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The RAND function returns a random number between 0 and 1. This function is often used in combination with other functions to generate random values for simulations, games, or statistical analysis.


Use the RAND formula with the syntax shown below:



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

Generate random numbers for games

The RAND function can be used to generate random numbers for games, such as rolling dice, flipping a coin, or shuffling cards.

Simulate data for statistical analysis

The RAND function can be used to simulate data for statistical analysis, such as testing the distribution of random variables or generating a sample of data for a hypothesis test.

Randomize order of a list

The RAND function can be used to randomize the order of a list, such as a list of names or items, by assigning each item a random number and then sorting the list by that number.

Common Mistakes

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

Forgetting to include the parentheses

The RAND function requires parentheses to be included after the function name in order to work properly. Without them, the function will not generate a random number.

Using RAND in a large range of cells

If you use RAND in a large range of cells, it will generate a new random number for each cell every time the sheet is recalculated. This can lead to performance issues and slow down your sheet.

Not locking the cell reference

If you copy a formula containing the RAND function to other cells without locking the cell reference, the function will generate a new random number for each cell. To avoid this, use absolute cell references when copying the formula.

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


    The RANDBETWEEN formula generates a random integer between the two specified numbers. It is commonly used to simulate random events or generate test data.


    The RANDARRAY formula is used to create an array of random numbers between 0 and 1. The size of the array is determined by the number of rows and columns specified in the formula.


    The CEILING function returns a number rounded up to the nearest multiple of a specified factor. It is commonly used to round up prices to the nearest dollar or to adjust numbers to fit into specific increments.


    The FLOOR formula rounds a given number down to the nearest multiple of a specified factor. It is commonly used when dealing with financial data or when working with time values. The function takes a value and an optional factor as arguments and returns the rounded down value.


    The ROUND formula rounds a number to a specified number of decimal places. It is commonly used to simplify large numbers or to make a number more readable. The formula can round both positive and negative numbers. If the places parameter is not specified, the formula rounds to the nearest integer.

Learn More

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