Square Root in Excel: 3 Easy Formulas (2024)

Somewhere back in Junior High School, we all had a tough time finding square roots of numbers making those lengthy tables.

However, finding square root in Excel is not that difficult.

There are many ways how you can find the square root of a given number in Excel ranging from in-built Excel functions to smartly devised formulas.

All you need to do is focus while you scroll through the article below to learn everything about square root in Excel including the Square root formula, function, and symbol.

Square Root Formula in Excel

Excel has an in-built function for finding the square root of a given number. The formula for Square Root in Excel reads as follows.

= SQRT (Number)
  • It only has a single requirement that is of the number whose square root is to be found.

Using this formula in Excel to find a square root is as easy as pie. Take a look below.

Using SQRT function to find square root in Excel

To find the square root of a number, just input it into the formula above.

Finding square root of a negative number using the SQRT Function

The SQRT function returns a #NUM! error when the number input is a negative one.

Using SQRT function to find the square root of a negative number in Excel

Does that mean you just cannot square root negative values? Definitely not. Combining two functions smartly can help you get square root for a negative dataset too.

Here’s how you can do it in two easy steps.

Step 1:

First, apply the ‘ABS’ function to the number whose square root is to be found as follows.

= ABS (Number)

The ABS function returns the absolute value of a function after removing the sign with it. This turns the negative value into a positive one.

Step 2:

Next, apply the SQRT function to the absolute numbers it to find their square root. Both of these steps need not be performed separately. You can instead merge both the functions to yield the desired results in one go.

= SQRT ((ABS (Number))

Take a look below to see how this works.

Using SQRT and ABS functions to find the square root of a negative number in Excel

In the above function, A2 represents the cell that contains the negative value which is first converted into an absolute value by applying the ABS function. After that, Excel computes the square root of the said value by applying the square root function to it.

Pro Tip: Hard to remember the syntax of the SQRT Function? No worries. Find it in the functions library of Excel through the following path.

Formulas > Functions Library > Math & Trig > SQRT

How to Do Square Root in Excel?

There are multiple ways how you can find square root in Excel. Learn them all below.

1.   The SQRT Function

The first and foremost method is through the SQRT function as discussed above.

To find the square root of any number, say 100, simply put it into the SQRT function as SQRT(100) and hit enter to yield results as follows.

Square root in Excel using the SQRT function

2.   The Exponential Operator

Using the exponential operator is another way of finding square root in Excel. This method is preferred to the SQRT function as it not only helps find the square root of a number, but its cube root, or Nth root (where N can be any number).

Here is how you can build the formula to bring it into action.

= Number ^ (1/2)


= Number ^ 0.5

Here’s an example of the above formula applied.

Finding the square root of a given number using exponential operator
Pro Tip: The above formula can be molded in different ways with the denominator changed to 3 or 4 or any number to get a cube root or Nth root. For example, to find cube root in Excel, the above formula shall be amended as follows:

= Number ^ (1/3)

Must note: There’s a smart science to using parenthesis with ‘1/2’ and not with ‘0.5’ in the above formulas. Here’s what happens when you apply the power ‘1/2’ to the above formula without parenthesis.

Applying the power ‘1/2’ without using parenthesis

However, applying the power 0.5 without parenthesis makes no difference to the answer.

Applying the power ‘0.5’ without using parenthesis

This is because of the sequence in which the said operations are performed by Excel. It is, therefore, important to use parenthesis when denoting the power as a fraction to yield accurate results.

3.   The Power Function

Another easy, however less preferred way of finding square root in Excel is using the Power function. Here’s how the syntax of the function reads:

= Power (Number, Power)
  • The number denotes the number whose square root is to be calculated.
  • Power, whereas, denotes the power to which the number is to be raised.

As square root represents the power of ‘1/2’, to find the square root of a number, the power must be set as 1/2 or 0.5. Let’s look into an example of how this function works.

Finding the square root of a number using the Power function

In the screenshot above, A2 consists of the numbers whose square root is required, and the power is set to 1/2. Once you’ve input the formula, drag the fill-handle to compute the square root for a long list of numbers.

Note: Must note how the power used in the Power Function needs not to be paired with parenthesis unlike the Exponential Operator in the example above.

Square Root Symbol in Excel

The square root symbol from your 6th Grade textbooks of mathematics is also known as the radical symbol. If you’ve already hit on how it looked like, try looking around on your keyboard to find the same.

Don’t fret already if you didn’t find one on your keyboard – even modern keyboards do not have the square root symbol. But that is not a problem as you can have the square root symbol fed in excel through multiple ways.

Let’s look into a few below.

1.   Copy / Paste

Below is the square root symbol all in place for you. Copy and paste it to your excel file and repeat the copy/paste process within the excel file as many times as needed.

2.   Formula

From your excel sheet, select the font ‘Symbol’ and type the character ‘Ö’ in the cell where you want the symbol to be added. Here is how Excel changes it into the Square root symbol.

Changing the character ‘Ö’ into a square root symbol

This is an easy way to yield the square root symbol in Excel. However, if you do not have the character ‘Ö’ on your keyboard, you might not be able to use this method. But don’t worry, you can get it from an ‘On-Screen Keyboard’ or even easier, copy it from here.



Let us tell you a magic trick! Open up an Excel sheet, activate any cell, and type in the following formula.

= UNICHAR (8730)

Here are the results.

Using the UNICHAAR function to get a square root symbol

There are different numeric values that refer to a specific Unicode character.  The numeric value associated with the square root character is ‘8730’. This is a convenient way to instantly add square root symbols to your workbook as it requires no special characters and is easy to remember.


The above tips and techniques will not only help you find square root in Excel but also with some other smart features of Excel that often go unnoticed. Hop on to a new Excel sheet right away to practice and learn them all better!

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