 # Google Sheets Not Equal: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

9 Minutes Google Sheets offers a range of powerful features, one of these is the Not Equal feature. There are two methods of implementing the Not Equal feature, by using the Not Equal to operator which can be identified by: <>. We can also call the Not Equal function. In this guide we will cover these methods in detail including the variety of uses we can apply Not Equal to.

## Does Not Equal Symbol in Google Sheets <>

The Not Equal sign <> in Google Sheets is referred to as the Does Not Equal symbol, it can be applied by using it in a formula.

## Google Sheets Does Not Equal Formula

The Not Equal formula in Google Sheets is constructed as follows:

=Value1 <> Value2

Google Sheets utilizes this formula comparing Value1 and Value2 to see if they are not equal; the results are displayed as a TRUE value if they are NOT equal and a FALSE value if they ARE equal.

## Google Sheets Not Equal Operator Examples

### Example 1: Performing basic comparison on cells

In this example we will be comparing two cells in Google Sheets to check if they are not equal. A data set has been created displaying students and their scores in two subjects. We will compare the two scores using the Not Equal operator <>.

#### Step 2: Input the Not Equal formula

For this example the formula is:

=C3<>D3

Formula Breakdown:

C3 - This is the Value1 and the cell target

<> - The Not Equal operator

D3 - This is the Value2 and the second cell target, information contained in this cell will be compared to Value1 to check for non-equality

#### Step 3: Press enter to apply and see the result

Google Sheets will now compare the two values. C3 contains “7”, D3 also contains “7”. This means the cells are equal, FALSE is shown.

### Example 2: Check cells are not containing specific values

In this example a data set has been created in Google Sheets. This data displays five students and the subjects they have taken. We wish to see which students have NOT taken “Science”. We can use the Not Equal Operator to achieve this:

#### Step 2: Input the Not Equal Formula

In our example this is:  =C3<>"Science"

Breakdown:

C3 - This is the Value1 and is the first cell value

<> - The Not Equal operator

“Science” - This is the Value2 and is a specified value denoted by the quotation marks at either side, Google Sheets will check against Value1 and compare it to this specific value.

#### Step 3: Press enter to see the result

Google Sheets will now check Value1 (C3) which is Mathematics against our specified value (“Science''), as the two values are Not Equal it returns the value TRUE.

### Example 3: Apply the Not Equal formula for area comparison

For this example in Google sheets we will apply the Not Equal to operator in a comparison of multiple data amounts. Our data displays five students, a value representing their student loan and how much has been paid. We will compare the total sum of all student loans to the total sum of all amounts paid to see if the total values are not equal. We will use the Not Equal operator to achieve this.

#### Step 2: Enter the Not Equal formula in conjunction with SUM

In this example the formula will be:

=SUM(C3:C7)<>SUM(D3:D7)

Formula Breakdown:

=SUM - This will total the numeric values in a range

C3:C7 - Google Sheets will sum the total amount within this range.

<> - The Not Equal operator

D3:D7 - This is the second range, Google Sheets will total this.

#### Step 3: Press enter to see the results

As we can see, the student named “Matthew” does not have equal amounts and therefore the Google Sheets returned TRUE

## Not Equal Function (NE) in Google Sheets

The second method to check non-equality is to use the Not Equal function which is called by using the NE marker.

## Not Equal Function (NE) Syntax

The syntax for the Not Equal Function in Google Sheets is as follows:

=NE(Value1,Value2)

This function compares Value1 and Value2. If they are not equal the result is then displayed as a TRUE value. If they are equal - a FALSE value is displayed.

## Not Equal Function Examples

### Example 1 - Check cells for basic comparison

For this example we will use a demonstration data set, the data set shows five students with student loan arrears and how much has been paid. We want to perform a basic non-equality comparison to check if the loan amount and paid amount are not equal.

#### Step 2: Input the Not Equal function

When we apply this function to our use case we will use:

=NE(C3,D3)

Breakdown:

=NE - The Not Equal marker to call the Not Equal function

C3 - This is the Value1 and is the first target, Google Sheets will check any information in this cell

D3 - This is the Value2 and is the second target, any information in this cell will be compared to Value1 to see if it does not equal

#### Step 3: Press enter to display the results

As can be seen from the results, the results are FALSE. The C3 cell value was the same as the D3 value and therefore equal. If you have additional rows Google Sheets will present the option to autofill and give a preview in light green as to the results, select the tick to apply or the cross to dismiss.

### Example 2 - Check cells are not containing a specific value

In this example we are going to use a data set in Google Sheets containing five students and subjects they have taken. We wish to find the students who did NOT take English.

#### Step 2: Input the Not Equal function

In our example the function is:  =NE(C3,"English")

Function Breakdown:

=NE - The Not Equal marker to call the Not Equal function

C3 - This is the Value1 and is a cell target, Google Sheets will check against any information in the target cell

“English” - This is the Value2 and is a specified value denoted by the quotation marks at either side, Value1 is compared to this value.    