Cofactor Matrix Calculator

Calculate cofactor matrix step by step

The calculator will find the matrix of cofactors of the given square matrix, with steps shown.

If the calculator did not compute something or you have identified an error, or you have a suggestion/feedback, please write it in the comments below.

The Cofactor Matrix Calculator is an online tool that performs a specific task in the field of matrices. It effortlessly calculates the cofactor of a matrix, whether it is a simple 2x2 or a more complicated higher-order matrix. Providing comprehensive step-by-step solutions, it proves itself to be an invaluable tool.

How to Use the Cofactor Matrix Calculator?

  • Input

    Enter the elements of your matrix in the provided fields. The calculator supports different matrix dimensions.

  • Calculation

    Once you've entered the matrix, click the "Calculate" button. The calculator will instantly begin processing your input.

  • Result

    The calculator will quickly calculate the cofactor matrix. It will also present a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of the calculations involved, making it easier for you to understand the process.

Understanding the Concept of a Cofactor in Math

The cofactor in mathematics, particularly in linear algebra, is a crucial concept that paves the way for vital operations such as calculating the adjugate and the inverse of a matrix. The cofactor of a specific matrix element is fundamentally calculated by first determining the minor of that element (i.e., the determinant of the submatrix that remains when the row and column of that element are removed), and then adjusting the sign based on the element's position.

This can be expressed by the following formula:


For instance, if you have a 3x3 matrix, to calculate the cofactor of the element in the second row and third column, i.e., $$$C_{23}$$$, you would first calculate the determinant of the 2x2 matrix that remains after the second row and third column are removed. Then, you would multiply this by $$$(-1)^{2+3}$$$, giving us $$$-1\cdot M_{23}$$$.

To form the cofactor matrix, you repeat this process for each element in the original matrix, resulting in a new matrix where each element $$$A_{ij}$$$ in the original matrix is replaced by its cofactor.

Finding the Cofactor Matrix

Obtaining the cofactor matrix entails a series of steps that use determinants and minors. To better illustrate the process, here's a detailed walkthrough using a 2x2 matrix as an example:

  • Determining the Minors

    The initial step involves calculating the minor for each element of your matrix. A minor is determined by eliminating the row and column associated with a particular element and then calculating the determinant of the resulting submatrix.

    For instance, consider the matrix $$$A=\left[\begin{array}{ccc}a&b&c\\d&e&f\\g&h&k\end{array}\right]$$$. The minor of $$$a$$$, denoted as $$$M_{11}$$$ equals $$$ek-fh$$$, as it's the determinant of the 2x2 matrix $$$\left[\begin{array}{cc}e&f\\h&k\end{array}\right]$$$ that remains after removing the first row and first column. Similarly, the minor of $$$f$$$, i.e. $$$M_{23}$$$, is equal to $$$ah-bg$$$.

  • Using the Cofactor Formula

    With the minors at hand, we can now compute the cofactor for each element. The cofactor is calculated by multiplying the minor by $$$(-1)^{i+j}$$$, where $$$i$$$ and $$$j$$$ represent the row and column indices of the element.

    Using our previous matrix, the cofactor of $$$a$$$, denoted as $$$C_{11}$$$ is equal to $$$(-1)^{1+1}M_{11}=ek-fh$$$, and the cofactor of $$$f$$$, i.e., $$$C_{22}$$$, equals $$$(-1)^{2+3}M_{23}= bg-ah$$$.

  • Constructing the Cofactor Matrix

    The last step is to arrange all the computed cofactors in a matrix. This matrix, formed by replacing each element of the original matrix with its respective cofactor, is the cofactor matrix.

    In our case, the cofactor matrix would be $$$\left[\begin{array}{ccc}C_{11}&C_{12}&C_{13}\\C_{21}&C_{22}&C_{23}\\C_{31}&C_{32}&C_{33}\end{array}\right]$$$.

While these steps are fairly straightforward for 2x2 and 3x3 matrices, they can become quite complicated for larger matrices. This is where our cofactor matrix calculator proves invaluable, allowing for quick and accurate computation of the cofactor matrix for matrices of different sizes.

Why Choose Our Cofactor Matrix Calculator?

  • Ease of Use

    The design of our tool is intuitive, making it simple to use for both beginners and experienced users. All you need to do is input your matrix, and the calculator does the rest.

  • Time-Efficient

    Manually computing the cofactor matrix, especially for larger matrices, can be time-consuming. Our calculator delivers accurate results instantly, saving you valuable time.

  • Comprehensive Solutions

    Beyond merely providing the cofactor matrix, our calculator also provides step-by-step solutions. This feature makes it a perfect learning tool to understand the process involved in finding the cofactor of a matrix.

  • Reliability

    The calculator has been thoroughly tested and proven to deliver accurate and correct results, making it a trustworthy tool for your mathematical needs.


How do I find the inverse matrix using cofactors?

Finding the inverse of a matrix using its cofactors involves three main steps:

  1. Calculate the cofactor matrix of the given matrix.
  2. Transpose the cofactor matrix to obtain the adjugate (also known as adjoint) matrix.
  3. Divide each element of the adjugate matrix by the determinant of the original matrix.

This will yield the inverse of the original matrix, provided the determinant of the original matrix is not zero. If it's zero, the matrix does not have an inverse.

How do I use the Cofactor Matrix Calculator?

Simply input the elements of your matrix into the provided fields and click the "Calculate" button. The calculator will instantly process your input, generating the cofactor matrix along with a detailed breakdown of the computations involved.

Can the Cofactor Matrix Calculator handle larger matrices?

Absolutely! Our calculator can compute the cofactor matrix for different matrices, whether it's a simple 2x2 or a more complex, higher-order matrix.