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The ISBLANK formula is used to check if a cell is empty. It returns TRUE if the cell is empty and FALSE if it contains any data or formula. This formula is commonly used in conditional formatting or data validation rules to ensure a cell is not left empty.


Use the ISBLANK formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:

  1. value (required):
    The cell or range of cells to check for emptiness.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the ISBLANK formula in Google Sheets.

Checking for empty cells in a range

You can use the ISBLANK formula to check if any cells in a range are empty. This is useful when you need to ensure all cells in a range have been filled before proceeding with a calculation or analysis.

Creating data validation rules

By using the ISBLANK formula in a data validation rule, you can ensure that a user cannot submit a form or input data without filling in all required fields.

Conditional formatting based on cell emptiness

You can use the ISBLANK formula in conditional formatting rules to highlight or format cells that are empty. This can help draw attention to cells that need to be filled in or completed.

Common Mistakes

ISBLANK not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the ISBLANK Google Sheets Formula:

Misunderstanding the function's purpose

Users may incorrectly assume that ISBLANK checks for empty cells when in reality it only checks for cells with no value or formulas that return empty values.

Not using the correct syntax

Users may incorrectly use the wrong syntax for the function, such as omitting the value parameter or using incorrect syntax for referencing a cell or range.

Using the function with non-blank cells

Users may incorrectly use the function with cells that have values, which will always return FALSE.

The following functions are similar to ISBLANK or are often used with it in a formula:

  • IF

    The IF formula is a logical function used to test a condition and return one value if the condition is true and another value if the condition is false. It is commonly used to create conditional statements and perform calculations based on certain conditions.


    The COUNTBLANK formula is a mathematical formula that counts the number of blank cells within a given range. It is commonly used for data analysis and quality control.

  • LEN

    The LEN formula in Google Sheets is used to count the number of characters in a given text string. It is commonly used to check the length of text inputs, or to find the length of a cell value or range.


    The ISTEXT function checks whether the value provided is a text string or not. It returns TRUE if the value is text and FALSE if it is any other data type. This function is commonly used when working with data sets that contain text and non-text values.

Learn More

You can learn more about the ISBLANK Google Sheets function on Google Support.