# Force negative numbers to zero in Excel

This tutorial shows how to Force negative numbers to zero in Excel using the example below;

## Formula

=MAX(value,0)

## Explanation

To force negative numbers to zero without affecting positive numbers, you can use a formula based on the MAX function. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:

=MAX(C5-B5,0)

### How this formula works

This formula takes advantage of the fact that the MAX function works fine with small sets of data — even two values.

Inside MAX, the value in B5 is subtracted from the value in C5. If the result is positive, MAX will return the result as-is, since positive numbers are always greater than zero.

If the result if negative, MAX will return zero.

### Replacement for IF

This formula is a clever way to avoid a more complicated IF formula. You can use the MIN and MAX functions to replace IF when you want to return the smaller or greater of two values.