How to Count Blank Cells in Excel

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Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and management, but sometimes dealing with large spreadsheets can be overwhelming. One common task that often arises is counting blank cells within a range of data. 

Whether you need to identify missing information or assess the completeness of your dataset, knowing how to count blank cells in Excel can save you time and effort. 

In this blog post, we will explore different methods to accomplish this task and provide you with step-by-step instructions. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to effectively count blank cells in Excel and streamline your data analysis process.

Count Blank Cells Using a Formula

The COUNT function in Microsoft Excel proves to be a valuable tool in various scenarios. By employing a modified version of this function, you can effortlessly count empty cells. Let’s explore how to utilize the COUNTBLANK function effectively.

Note: Unlike Google Sheets’ COUNTBLANK function, Excel’s version does not differentiate between empty cells (containing an empty string, “”) and blank cells. Therefore, COUNTBLANK will return a count of both types.

Step 1: Select the Cell for Displaying the Count

Choose the cell where you wish to display the count of blank cells. This will be the cell that holds the result of the calculation.

Step 2: Enter the COUNTBLANK Formula

Type the following formula into the selected cell, replacing the cell range with your own, and press Enter:


Use the COUNTBLANK function in Excel

The formula will calculate and display the number of empty cells within the specified range.

Edit the COUNTBLANK function in Excel

Step 3: Adjusting the Cell Range

If you need to modify the cell range, it’s a simple process. 

  • Click on the cell containing the COUNTBLANK function, navigate to the Formula Bar, and position your cursor within the cell range. You can manually edit the cell references or drag the blue box to expand or shrink the range. 
  • After making the necessary adjustments, press Enter to get the results.


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Combining COUNTBLANK for Multiple Cell Ranges

To count the number of blank cells across different ranges within the same workbook, you can combine the COUNTBLANK function. Follow these steps:

Type the following formula into the cell, replacing the cell ranges with your desired ones, and press Enter:


Notice that each set of cell ranges is highlighted in a different color, making it easy to edit them if needed.

Combine COUNTBLANK for different cell ranges

The result will be the total count of blank cells from both sets of cell ranges, displayed in a single cell.

Combined count for different cell ranges

Count Blank Cells Using the Find Feature

If you prefer to avoid using a formula and instead want a quick count of blank cells, you can utilize the Find feature in Excel.

Step 1: Select the Cells to Search

Choose the cells that contain the blanks you want to find.

Step 2: Access the Find Feature

Go to the Home tab and click the drop-down arrow next to “Find & Select” in the Editing section of the ribbon. Select “Find” from the options provided.

Step 3: Configure the Find Options

When the Find and Replace window appears, leave the “Find What” box empty. Then, click “Options” to expand the section at the bottom.

Step 4: Adjust the following drop-down boxes on the left side:

  • Within: Sheet
  • Search: By Rows or By Columns (according to your preference)
  • Look In: Values

Adjust the Find feature options

Step 4: Initiate the Search

Once you’ve configured the Find feature options, click “Find All.” The bottom-left corner of the window will display the number of cells found.

Blank cells found

Step 5: Explore the Results

You will also see a list of empty cells found in your sheet. You can click on a cell to navigate directly to it or use the “Find Next” button to move through the results one by one.

Move to each blank cell

Step 6: Close the Find Window

When you have finished reviewing the results, click “Close” to exit the Find and Replace window.

Counting blank or empty cells in your Excel spreadsheet is a straightforward process that can be accomplished using various methods. Whether you prefer using functions or the Find feature, Excel provides the flexibility to meet your specific needs.

The Bottom Line

Counting blank cells in Excel is an essential skill that can greatly simplify data analysis tasks. Whether you’re working with a small dataset or a large spreadsheet, the methods discussed in this blog post will help you efficiently determine the number of empty cells. 

From using formulas and functions to employing conditional formatting techniques, you now have a range of tools at your disposal. By incorporating these techniques into your workflow, you can improve the accuracy of your analyses, identify missing data points, and make more informed decisions. 

So go ahead and start applying these methods in your own Excel projects, and unlock the full potential of your data analysis endeavors.

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