How To Subtract Cells In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to subtract cells in Google Sheets.

How To Subtract Cells In Google Sheets

Google Sheets provides a wide variety of built-in functions that make it easy to perform calculations on your data. One of the most basic operations that you can perform is subtraction.

There are two ways to subtract cells in Google Sheets. You can either use the minus operator (-) or the MINUS function.

In this guide, we will show you how to use both methods to subtract cells in Google Sheets. We will also provide an example of how to use ARRAYFORMULA to subtract a range of values by another range.

How To Find the Difference Between Cells In Google Sheets

Here’s how to find the difference between cells in Google Sheets

Step 1

First, we’ll explain how to subtract cells using the minus operator.

Start the formula with an equal sign. Next, we’ll write down a reference to the minuend or the number we’ll be subtracting from. We’ll use the ‘-’ character to indicate we want to perform subtraction operation.

Next, we’ll add another cell reference for the subtrahend. The subtrahend is the value being removed from the other number. Hit the Enter key to return the difference between both numbers. Do note that the order of the two numbers matters in subtraction.

Step 2

We may also use the MINUS function to subtract two cells in Google Sheets.

We’ll start by typing “=MINUS(“ on an empty cell.

Step 3

Next, we’ll need to provide two arguments for the MINUS function. Similar to the logic used in actual mathematics, the first argument is always the minuend.

In this example, we’ve set the value in cell A2 to be our minuend in this operation.

Step 4

We’ll then need to provide the subtrahend as the second argument of the MINUS function.

In this example, we’ve set cell B2 as the subtrahend in this operation.

Step 5

Hit the Enter key to evaluate the function.

Step 6

You may also want to know how to subtract an entire range by values in another range.

We can achieve this by using the ARRAYFORMULA function.

The ARRAYFORMULA function enables us to output a range of cells and use non-array functions with arrays.

First, we’ll need to type “=ARRAYFORMULA(“ into the first cell of the new output range.

Ensure that there is enough empty cells below the current cell to accommodate the output.

Step 7

Next, we’ll use the MINUS function again but instead of cells as inputs, we’ll be inputting multiple ranges.

Do note that both ranges used as input should be equal in length.Step 8

Add a closing parenthesis after the MINUS function to close the ARRAYFORMULA function.Hit the Enter key to return the output.

You should now have a range of differences that correspond to each pair of minuend and subtrahend values.


This guide should be everything you need to subtract cells in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.