How to Use Solver in Excel

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Solver in Excel.

A Microsoft Excel add-in tool called Solver is useful for what-if analysis. When there are restrictions or limits on the values of other formula cells on a worksheet, Solver can be used to discover an optimal (maximum or lowest) value for a formula in one cell, known as the objective cell.

Once ready, we’ll get started by utilizing real-world examples to show you how to use Solver in Excel.

What is Solver

First, we need to learn how to activate the Solver add-in in Excel. You can simply click, ‘Data’, then ‘Analysis Tools’, then select ‘Solver Add-in’.

Once you press ‘OK’, a Solver icon will appear below.

Use Solver in Excel

Before we begin we will need a group of data to be used to use Solver in Excel.

Step 1

First, you need to have a clean and tidy group of data to work with. In this example, you want to find out how many units needs to be sold to achieve an income amounting to $5,000.

Step 2

To find the number of units that needs to be sold to achieve an income of $5,000 using the solver, you will need to click on the ‘Solver’ income that we added earlier. Then, we will need to select the cell we want to set as an objective and insert ‘5,000’ as the value. Lastly, we will select the cell we want to change.

Step 3

Once you press solve, your selected cells will change to reflect the objective you set with the Solver.


That’s all there is to it. You are welcome to copy the example spreadsheet below to see how it is done. The most crucial lesson is to enjoy yourself while doing it.

In this tutorial, I covered how to use Solver in Excel.