Simple Google Sheets Sum of Column Guide (3 Easy Ways)

I know the easy way to get the sum of a column in Google Sheets. My article shows exactly how to do it, and I included screenshots with examples of how this looks. Ready to go? Follow along to learn how to sum a column in Google Sheets.

How To Total a Column in Google Sheets

Adding some cells or a column is among the most common things users do in Google Sheets. There are multiple functions you can use to add up a column in Google Sheets, including the subtotal function and the sum function.

So how do you total a column in Google Sheets?

Easy! Use the SUM function to total a column. To do this, type the equals sign (=) into the cell you want to return the total, then type SUM and choose it from the formula suggestions. Finally, select the range you want to add up and press “Enter.”

One example looks like this:


Here’s a screenshot of that. Note that this only sums the numbers in cells A2 through A11. If you add additional information beyond those cells, it will not update with this formula.

That’s why the best way to sum a column is to use a formula that encompasses the whole column. Here’s what that looks like:


In this example, you can add additional information later. I might choose to add additional numbers below in column A beyond cell 11. When I do, I don’t have to update this column SUM function. It automatically incorporates those new numbers, because the syntax accepts all numbers in my chosen column.

What Does the SUM Function Do?

As I discussed in my article on how to add in Google Sheets, this process relies on the SUM function. Here’s 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.

Often Google Sheets will attempt to predict the SUM formula for you as a suggestion. These guesses are often right, but you’ll want to double-check. I regularly ignore the suggestions and suggest my own range.

Google Sheets SUM Formula Syntax

One of my favorite ways to look at a function in Google Sheets is to examine its variables. Here’s the syntax for the SUM formula in Google Sheets:

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

In terms of syntax, the SUM function is pretty simple. Let me break down those pieces.
  • =SUM is the function name to let sheets know the type of calculation to make
  • value is the only necessary argument for the function to work (we’ll go through some examples)
  • A comma must be between each value to signify there is a new value
  • [value2] is another argument you’d like the sum formula to consider

Quick Examples of SUM Formulas

Here’s a quick guide on how to use the SUM function. It covers some of the aspects I described with my examples above.

To SUM a single range of cells, you could use a formula like this:


To SUM multiple ranges of data, here’s an example of how to add up a column in Google Sheets with another range:

=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13)

To SUM single values, you can put individual cells as the value arguments, like so:

=SUM(A1, B1, C5, C15)

You could also use a combination of single-cell values and ranges. Here’s how to add up numbers in Google Sheets from multiple ranges.

=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13, C5, C15)

Those are the most common ways to use the SUM function in Google Sheets. Now, let's break down the column sum function in more detail.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How To SUM a Column on Google Sheets

Here’s the step-by-step process on how to get the sum of a column in your spreadsheet. I included an animated gif below to show the process.

Google Sheets sum of column—Example spreadsheet

Step 1: Select an empty cell to perform the calculation in
Step 2: Type =SUM( into the cell
Step 3: Click and drag over the cells you wish to sum or type the range manually
Step 4: Press “Enter.”

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets With the Sum Function

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below, and you want to get the sum of all the values in the column.

Column with values to Sum


Below is the Google Sheets sum column formula that will give you the sum of all the values:


Step 1: Enter this formula in cell A15 (or whichever cell where you want the sum of the column) and hit the “Enter” key.

Automatically use sum


Step 2: Google Sheets will give you an autofill suggestion for the SUM formula. If that isn’t the range you want to work with, then ignore it and select the range you want to sum in the column.

SUM results


Step 3: Click “Enter.”

SUM formula to add a range of cells


Google Sheets will try to guess the range for which you want to calculate the sum. When you enter the text =SUM and then hit the tab key, Google Sheets will automatically select the range of cells with the numbers.

Since this is a dynamic result, in case you change anything in any of the cells, the formula will automatically update.

While this works great, what if your data expands and you get new values that you need to be a part of the sum? While you can adjust the Google spreadsheet sum column formula, there is a better way to make the formula dynamic.

Instead of just using the range that has the values, you include more cells that might get some additional data in the future.

In our SUM Google Sheets example, I can use the below formula instead:

SUM function with extended range


Although cells A11 to A14 are empty as of now, these are still used in the formula. If a value is added to these cell ranges, the formula will automatically update to reflect these new values in the total sum.

Spreadsheet fundamentals screenshot

Sum an Entire Column Using the SUM Function

Another thing you can do when calculating the sum of all the values in a column is to include the entire column as a part of the formula.

For example, suppose you have the data as shown below, and you want to add all the values in the entire column. At the same time, you want to make sure that in case any new value is added anywhere in the column, it’s also added to the total value.

Column with values to Sum


Below is the Google Sheets formula to add columns:


Step 1: Go to a cell in a different column and type in the =SUM formula

SUM values


Step 2: Click on the letter name for the column to select the entire column

Sum a whole column


Step 3: Click “Enter.”

Sum an entire column


The above formula takes A: A as the input range, representing the entire column.

Also, don’t worry about having any text value in the column, as text values are automatically ignored.

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

Remember that the SUM formula only adds those cells that have a numeric value. If there is any text or number that has been formatted as text, it will be ignored.

And this is how you can use the SUM formula to get the total of a column in Google Sheets.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

How To Sum a Column Using the Status Bar

You can also find the sum of a column without using any formula. All you need is the status bar. To find the sum of a column using the status bar:

Step 1: Select the data range.

Select the range


Step 2: Go to the status bar at the bottom right corner of the screen and click on it.

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. 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 just 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 exactly the same as columns with cell references. It works the same if you want to SUM the entire row too. You must ensure the cell performing the calculation is not in the same cell to avoid a #REF! error.

Sum an entire row

Using the Function Button Instead of Typing Formulas

You can use the functions button instead of typing the SUM function. Here’s how:

Use function button instead of SUM


  1. Select the empty cell to perform the calculation.
  2. Click the “Functions shortcut.”
  3. Click “SUM.”
  4. Click and drag over the range.
  5. Press “Enter.”

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

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

Here’s how to get a sum of a column in the Google Sheets 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.
Typing 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 Use the SUM Function in Google Sheets Mobile

You can use the SUM function in exactly the same way as you do on the desktop version. Here’s how to total a column in Google Sheets Mobile:

  1. Select an empty cell.
  2. Type =SUM(.
  3. Enter the range(s) or cells to sum or press, hold, and drag over a range.
  4. Type a closing bracket ).
  5. Tap away onto another cell.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I SUM a Column in Google Sheets?

Here’s how to sum cells in Google Sheets:

  1. Select an empty cell.
  2. Type =SUM( into the cell.
  3. Click and drag over the cells you wish to sum or type the range manually.
  4. Press “Enter.”

How Do You SUM an Entire Column?

To sum an entire column, you must use the column name as the value argument for the SUM function. For example, to sum the column C, you could use this formula:


Keep in mind that the cell you perform the calculation in can’t be part of the column.

How Do I SUM a Row in Google Sheets?

Summing a row works exactly the same as columns. Here’s how to sum in Google Sheets using rows as an example:

  1. Select an empty cell.
  2. Type =SUM( into the cell.
  3. Click and drag over the cells in the row you wish to sum, or type the range manually.
  4. Press “Enter.”

The final formula could look something like this:


How Do You SUM Multiple Columns in Google Sheets?

You can add as many columns or ranges as arguments to the SUM formulas as values as you’d like. You just have to separate them with a comma. Let’s pretend you want to SUM the values of the entire A and B columns and rows 3-5 in column C, your formula would look like this:


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Final Thoughts on How To Add up a Column in Google Sheets

The SUM function is one of the simplest 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 difficult 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 of the guides below, or consider taking a spreadsheet course to increase your knowledge.


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Sumit is a Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert. He provides spreadsheet training to corporates and has been awarded the prestigious Excel MVP award by Microsoft for his contributions in sharing his Excel knowledge and helping people.

6 thoughts on “Simple Google Sheets Sum of Column Guide (3 Easy Ways)”

  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.


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