Excel MAX function

The MAX function calculates the largest value within a specified cell range.  Only numerical values are taken into account.  An example use would be to calculate which pupil has scored the highest mark in a school test.

Other commonly used statistical functions include MIN (the opposite of the MAX function), AVERAGE (average numerical value in a specified range) and MEDIAN (middle value within a stated range).




  • Number1 – the first number you wish to include within the ‘MAX’ lookup
  • Number2 (optional) – the second number you wish to include within the ‘MAX’ lookup
  • Etc

Most commonly, MAX is applied to a cell range (i.e. B1:B5), though you can choose specific cells instead or use a mixture of ranges and individual cells (e.g. =MAX(B1:B5,B7)).

Function category



The MAX function returns the largest numerical value within the specified range.

Download Excel File

 Example of MAX formula

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