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In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the MINIFS function in Excel, which is designed to help you find the minimum value in a range based on one or more criteria. This function is particularly useful when you need to analyze large datasets and extract specific information based on certain conditions. We will cover the syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, troubleshooting, and related formulae for the MINIFS function.


The syntax for the MINIFS function is as follows:

=MINIFS(min_range, criteria_range1, criteria1, [criteria_range2, criteria2], …)

Here’s a breakdown of the arguments:

  • min_range: This is the range of cells from which you want to find the minimum value.
  • criteria_range1: This is the first range of cells that you want to apply the criteria to.
  • criteria1: This is the condition that must be met in criteria_range1 for a cell to be considered in the calculation.
  • criteria_range2, criteria2, … (optional): You can include additional criteria by specifying additional criteria ranges and their corresponding criteria. You can add up to 126 additional criteria pairs.

MINIFS Examples

Let’s look at some examples of how to use the MINIFS function in Excel.

Example 1: Suppose you have a list of products with their prices and categories, and you want to find the minimum price of all products in the “Electronics” category. You can use the MINIFS function as follows:

=MINIFS(B2:B10, C2:C10, “Electronics”)

In this example, B2:B10 is the range containing the prices, C2:C10 is the range containing the categories, and “Electronics” is the criteria that must be met.

Example 2: If you want to find the minimum price of products in the “Electronics” category that are also priced above $100, you can add an additional criteria to the MINIFS function:

=MINIFS(B2:B10, C2:C10, “Electronics”, B2:B10, “>100”)

Here, we have added the criteria_range2 as B2:B10 and criteria2 as “>100” to filter products with prices above $100.

MINIFS Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the MINIFS function:

  1. Use wildcards in your criteria to make your search more flexible. The question mark (?) represents a single character, and the asterisk (*) represents any number of characters. For example, you can use the criteria “E*ics” to match both “Electronics” and “Elastics”.
  2. If you want to find the minimum value based on multiple criteria, but the criteria are in different rows, you can use an array formula with the MIN and IF functions. For example, if you want to find the minimum price of products in the “Electronics” category and the “Gadgets” category, you can use the following array formula:=MIN(IF((C2:C10=”Electronics”)+(C2:C10=”Gadgets”), B2:B10))
  3. Remember to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter after typing the formula to enter it as an array formula.

Common Mistakes When Using MINIFS

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the MINIFS function:

  • Make sure that the min_range and criteria_range arguments have the same number of rows and columns. If they don’t, the MINIFS function will return a #VALUE! error.
  • Ensure that the criteria are entered correctly. If you want to use a cell reference as a criterion, don’t enclose it in quotes. For example, use A1 instead of “A1”.
  • Be cautious when using the MINIFS function with dates. Excel stores dates as serial numbers, so you may need to use the DATE function or format your criteria as a date. For example, use DATE(2022,1,1) instead of “1/1/2022”.

Why Isn’t My MINIFS Working?

If your MINIFS function isn’t working as expected, consider the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check for any errors in the formula, such as incorrect cell references or mismatched parentheses.
  2. Ensure that the criteria are entered correctly and are in the correct format (e.g., text in quotes, cell references without quotes, dates as serial numbers).
  3. Verify that the min_range and criteria_range arguments have the same number of rows and columns.
  4. If you’re still having trouble, try breaking down the formula into smaller parts and testing each part individually to identify the issue.

MINIFS: Related Formulae

Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with the MINIFS function:

  • MAXIFS: This function returns the maximum value in a range based on one or more criteria. It has a similar syntax to the MINIFS function.
  • SUMIFS: This function returns the sum of the cells in a range that meet one or more criteria.
  • COUNTIFS: This function counts the number of cells in a range that meet one or more criteria.
  • AVERAGEIFS: This function calculates the average of the cells in a range that meet one or more criteria.
  • IF: This function returns one value if a specified condition is true and another value if it’s false. It can be used in combination with other functions like MIN and MAX to create more complex conditional calculations.

By understanding the MINIFS function and its related formulae, you can efficiently analyze and extract specific information from large datasets in Excel. Remember to consider the tips, tricks, and common mistakes discussed in this guide to ensure accurate and efficient use of the MINIFS function.


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