How to Autofill Numbers in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to autofill numbers in google sheets

Autofilling numbers in Google Sheets is a breeze! Simply input the starting number, click and drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right of the cell), and let Google Sheets do the rest. This feature helps save time and ensures accuracy when dealing with large data sets.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on how to autofill numbers in google sheets

In this section, we’ll go through the steps to autofill numbers in Google Sheets, making your data entry tasks faster and more efficient.

Step 1: Input the Starting Number

Type the first number in the cell where you want your sequence to begin.

Starting with a clear initial value sets the foundation for your sequence. This is the starting point from which Google Sheets will calculate the following numbers.

Step 2: Select the Cell

Click on the cell to highlight it.

By selecting the cell, you are indicating to Google Sheets which number you want to use as the starting point for the autofill sequence.

Step 3: Locate the Fill Handle

Move your cursor to the bottom-right corner of the cell until it turns into a small blue square.

The fill handle is the tool you’ll use to extend your series of numbers. It’s easy to spot once you know where to look.

Step 4: Click and Drag the Fill Handle

Click and drag the fill handle downward (or across) to cover the range of cells you want to fill.

Dragging the fill handle tells Google Sheets how far to extend your sequence. You can drag it vertically or horizontally depending on your needs.

Step 5: Release the Mouse Button

Let go of the mouse button once you’ve reached your desired endpoint.

By releasing the mouse button, Google Sheets will automatically populate the cells with a sequential series of numbers based on your initial input.

After completing these steps, you’ll see that Google Sheets has filled the selected range with a sequence of numbers automatically.

Tips for autofilling numbers in google sheets

  • Use the initial series: Begin with two numbers in a sequence (like 1, 2). Select both, then drag the fill handle to autofill the rest.
  • Custom Increments: If you want to fill numbers with a specific increment (like 2, 4, 6), start with the first two numbers in the sequence.
  • Double-click the fill handle: This will autofill down the column as far as there is adjacent data.
  • Autofill dates and weekdays: Google Sheets can also autofill dates and days of the week, just like numbers.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Use Ctrl+D to autofill downwards or Ctrl+R to autofill to the right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I autofill numbers with a custom increment?

Yes, you can! Start by inputting the first two numbers with your desired increment. Highlight both cells, then use the fill handle to drag and autofill.

Can I autofill numbers horizontally?

Absolutely. The method is the same; just drag the fill handle horizontally instead of vertically.

What if the autofill doesn’t work as expected?

Double-check that your initial numbers are correctly input and that you are dragging the fill handle correctly. Sometimes refreshing the page helps too.

Is there a way to autofill without dragging?

Yes, there is! You can double-click the fill handle, and it will autofill down to the last adjacent data entry.

Can I use autofill for text or dates?

Yes, you can use autofill to extend patterns in text and dates as well. It works similarly to autofilling numbers.


  1. Input the Starting Number
  2. Select the Cell
  3. Locate the Fill Handle
  4. Click and Drag the Fill Handle
  5. Release the Mouse Button


Autofilling numbers in Google Sheets is an incredibly useful feature that can save you a lot of time and effort. Whether you’re managing a simple list or handling extensive data sets, this function helps maintain accuracy and efficiency.

Remember, starting with a clear, initial value sets the stage for the entire sequence. Mastering the fill handle and understanding how to autofill custom increments or even text and dates can make your Google Sheets experience much more productive.

Feel free to experiment with different patterns and sequences to find what works best for you. If you ever get stuck, refer back to this guide or explore the many resources available online. Happy data entering!