How to Sum Columns in Google Sheets?

Even the earliest version of Microsoft Excel—the one made back in the 1980s in black and white—has a sum function. It’s the easiest and simplest task that even the most primitive of electronic spreadsheets made for MS-DOS and whatnot could do, so what more Google Spreadsheets?

So exactly how to sum columns in google sheets? It’s pretty simple. It involves putting in the correct formula, selecting the column of cells you want to sum up, and then letting the app do the rest.

Why Sum Up Columns in Google Sheets?

One of the most common things that Google Sheets users do is adding a column or a specific set of cells to get the sum of the figures in there.

One of the most basic things a spreadsheet can do is sum up or get the total of your invoice, expenditures, sales, commissions, and so forth. It’s simple addition. This feature is present in all spreadsheet apps.

It’s most handy when you’re dealing with thousands or hundreds of thousands of input that would take forever to calculate with even a scientific calculator or the calculator function of your smartphone.

How to Sum Columns in Google Sheets

Step 1: Open a spreadsheet with figures for totaling or summing up.

Sum of Columns Step 1 - Open spreadsheet with figures for totalling or summing up

Step 2: Select an empty cell and type “=SUM(” into it. You leave just an open parenthesis on it to prompt the program to allow you to select the range rather than manually input it.

Sum of Columns Step 2 - Enter the Sum and get the prompt to select range

Step 3: Now click and drag over the column or cells you wish to get the total or sum for. You can also manually type the range, completing it as “=SUM(E2:E190)”, for example. You can click on the first cell then use Shift + your arrow keys to select the rest of the range. 

Sum of Columns Step 3A - Select cell range using your keyboard and mouse

Alternatively, if it’s a growing chart, like in the case of this invoice, you can instead type “=SUM(E2:E1000)” with the sum stretching all the way to E1000 to accommodate future sums.

Sum of Columns Step 3B - Select cell range manually

Step 4: Press Enter and check out if this worked. You can also complete the formula by adding a close parenthesis then pressing Enter. The sum of the column should now be present on your empty cell.

Sum of Columns Step 4A - The sum should be visible now with the formula on the formula bar

If you were to select the whole column though, it might result in the sum not reflecting the formatting of the column. In this case, the formula is formatted to have dollar signs before them.

Sum of Columns Step 4B - You might lose formatting if you include the header row

If you included the header row into the cells being summed up, the formatting will be lost. Therefore, it’s important to only include the valid items you want totaled.

The Nitty-Gritty

To get the sum of a cell range or column, use the “=SUM” function or type in “=SUM(” then select the column or the range of cells you wish to get the sum of. It should automatically complete to “=SUM(A2:A250)”  or something to that effect after selection.

As long as you have a column with figures or numbers there for a survey, profits and revenue, a proposed budget plan, and so forth, you can get the sum of them pretty easily. Just select the specific range of cells or the column and you can get a calculation for them.


  1. See the sum & average“, Support, Retrieved June 20, 2022
  2. Ted French, “How to Sum Columns or Rows in Google Sheets“,, March 28, 2022
  3. An Easy 4 Step Google Sheets SUM of Column Guide“,, Retrieved June 20, 2022
  4. Lee Stanton, “How To Sum A Column In Google Sheets [Mobile Apps & Desktop]“,, June 18, 2022

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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