Close this search box.

How To SUM a Column in Google Sheets (5 Minute Guide)

Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

Want to learn how to sum a column in Google Sheets? The easiest way to sum a column in Google Sheets is to use the SUM function.

To do this, you type =SUM() and put the column or range inside the brackets.

For example, if I wanted to get the total of the entire column A, I would type =SUM(A:A).

If I wanted to sum a range within a column, it would look more like =SUM(A1:A12).

Confused? Don’t worry; my step-by-step article will show you exactly how to do it. So, follow along, see the screenshots with examples, and within five minutes, you’ll use the SUM function to manage your datasets! Let’s get started.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets

Adding some cells or a column is among the most common things users do in Google Sheets. You can use multiple functions to add up a column in Google Sheets, including the SUBTOTAL and SUM functions.

Here’s how to make Google Sheets add up a column.

  1. Type the equals sign (=) into the cell you want to return the total.
  2. Type SUM(.
  3. Select the range you want to add up and press “Enter.

For example, here is an example of the SUM formula for a column in Google Sheets:


The GIF below shows the sums of the cell numbers from A2 to A11. It will not update with this formula if you want to add information beyond those cells.

How to SUM a column in Google Sheets GIF

How To SUM an Entire Column in Google Sheets

Sum a column in Google Sheets GIF

The best way to sum up a column in Google Sheets is to use a formula encompassing the whole column instead of just a range. Here’s how to add all numbers in a column in Google Sheets:

  1. Type the equals sign (=) into the cell you want to return the total
  2. Type SUM(
  3. Select the column header or type the column’s name (A:A for column A as an example)
  4. Press “Enter

Here is what a full formula summing Column A would look like:


As you can see in the example above, I can add additional information later. I added numbers beyond cell A11 without updating the SUM function column. It automatically incorporates those new numbers because the syntax accepts all numbers within my chosen column.

Note: For this to work, you must enter the formula in a cell, not in the same column. Keeping it in the same column will give a reference error, as there would be a circular reference issue.

Using Autocomplete

Google Sheets is a smart program that often suggests the range as you type. If it looks correct, press “Enter” instead of continuing to type.

How To SUM a Column in Google Sheets: Syntax

One of my favorite ways to review a function in Google Sheets is to examine its variables. For example, here is the syntax for the SUM formula in Google Sheets:

=SUM(value, [value2], ...)

The Google Sheet sum formula is pretty simple, especially when you break down the components:

  • =SUM: This indicates the function name. It informs Google Sheets about the type of calculation to make.
  • Value: This represents the necessary argument for the function to work (I’ll walk you through some examples below to give you a better understanding)
  • A comma: This is an essential component and must be included between each value to signify a new value.
  • [value2]: This is optional in the Google Sheets formula for the sum of a column. It is only used when adding another argument to the SUM formula.

How To SUM Multiple Columns in Google Sheets

Usually, the first two examples I gave you at the beginning of the article will be enough to finish the Google Sheets SUM of column answers you need in your spreadsheet. But, if you need to sum multiple columns or a range of cells, you’ll need more explanation.

How To SUM Multiple Ranges

To SUM multiple ranges of data, you can specify the two ranges with a comma in between.

Sum multiple columns in Google Sheets GIF

Here’s how to get the sum of two columns in Google Sheets:

  1. Type =SUM( into an empty cell.
  2. Type or click and drag to select the first range of cells.
  3. Type a comma.
  4. Type or click and drag to select the second cell range and put a closing parenthesis.
  5. Press “Enter.”

Here’s an example of what a formula to sum multiple ranges would look like

=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13)

How To Sum Single Values

Sum single values in Google Sheets GIF

You can also add numbers using single values.

  1. Type =SUM( into an empty cell
  2. Click each cell you want to include and type a comma between each click.
  3. Add a closing bracket and press Enter

Note: You can also type values instead of cell references, like in the example formula below

=SUM(A2, B2, C5, 15)

How To SUM Multiple Ranges and Single Cells

You can combine or sum ranges or single-cell values to merge your data. You have to use what you learned from the last two examples. Here’s how to add columns in Google Sheets from multiple ranges:

Sum multiple ranges and single values in Sheets GIF

  1. Type =SUM( into an empty cell.
  2. Click and drag over each range you want to include with commas between each.
  3. Repeat the previous steps with individual cells.
  4. Add a closing bracket and press “Enter.”
=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13, C5)

Don’t miss this 2-minute video on how to sum a column in Google Sheets! By the end of the short video, you’ll feel more confident using the SUM function!

Spreadsheet fundamentals screenshot

How To Get Google Sheets to Add up a Column Using the Status Bar

You can also find the sum of a column without using a formula. All you need is the status bar, which adds the numbers in a range to display the cell value in which you have built your formula.

To find the sum of a column using the status bar, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Select the data range

Select the range

Step 2: Click on the status bar at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Status bar displaying the sum in the quick results

Step 3: You’ll find the options Sum, Average, Min, Max, and Count. Select “Sum.”

Select sum

This will show you the sum of the data in the column and allow you to keep a consistent running total in Google Sheets. However, it won’t return the results to any cell in your spreadsheet.

How To SUM Rows In Google Sheets

You can use the above method for rows too. You have to use the cell references for the row instead of the column, like so:

Summing a row with cell references

As you can see, it works the same as columns with cell references. It also works the same if you want to sum the entire row. For example, to sum up Column B, you would use B:B as the criteria. Similarly, to learn how to sum the column in Google Sheets, use 1:1 as the argument, like in the example below.

Sum an entire row

Remember, you must ensure the cell performing the calculation is not in the same cell to avoid a #REF! Error.

Using the Σ Function Menu Instead of Typing Formulas

An alternative shortcut to find the total value of a column is to use the functions button instead of typing the SUM function. This can improve your navigation and efficiency because it eliminates the need for manual input.

Follow these steps to learn how:

Sum using the function menu in Google Sheets
  1. Select the empty cell to perform the calculation.
  2. Click the Σ function shortcut.
  3. Click SUM.
  4. Click and drag over the range or type the range.
  5. Press “Enter.”

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets with Text

If you’re considering combining two pieces of text into one value using the addition operator or the ADD function, expect Google Sheets to display the wrong formula. This is because it doesn’t work like Python, a coding language that allows you to add two strings with a plus sign (+).

Instead, you may want to check out the CONCAT and CONCATENATE functions when combining texts in a spreadsheet. To learn more about these functions, read our tutorial on How to Append Text to Each Cell in a Column in Google Sheets to learn more about adding strings.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets on a Mobile Device

You can also perform most of the functions in the Google Sheets mobile app, including the Google Sheet sum of a column function.

Here’s how to sum a column in Google Sheets using the mobile app:

  1. Tap the cell where you want the results.
  2. Tap “Enter” text or formula to display the keyboard.
How to sum a column on a mobile device
  1. Type the SUM formula into the text box.
How to sum a column on a mobile device
  1. Select the cells in the column you want to add up.
Using the sum function on a mobile device
  1. Once you’re done, tap the checkmark.

The formula will return the sum of the column selected in the cell.

How to Add Numbers in a Column or Row Individually in Google Sheets

If you need to add cells together, you can also try inputting the two numbers you want to add into separate cells. Then, you can use the addition equation to give you the correct sum.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it:

  1. In the first cell, put your first addend.
  2. Then, select another cell and place the second addend.
  3. Next, click another cell and input the following syntax:
Adding two cells using plus sign
  1. After that, press “Enter” or “Return” to see your results.

Your sum will automatically change as you modify the addends entered in your cells. This way, you can create a foolproof formula while using an automatic calculator.

What Does the SUM Function Do?

In my article on how to add in Google Sheets, this process relies on the SUM function. If you haven’t read the article, here is a simple recap.

When you use the SUM function in Google Sheets, it returns the sum of all the numbers in the column into the cell. Google Sheets will predict the SUM formula for you as a suggestion. These guesses are often correct, but it is always worthwhile for you to double-check the data to ensure there are no mistakes.

Get Our Premium Templates

If you can’t be bothered continuing to learn how to navigate Google Sheets, we likely have the perfect template for you to use instead. Check out our extensive range of premium templates by clicking the button below. And don’t forget to use the discount code SSP for 50% off.

Get Premium Templates

Final Thoughts on How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets

The SUM function is one of the most straightforward formulas to use in Google Sheets once you get the hang of it. And, when you’ve had enough Google Spreadsheet sum of column practice, you’ll feel more comfortable tackling complicated formulas.

Now you know how to sum a column in Google Sheets. But there’s still plenty more to learn about spreadsheets. Check out some guides below, or consider taking a spreadsheet course to increase your knowledge.


Most Popular Posts

6 thoughts on “How To SUM a Column in Google Sheets (5 Minute Guide)”

  1. Hey, so I added a net worth column to mine. Simply copy over a column then clear it and type “=SUM(D12:I12)”. I think it’s a neat idea maybe you could edit your chart.

  2. For sum reason this formula does not seem to work for me. Even though I have all values greater than 0, it sums them up to 0.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Thanks for visiting! We’re happy to answer your spreadsheet questions. We specialize in formulas for Google Sheets, our own spreadsheet templates, and time-saving Excel tips.

Note that we’re supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission at no extra cost to you.

Like what we do? Share this article!