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Solve Problems by using Goal Seek in Excel

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

Goal Seek allows you to resolve a problem when you know the target result by changing a value in a specific cell that directly affects the formula. Suppose you want to obtain a home loan but can only afford $800 a month. With Goal Seek, you could determine the maximum home purchase price that you could afford.

Goal Seek Dialog

You must provide three parameters for Goal Seek:


1. The cell you want to change. In the example above, this would be the loan amount.
2. The value to which you want to change the target cell. In the example above, this would be $800.
3. The cell you want to change to achieve the target amount. In the example above, this would be the price of the home.

Quick Guide: To Use Goal Seek

  1. Click the Data tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Click the What-if Analysis button on the Data Tools group of the Ribbon and click Goal Seek from the menu.
  3. In the Set Cell Box, type the cell reference of the cell that contains the formula you want to change.
  4. In the To Value box, type in the value to which you want to change the cell.
  5. In the By changing cell box, enter the cell reference of the cell that contains the value you want to adjust.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK.

Looking for more Excel tips? Our Excel 2016: Up To Speed guide is now available in printable PDF format from this site. The Up To Speed series is designed to help you get productive quickly with your software. Check back as new titles will be added regularly. Also available as an ebook from AmazonKobo, and Apple iBooks


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