Quick, clean, and to the point

Excel COUNTIF Function

Excel COUNTIF function

COUNTIF is a function to count cells that meet a single criterion. COUNTIF can be used to count cells with dates, numbers, and text that meet specific criteria. The COUNTIF function supports logical operators (>,<,<>,=) and wildcards (*,?) for partial matching.

Count cells that match criteria
Return value 
A number representing cells counted.
=COUNTIF (range, criteria)
  • range - The range of cells to count.
  • criteria - The criteria that controls which cells should be counted.
Usage notes 

The COUNTIF function in Excel counts the number of cells in a range that match one supplied condition. Criteria can include logical operators (>,<,<>,=) and wildcards (*,?) for partial matching. Criteria can also be based on a value from another cell, as explained below.


In the example show, the following formulas are used:

=COUNTIF(D5:D12,">100") // count sales over 100
=COUNTIF(B5:B12,"jim") // count name = "jim"
=COUNTIF(C5:C12,"ca") // count state = "ca"

Notice COUNTIF is not case-sensitive.

Double quotes ("") in criteria

In general, text values need to be enclosed in double quotes, and numbers do not. However, when a logical operator is included with a number, the number and operator must be enclosed in quotes, as seen in the second example below:

=COUNTIF(A1:A10,100) // count cells equal to 100
=COUNTIF(A1:A10,">32") // count cells greater than 32
=COUNTIF(A1:A10,"jim") // count cells equal to "jim"

Value from another cell

A value from another cell can be included in criteria using concatenation. In the example below, COUNTIF will return the count of values in A1:A10 that are less than the value in cell B1. Notice the less than operator (which is text) is enclosed in quotes.

=COUNTIF(A1:A10,"<"&B1) // count cells less than  B1


The wildcard characters ? and * can be used in criteria. A question mark matches any one character and an asterisk matches any sequence of characters. To find a literal question mark or asterisk, use a tilde (~) in front question mark or asterisk (i.e. ~?, ~*).


  • COUNTIF returns incorrect results when used to match strings longer than 255 characters.
  • COUNTIF will return a #VALUE error when referencing another workbook that is closed.

Excel Formula Training

Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and create dynamic ranges. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot, trace errors, and fix problems. Instant access. See details here.