How to Use MIN Function in Excel (5 Relevant Examples)

In Microsoft Excel, the MIN function is generally used to extract the lowest or smallest value from a range of cells containing numerical data only. In this article, you’ll get to learn how you can use this MIN function effectively in Excel with appropriate illustrations.

min function overview in excel

The above screenshot is an overview of the article, representing a few applications of the MIN function in Excel. You’ll learn more about the methods to use the MIN function properly in the following sections of this article.


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You can download the Excel workbook that we’ve used to prepare this article.


Introduction to the MIN Function

min function syntax

  • Function Objective:

MIN function extracts the lowest or smallest value from a range of cells or cell references.

  • Syntax:

=MIN(number1, [number2],…)

  • Arguments Explanation:
Argument Required/Optional Explanation
number1 Required A range of cells, a cell reference, an array, or a numerical value.
[number2] Optional 2nd numerical value or the range of cells.
  • Return Parameter:

The smallest number among a range of numerical values.


5 Suitable Examples of Using MIN Function in Excel

1. Use of MIN Function with a Range of Cells in Excel

First, we’ll see how the MIN function works with a range of cells containing a number of numerical values in decimals. Column B in the following picture has some numbers and we’ll apply the MIN function here for these data to find out the lowest value.

📌 Steps:

➤ Select the output Cell B12 and type:

=MIN(B5:B9)

➤ Press Enter and you’ll get the lowest value from all decimal values in Column B.

min function with a range of cells in excel


2. Using MIN Function with Cell References or Direct Data Input

As the MIN function intakes multiple numerical values or cell references containing numbers, so we’ll now apply this function by inputting all five numbers from Column B as the arguments.

📌 Steps:

➤ In the output Cell B12, the related formula will be:

=MIN(B5,B6,B7,B8,B9)

Or,

=MIN(0.86,0.32,0.72,0.44,0.17)

➤ After pressing Enter, you’ll get the lowest or smallest value right away.

min functions with cell references in excel


3. Applying MIN Function with Condition or Criteria in Excel

Although MINIF and MINIFS functions are able to fulfill the purposes of including conditions or criteria, you can also combine MIN and IF functions to find out the lowest data from a range of cells based on a certain condition.

For example, we’ll determine the lowest value from the range of cells in Column B containing the decimal numbers greater than 0.50.

📌 Steps:

➤ In the output Cell B15, we have to type:

=MIN(IF(B5:B9>0.5,B5:B9,""))

➤ Press Enter and the formula will return 0.51.

min function with condition or criteria in excel

Here IF function extracts the decimal values greater than 0.50 and then the MIN function shows the lowest value from the extracted data.


4. MIN Function to Find the Oldest Date from a Range of Cells in Excel

You can apply the MIN function to find out the oldest date from a range of cells containing dates. In the following picture, there are some date values in Column B. We’ll pull out the oldest date among these values.

📌 Steps:

➤ Select the output Cell B12 and type:

=MIN(B5:B9)

➤ Press Enter and you’ll get the oldest date at once.

min function with dates in excel


5. MIN Function to Find the Earliest Time from a Range of Cells in Excel

Similarly, you can extract the earliest time from a range of cells containing a number of times in any format. In Column B, we have a set of timestamps with H:MM:SS AM/PM format. Now we’ll apply the MIN function to find the earliest time.

📌 Steps:

➤ In Cell B12, the related formula will be:

=MIN(B5:B9)

➤ After pressing Enter, the function will return the earliest time from the selected range of timestamps.

min function with times in excel


💡 Things to Keep in Mind

🔺 MIN function does not count blank cell that means if your selected range of cells contains a blank cell, the MIN function won’t return with a blank cell. Rather it’ll extract the lowest value from all other non-empty cells.

Read More: How to use COUNTBLANK function in Excel (3 Examples)

🔺 You can input up to 255 arguments in the MIN function.

🔺 MIN function ignores booleans and text values as this function is assigned to extract data from numerical values only.

🔺 If you need to include a condition or criteria then you should go for MINIF or MINIFS functions.

🔺 If you want to input a logical value then the MINA function should fulfill your purposes.


Concluding Words

I hope all of the simple methods mentioned above to use the MIN function will now prompt you to apply them in your Excel spreadsheets with more productivity. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comment section. Or you can check out our other articles related to Excel functions on this website.


Further Readings

Nehad Ulfat

Hello, Welcome to my profile. I'm a Technical Content Creator as well as a Naval Architect & Marine Engineer. I have preferences to do analytical reasoning & writing articles on various statistical data. Here, you'll find my published articles on Microsoft Excel & other topics related to my interests!

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