Finding MIN IF or MAX IF in Excel

When you were first learning how to use Excel, you quickly discovered the basic Excel functions, like:

In the olden days, the hardy Excel pioneers had to type those function names, to create a formula. That’s why we look so tired! For example, cell F3 has a formula to find the lowest quantity sold:


To find the highest quantity sold, there is a MAX formula in cell G3:


Excel MIN function

Things are easier now – you can select the basic functions from the AutoSum drop down. Life is good!

AutoSum functions

Beyond the Basics with MIN IF

In this example, we want to see the MIN and MAX for a specific product. To make it easy to select a product, I created a drop down list of product names, by using data validation.

Excel drop down list

While MIN and MAX are useful if you want the overall highest and lowest amounts, what if you want to add criteria? There is a SUMIF function and a COUNTIF function, but no MINIF or MAXIF.

So, it won’t be a snap to do a MIN with criteria, but we can muster that pioneer spirit, and create our own MINIF formula. To do this, we’ll create a formula that combines the built-in MIN and IF functions. So, the formula starts with those two functions, and their opening brackets:


Next, we want to find the rows where the product name matches the product selected in the drop down list



And if the product name matches, we want to test its quantity



To finish the formula, type two closing brackets, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to array-enter the formula.



When you look at the formula in the Formula Bar, there are curly brackets automatically added at the start and end of the formula, because it was array-entered.

If you don’t see those curly brackets, you pressed Enter, instead of Ctrl + Shift + Enter. To fix it, click somewhere in the formula bar, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.


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


Create a MAXIF Formula

To find the maximum quantity for a specific product, follow the same steps, using MAX instead of MIN.


And remember to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter


Congratulations! You are now a rugged Excel pioneer, building your worksheets with your bare hands, from rocks and tree stumps.

Watch the Video

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



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119 Responses

  1. Ranjeet Kumr says:

    Min IF or Max IF is going to be very useful to me in the near future.

  2. Gerald Strever says:

    Wow, that’s very cool, Debra. Thank you!

  3. Khvicha Gogichashvili says:

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

  4. Darryn says:

    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!!!!

  5. Daniele says:

    Great article, many thanks!

  6. Dalibor says:

    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?

  7. HK says:

    seems that it cannot run in 2003

  8. HK says:


  9. Dora R says:

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

  10. Dora R says:

    Thanks Debra!! I forgot that.

  11. rendi says:

    Hi. I keep getting the #Num error when using this. Do you know why?

  12. George says:

    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.

  13. Borja says:

    Thank you very much, certainly useful and much simpler than I expected!

  14. Sabyasachi Dey says:

    A 0 10 0
    B 12 0 0
    C 0 0 9

    How I will get the maximum nos by using if formula.

  15. Joy says:

    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)….lol

  16. Claudio says:

    EXCELente !!! muchas gracias

  17. Tim says:

    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?

  18. Jay says:

    This explanation was a major boon to my worksheet development. Thanks so much!

  19. mike says:

    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

  20. Aaron says:

    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.

  21. Bondra Aji says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH…………!!!

  22. Margi says:

    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


    • Jack says:

      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)

      • Rob says:

        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…

    • Momin says:

      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:


  23. Doug says:

    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

  24. Marike says:

    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…

  25. Jeff says:

    I love thinking out of the box! Great explination and very very useful!!

  26. richard says:

    Thanks for wonderful explanation,,, its really informative!!!!

  27. Jeff says:

    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?

  28. Isuri says:

    Great article, thanks so much, saved me a lot of time.

  29. Angela says:

    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?

  30. John Hewitt says:


    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.

  31. Andrew says:

    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.

  32. Thomas Elliott says:

    Thank you!

  33. Rob says:

    Perfect! Just what I was looking for.

  34. ADEL says:


  35. agm says:


    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?

    • Mike says:

      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.

  36. Michel says:

    Thank you for this post. That was exactly what I needed.
    Thks again for sharing.

  37. Quynh says:

    Can I use this formula with 2 conditions?
    I try = MIN(IF(AND(…, …),…)) –> Ctrl+Shift+ENter but it doesn’t work :(
    Please advise.

  38. hatim says:

    thank you that was easy and very helpful :-)

  39. Rob says:

    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.

  40. Joe says:

    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.

  41. Chris says:

    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!

  42. Ngvancuong88 says:

    Thank so much

  43. richard H says:

    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.

  44. rayo says:

    wow thats a million this saved my time a hell lot!!!

  45. James A says:

    Thanks for having such an awesome tutorial on MIN IF and MAX IF! It works perfectly in 2010!

  46. Robert says:

    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.

  47. Momin says:

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

  48. Andreas says:

    Very helpful. This formula is the best. Thank you so much :)

  49. TINA says:

    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.

    • hansilog says:

      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.

    • hansilog says:

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

  50. Thiago says:

    Very helpful. Thank you so much!

  51. MarkinID says:

    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.



  52. Jeanie Burdi says:

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

  53. Apachenf says:

    Works a dream – many hours saved.

  54. Jan says:

    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!

  55. Sandeep says:

    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,

  56. Octavian says:

    Many thanks, your article is still helping people after more than 3 years! ;-)

  57. Tom says:

    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?

  58. Musang Semput says:

    Thank you very much for the guidance
    It really helps!

  59. Damian says:

    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?

    • indzara says:

      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.

  60. Cristina says:

    Thank you very much.
    It was very helpful.

  61. Tony says:

    This is useful! Thank you!

  62. Phil says:

    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.

  63. TJF says:

    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.

  64. david says:

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

  65. Brus says:


    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!

  66. John Cecil says:

    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!

  67. Jeff says:


  68. Srinivas says:

    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

  69. harikrishna says:

    its knowledge full thanks

  70. joni says:

    hi, how i do minif for value > 0 ?

  71. Mike says:

    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)))

  72. Rob says:

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

  73. Alpha.Beto says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks!

  74. Bastian says:

    I have a question . Does this Formula work if there are references to another sheet ?

    Thanks a Lot!

  75. K B Manwatkar says:

    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..

  76. 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.

  77. Nour says:

    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 ^_^

  78. Tarun says:

    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..

  79. Oliver says:

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

  80. andrew says:

    Great example! Thanks a lot!

  81. Miguel says:

    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.

  82. Richard Gonzalez says:

    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?

  83. Robyn says:

    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?

  84. Chris says:


    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.


    • 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

  85. jedrzej says:

    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.

  86. Chris says:

    How could we adjust this formula to grab the minimum value that is greater than zero?

    • Jonas says:

      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:

  87. Soki says:

    Thank you very much

  88. Supriya says:

    Thanks a bunch. You saved my day!

  89. A Sheals says:

    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?

  90. AS says:

    sorry, was my bad. dataset was corrupt. the function/array worked perfect once i fixed it. :)

  1. February 24, 2013

    […] I think you are probably best to have a single worksheet that contains all the dumped data, along with the timestamp. Then have a second sheet that has a table for the different dates. Have a look at this ("Beyond the basics with min if") to show you how to use conditional formulas to extract only data that is relevant to that date. Finding MIN IF or MAX IF in Excel | Contextures Blog […]

  2. November 14, 2013

    […] a previous article, we combined the MAX and IF functions, to find the highest price for a specific […]

  3. February 12, 2015

    […] Creating a “MINIF” function similar to “AVERAGEIF”. What I like to do is create a column where I can put a 1 or 0 to toggle whether a comp is included or not. But I want to summarize that column using Min, Max, Median and Mean. But there is no such thing as a “MINIF” function similar to “AVERAGEIF”. Here is how you create one. […]

  4. July 22, 2015

    […] You can combine MAX() and IF() and array-enter the formula with Ctrl+Shift+Enter as showed on this website MAX IF and MIN IF example. […]

  5. August 3, 2015

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