The MAX Function: Syntax and Examples

Excel MAX function

The MAX is an Excel statistical function that returns the largest number in a set of values. It will ignore logical and text values. It is one of the oldest Excel functions, so it can be used even with Excel 2003.

If you want to include logical values, you’ll need to use the MAXA function.

MAX Syntax

MAX(number1, [number2], ...)

Required Arguments

number1: Arguments can either be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers, which means 5, A2 and C4:C8 are all valid examples.

Optional Arguments

number2-255: You can use up to 255 numbers in the calculation by following the syntax listed above.

Note: If the argument does not contain any numbers, it will return 0.

MAX Function Examples

Get the Larger Number of Two Values

MAX can be used to compare two numbers in a table and return the larger one. For example, if you want to compare last year’s sales volume to this year’s for every employee and get the larger value. I’ve added an example screenshot below.

You can also write this as =MAX(C6, D6).

MAX function Example
Comparing Two Values

Get the Largest Number from a Range

In many cases, you might need to find the largest number from a range in an Excel sheet. If we continue with the sales volume analogy, you can use the MAX function to return the highest monthly sales per employee.

MAX Function Example
Finding the largest value

Using MAX with Mixed Values

The MAX function can also be used with mixed arguments. For example MAX(A3:A6, F7, 345) is perfectly valid and will find the lowest value from the range, cell reference and number and return the smallest from all three.

More Examples and Use Cases

We don’t have any use cases for this formula on our website at this moment but will link them below once we have. Stay tuned!

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