How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets

How to Use the ISURL Function in Google Sheets

The ISURL function in Google Sheets is used to determine if a value is a valid URL.

URL is short for “Uniform Resource Locator,” which is basically the address of a webpage on the internet.

This function is useful because it helps you see if a value in a certain cell contains a URL that can be visited online. Even if they do not take on the typical appearance of a link, i.e. underlined blue font, Google Sheets can still determine if they lead to a website or similar.

Let’s look at an example.

You have a spreadsheet that details the information on your B2B customers. You want to have a column that details their company website, but the information skips per line item and you want to have a surefire way to know if you have to update their website in your marketing list.

How should we go about this problem?

The ISURL function takes in the text input to determine if it contains a URL or not. Instead of scanning the entire document, using this function can be helpful.



The Anatomy of ISURL Function in Google Sheets

The syntax of the ISURL function is as follows:


Let’s have a look at each part of the function to understand what is going on here:

  • = is the equals sign that starts off any function in Google Sheets.
  • ISURL is the name of our function.
  • value is the value to be verified as a URL.

Note that Google Sheets automatically makes hyperlinks to valid URLs.

A fully-typed out URL is not required to count as a link. For example:


will all return TRUE if you use the ISURL function on these values.

Valid protocols include: ftp, http, gopher, mailto, news, tailnet, and aim.



A Real Example of Using ISURL Function

Let’s look at the example below to see how to use ISURL function in Google Sheets.

Determining URL Validity in Google Sheets

This is a simple problem. We want to know if a link is a valid URL or not.


How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets


The function takes just one argument. So in the equation, it will look like:


As a result, we get TRUE.

This simple problem can be practiced to perfection. Use the link below to get a copy of this problem set:



How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets

In this section, we will show you a step-by-step process on how to use the ISURL function in Google Sheets.

In this problem, we will look through the URLs in a spreadsheet column. To make the search easier, will use the function alongside Conditional Formatting.

Determining URL Validity in Google Sheets with Conditional Formatting

  1. To begin, prepare your spreadsheet with the websites you want to check. For this example, we removed the blue color text and underline to illustrate the function.

How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets


  1. Highlight the cells that you want to know are URLs or not.

How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets


  1. From the Menu Bar, choose Format. Scroll to the bottom of the list and choose “Conditional formatting.

How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets


  1. This will open in the Conditional Formatting menu.

How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets

  1. It’s time to create a Format rule. From the dropdown list under “Format cells if…” scroll all the way to the bottom and choose “Custom formula is

Conditional Formatting

  1. Next, we will use the ISURL function to highlight the correct cells. Insert =ISURL(C3), with Cell C3 being the first cell in the list.

How to Use ISURL Function in Google Sheets


  1. Click done, and you will see the new conditional format rule that you created.

Conditional Formatting Formula


  1. Now, you can see which items are Valid URLs. That’s it – you are now done!

Valid URLs


The ISURL function can help tidy up your spreadsheet and point out any missing information or mistakes. This should definitely help you avoid mistakes in your spreadsheets in the future, too.

And there you have it – you can now use the ISURL function in Google Sheets together with the other numerous Google Sheets formulas to create even more effective formulas.


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