How to Count Blank or Empty Cells in Google Sheets

Use the COUNTBLANK function to count cells with null values

Person at a chalkboard with tally

 Christian Lichtenberg / Getty Images

Google Sheets supports several functions that count the number of cells in a selected range containing a specific type of data. The job of the COUNTBLANK function is to calculate the number of cells in a selected range with null values.

Instructions in this article apply to the web and mobile versions of Google Sheets.

COUNTBLANK Function's Syntax and Arguments

A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function including its name, brackets, comma separators, and arguments. The syntax for the COUNTBLANK function is as follows:

=COUNTBLANK(range)

The range argument identifies one or more cells with or without data to be included in the count. The range may contain:

For example, to calculate the number of blank cells in A2-A10, you would enter:

=COUNTBLANK(A2:A10)

The range must be a contiguous group of cells. Although COUNTBLANK does not permit multiple ranges, several instances of the function can be used in a single formula to find the number of blank or empty cells in two or more non-contiguous ranges.

The COUNTBLANK function includes both cells with no data and cells with formulas that have a blank or null value in its count.

How to Use the COUNTBLANK Function

Unlike Excel, Google Sheets doesn't have dialog boxes for entering a function's arguments. Instead, it has an auto-suggest box that pops up as the name of the function is being typed. To count the number of blank cells in a range with the COUNTBLANK function:

  1. Select any cell to make it the active cell.

    Select any cell to make it the active cell.
  2. Type =COUNTBLANK and press the Enter key.

    Alternatively, select =COUNTBLANK from the auto-suggest box as it appears while you're typing.

    Type =COUNTBLANK and press the Enter key.
  3. Select a range of cells to include them in the function's argument.

    To highlight multiple cells simultaneously, hold the Shift key as you make your selection.

    Select a range of cells to include them in the function's argument.
  4. Press Enter to complete the function. The number of blank cells within the range will appear in the cell where you entered the COUNTBLANK function.

    When you press Enter, the number of blank cells within the range will appear in the cell where you entered the COUNTBLANK function.

You can also use the COUNTIF and COUNTIFS functions to calculate the number of empty cells in a range.