much time, thanks you so much, God Bless you!

  27. Thank you so much for the Max(If) formula. It works perfectly when the data is in the same sheet. However, I have data in different sheets, and got back an error #REF!
    For example I have a sheet with 50 states listed down the page in column A, number of employee in column B and $Amount in column C. There are 25 sheets for different companies. I want to find the Max $Amount for each state among the 25 companies if number of employee is > 1000.
    Does the Max(If) works when your data is in different sheets? Thank you so much for your help on this.

    1. from the sheet where you get your data, there is a #REF! as your data.
      Simply use sort and check if there is a #REF! from your list.

    2. check if there is a #REF! from your data. It is possible to use even if the data is from a different file.

  28. Thanks for the MaxIF suggestion. I needed to find a the maximum value less than 0 in an array with 2000+ entries. I wasn't looking forward to 2000+ IF statements then using MAX on these to find the answer. Several of the lookup type functions were checked and didn't work out.
    The key insight was to view this as array entered and either add the {} or use Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
    Your approach took 1 simple statement.

  29. Debra Dalgleish you rock thank you. You instructions were clear and precise. I was able to duplicate this the first time.

  30. Hi,
    Can we apply a formatting condition in this formula somehow?
    If I have a row of dates and the first four dates a highlighted green. How can I identify that last green date/cell?
    Thank you!

  31. Thanks a lot, information was really useful & I could able to use it for my work. I could able to write formula but missing {} brackets, but key trick mentioned was magic for me.
    Best Regards,

  32. Pingback: All of those nifty Excel tricks | MGT-432a Corporate Valuation | Vanderbilt University
  33. Thank you for the post! I applied the Min IF function on a large dataset it returns values for about 35000 rows but fails beyond that. Does anyone have any good suggestion how to extend the rage of the function?

  34. Thank you very much for this explanation. It worked perfectly. Can I ask a question just for lerning purposes: why doesnt it work with out presing ctrl shift enter?

    1. Excel treats formulas as array formulas only when Ctl+Shift+Enter is pressed. In order to do a min of an array, we need to use array formulas. I was looking for a way to avoid array formulas, as they sometimes slow Excel down (if used in thousands of cells). So far, it looks like array formula is unavoidable. This method shown here is the only method I have been using. Thanks.

      1. I don't like array formulas, because I design spreadsheets for other people to browse and look at data sets from different perspectives. The danger with array formulas is someone can click on your cell and the array designation will disappear. Just something to be aware of if trying to make a fool-proof spreadsheet.
        "If you make something fool-proof, the world will create a better fool"

  35. I have a problem with Excel 2007 whilst trying to total max and min in a row for weather recording. The conditional format works on MAX on the row between B34:Y34 but the MIN function does not. I have tried everything I can think of, but nothing works. The conditional format works on columns but not across rows! Do you know why? Would welcome your advice.

  36. Thanks for this. Worked like a charm. I subscribe to PPP, so I'm not surprised at all that I found great advice here. PPP is a great product.

  37. Thank you Debra! I liked the commentary perhaps even more than the actual advice (which was great). Rocks and tree stumps!

  38. Pingback: Excel: Match Text in Two Columns and Return a Value Relative to Their Intersection - codeengine
  39. Debra,
    Thanks for posting this! I learned a ton not just on nesting functions but about arrays in formula. This opens up a whole new world to me!

  40. This solved one of my biggest headaches...where we have columns of values, but they alternate (e.g. North, East, South, West), grouped for different years and I want to display, on the same row (e.g. "sales"). Before I had tried to do this with named areas, but that was tedious as each row had to have its own named areas, and formulas couldn't be copied.
    It's surprising MS hasn't incorporated this as a standard function already!

  41. Emp ID Emp Name PRJ-1 Start Date End Date
    12345 Everest A 12-Aug-15 28-Aug-15
    12345 Everest B 31-Aug-15 16-Oct-15
    12345 Everest C 6-Jul-15 31-Jul-15
    12345 Everest d 3-Aug-15 11-Aug-15
    using above example how to extract the Min and Max function by using Vlookup for the same Empid

  42. I am able to create an array for one record, but need to copy it to many records. I tried highlighting all cells, editing the first and pressing Shift-Control-Enter. The first record is correct, but all of the formulas reference the first. I made sure that the formula only included absolute references for the ranges, not the conditions.
    Help please!
    =MAX(IF('Meeting Log'!$B:$B='Client Summary'!B3,IF('Meeting Log'!$D:$D="Held",'Meeting Log'!$C:$C)))

  43. Really useful, thank you! Myself and a colleague wasted the best part of an hour trying (and failing) to formulate this ourselves.

  44. Hello,
    I have a question . Does this Formula work if there are references to another sheet ?
    Thanks a Lot!

  45. Actually I have tried the same figures in Excel 2007, it gives me error as#Value.. I am not able to make out where I am wrong here.. I used same database as shown above. Please help..

  46. I am trying to repair a max(if(... formula where someone sorted the file without having absolute references where they belonged. Now everytime I try to repair a reference the only thing I get back is a 0. I am actuall bringing back the max date entered into a second tab. the cell comes back as 1/0/1900. Every cell comes back this way without giving me the latest date entered in the range. Does anyone have insight on this? I have pressed CtrlShift+Enter. I have tried formatting the lookup employee number making both the reference and the lookup lists be formated to a number. I don't understand why it is not working.

  47. That was really helpful I've been searching for it for ages :)))
    Would you please do me a favor and explain why it is not working without array-entering it?? what's the logic behind array-enter???
    I need to understand ^_^

  48. Hey, thanks!! Helped. Can you please share the logic of why Cntrl+Shift+Enter and not just Enter works. I tried typing in the "{" signs with the keyboard rather than "Cntrl+Shift+Enter"... that did not work..

  49. Brilliant! Thank you! (As always someone has the answer to what you need in excel, it's just a question of finding it!)

  50. Hi,thank you very much. I was able to do the same with LARGE function. The trick was to use Ctrl+Shift+Enter to array array-enter the formula and it worked as expected. Very kind of you to share this knowledge with us.

  51. I'm having difficulties with the results as I have in my list dates instead of numbers, as you know dates are numbers as well. Also I have my list of variables ea A,B, C, D etc in which for A I have fro example 4 different dates and for B could be 2 different dates and C just one date and D could be 2 or 3 dates, now when applying the formula it brings for eac case the max date from the whole list not from the specific variable, can anybody help with this?

  52. Hello Debra,
    I am trying to return min and max dates but I keep getting 1/0/1900 as my date which is not accurate. Do you know what might be causing this?

  53. Hi,
    I have a file with a sheet ("Donations") containing a list of donations. Each donor is tagged with an alphanumeric UID ending in letters which correspond to various criteria - an A in their UID means they're an Active Member, X for ex-trustees, P for prospect donors, V for volunteers; a UID can have multiple letters if they meet more than one of those criteria.
    Column B of my Sheet1 lists each of the unique criteria codes (P, V, X....). On the Donations sheet column A lists the UIDs and column D lists the donation given by each donor.
    I can easily work out the total and average donation amounts for each of those criteria codes (where I'm looking up the criteria code in row 34):
    But how do I work out the minimum and maximum amounts given by each code? I've tried:
    but it just gives me a zero value. I use Ctrl+Shift+Enter since it's an array formula.
    Can you help?
    Love your work by the way.

    1. You can use the SEARCH function to check for the letters, and ISNUMBER to test if a number was returned.
      This is an array formula, so press Ctrl+Shift+Enter
      Same thing for MAX

  54. hi, i dont know why, but even if i copy the formula from this page, click ctl shift and enter it doest give me values, excel locks me asking if i am not trying to type formula.

    1. Hi chris, use the small function: =SMALL(array,k) where =SMALL(array,1) = same as =MIN(array) as k is the k'th smallest
      =SMALL(IF($C$2:$C$8=$C$11,$D$2:$D$8),2) <- if your next figure is above 0.
      else if you have multiple zeroes try:

  55. Help. I used {=min(if(.... on a 2 column table with 1450 rows of data. All the criteria in coulumn A was = the date I was searching on, but result was NOT the actual minimum value of the table. I ran {=count(if(... to doublecheck that all rows are being considered, and it returned 1200 (not 1450). Any reason you can think of why {=min(if(... isnt considering all rows?

  56. I want to grab a text from the minimum value of 3 , Eg
    min of a,b,c & d is 1 so return "a" ( if you have many in common of select from a priority list)

  57. please solve below problem

    If in one excel have 1 to 100 code and in another excel also have the same code but with a different order, how we cross-check in both excel having codes

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