To get the maximum value from a set of numbers, use the MAX function. In the example shown, the formula in cell I6, copied down, is:


Generic formula



The MAX function accepts one or more arguments, which can be a mix of constants, cell references, and ranges. MAX then returns the maximum value in the data provided. Text values and empty cells are ignored.

In this example, each student has five test scores in the same row, and the goal is to get the maximum score for each student. Data is supplied to MAX in a single range. The formula in I6 is:


As the formula is copied down the table, MAX returns the top score for each student. MAX is fully automatic. If any scores are changed, MAX will automatically recalculate to show the latest.

Other options

To calculate a max value with conditions, see the MAXIFS function. To get the nth largest value in a set of data, see the LARGE function.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.