Explanation of the MIN function

The MIN function will return the lowest (minimum) number from a range of values that you provide as inputs. The image below shows the arguments that the function is asking for:

  1. At least 1 numeric input (required)
  2. Up to a total of 255 numeric inputs (optional)

Note (values ignored): logical values (TRUE or FALSE), text values, errors and empty cells are all ignored in the calculation. More specifically, you will get an error if the MIN function is unable to convert any of your input values to a number.

The safest option is to pass the function only a range of numbers.

MIN function in Excel_1

There are a few different ways you can input values:

  • Single Cell (would just return the same number)
  • Multiple cells selected individually
  • One range of cells
  • Multiple ranges of cells
  • Number values typed directly into the function
  • Named ranges
  • A combination of the above (separated by commas within the function)

In the image below I have manually named range B6:B7 as ‘min_range’. The last formula is calculating the MIN of ‘min_range’ which is the same as returning the minimum value within B6:B7.

MIIN Function in Excel_2

Quick Minimum on the Status Bar

Note: If you want to display the result of the MIN function on the Status Bar, you need to manually add the ‘Minimum’ option:

  • Right click on the Status Bar in your Microsoft Excel session
  • Click on ‘Minimum’

MIN function on status bar

Once you’ve added the ‘Minimum’ feature to your Status Bar, Microsoft Excel will automatically display the MIN value for any range of cells that you highlight. This is a great feature if you quickly need to determine the minimum of a range of values and don’t need to perform any mathematical calculation with it or store the value on your spreadsheet.

In the example below, the status bar is displaying a value of 1:

  • Click into cell B3 and keep the left-mouse button clicked in
  • Drag the mouse cursor down to cell B10
  • Let go of the left mouse button
  • The value will appear in the status bar (as shown in the image below)

MIN value in Excel


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