How to Calculate the Running Total in Excel (Formula)

- Written by Puneet

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In Excel, if you want to create a running total, you must create a dedicated column. Just like we have in the below example:

running-total

You can see in column C that we have a cumulative total for each month. So, for example, the running total for March is the sum for the Months Jan, Feb, and March.

Formula to Create a Running Total in Excel

  1. First, create a new column along with the quantity column.
    create-running-total
  2. After that, enter the sum function there and refer to the range B2:B2.
    enter-sum-function
  3. Now, from the range reference, lock the first cell using the dollar sign.
    lock-the-first-cell-using-dollar-sign
  4. Next, drag the formula to the last cell in the column.
    drag-formula-to-the-last-cell

When you drag this formula, the starting cell of the referred range stays B2, and the last cell keeps moving ahead with the drag. So you can see in the May running total, the reference is for the range $B$2:B6, but with Dec, it’s $B$2:B13.

dollar-sign-locks-the-starting-reference-cell

Absolute Cell Running Total

We have used a dollar sign to lock the range’s first cell, making it an absolute cell reference for cell B2. And when you drag the formula, B2 remains fixed, and the range’s lower cell keeps changing.

absolute-cell-running-total

Get the Excel File

Last Updated: March 24, 2024

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