How to Generate Random Numbers in Excel: RAND & RANDBETWEEN

Randomness in numbers means a set of numbers that simply lacks a pattern.

Random numbers have a great application in practical life. Starting from the field of auditing (to pick random samples), to statistics, to sciences, and so on 👩‍🏫

Psychologically speaking, a human brain can never pick truly random numbers. We are always biased.

And that is where we need machines to intervene. Excel has a variety of functions to generate random numbers. Two of them are the RAND and RANDBETWEEN functions.

To learn all about these functions – glide right into the guide below.

Random numbers with RAND

RAND is the most basic function to generate unique random numbers in Excel. The easiest and the simplest.

To talk about the arguments of this function, it does not argue. In other words, it has no argument 💁‍♀️ Funny, no?

The RAND function of Excel generates random decimal numbers that fall between 0 and 1.

The RAND function is available in all versions of Excel. Starting from Excel 2000 to Excel 365.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

To find a random number in Excel (and it could be any random number ranging from 0 to 1), write the RAND function as follows:

= RAND ()

Excel random number generator function

Hit “Enter” and that’s it.

Excel generates a random decimal number

You get a random number. That’s how easy it is to create random numbers in Excel 🤩

If you want to generate a series of random numbers, copy this formula and paste it into multiple cells.

Or drag and drop it to as many cells (on the bottom, or the right) as many random numbers are needed 📍

Here, we have copied this formula to 4 cells on the bottom.

Excel generates random values

And there we have 4 random numbers generated in Excel.

Random numbers with RANDBETWEEN

The RANDBETWEEN is a very cool function of Excel. It generates a random number (or a series of random numbers) within a specified range 😎

However, note that the RANDBETWEEN function only generates random integers. Not decimal numbers.

The RANDBETWEEN function is only available in Excel 2007 version and onwards.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

To generate a random number in Excel between 0 and 100:

  1. Select the cell where you want the random number populated.
  2. Write the RANDBETWEEN function as follows:


Writing the Excel RANDBETWEEN function

In the above function, 0 is the bottom and 100 is the top.

This tells Excel to generate a random number that falls between 0 to 100. In other words, an integer that is equal to or greater than 0 but smaller or equal to 100 ✌

  1. Hit “Enter” and there you go.
Generate random integers between 0 and 100

That’s how you can create random integer numbers in excel.

Need more of them?

4. Drag and drop the cell down across as many cells as many values are needed.

For example, we want 4 more such random numbers so dragging it 4 cells down⬇

RANDBETWEEN generate random values

Similarly, you can drag this list to the right or left of your cells to generate as many random numbers, as needed.

For example, here we have dragged it 4 columns to the right ➡

A range of random numbers

Pro Tip!

The random number functions of Excel are volatile 🔥

They recalculate every time any action is performed on your spreadsheet. This action needs not to be something about the random number functions. It could be anything.

For example, if you applied the RAND function and got a random number 81. If the sheet is recalculated, the RAND function will recalculate and return another random number. Say 97.

Here’s how you can stop these functions from recalculating over and over again 🚴‍♀️

  1. Click on the cell where the function is written. Go to the formula bar and press the F9 key. This converts the function into its value. This means 81 is now a general value in Excel. It won’t change with new recalculations now.
  2. If you have many random numbers in your Excel sheet, copy them. And paste them as values using Past Special > Values.

That’s it – Now what?

The guide above teaches different ways of generating random numbers in Excel. You can generate single or multiple random decimal numbers using the RAND function 🔢

And with the RANDBETWEEN function, you can land on a random integer between a specified minimum and maximum limit. How cool is that?

If you enjoyed learning about these functions in Excel, let me tell you there’s so much more to learn about Excel.

Excel’s function library is a very vast one. To begin learning, I recommend you go with the VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IF functions of Excel.

How? Enroll in my 30-minute free email course here that teaches you all about these functions.

Other resources

In addition to generating random numbers in Excel, you might simply want to randomize an already created list in Excel.

Or you may want or sort a randomized list in Excel. Well, for both of the said cases, we have got you covered.

Read our other blogs to learn how to do that in Excel.

Frequently asked questions

To generate multiple random numbers in Excel, apply the =RAND() function in any cell of Excel.

Copy and paste or drag and drop this formula to multiple cells to get multiple random numbers in Excel.

Use the RANDBETWEEN function to generate a random number in Excel between any two given numbers.

For random numbers between 1 to 100, write the RANDBETWEEN function as follows:


Excel will return any random number between 0 and 100.