Skip to content

Removing Duplicate Rows In Excel

Key Takeaways:

  • Duplicate rows can be a major problem in Excel spreadsheets, causing confusion, errors, and wasted time. It is essential to identify and remove them to keep your data accurate and easy to understand.
  • Excel’s built-in Remove Duplicates tool provides a simple and effective method for eliminating duplicates. It is easy to use and highly customizable, allowing you to select specific columns or criteria for removal.
  • Conditional Formatting is another useful tool for identifying and removing duplicates in Excel. By highlighting cells containing duplicate data, you can quickly spot and eliminate them, saving time and improving accuracy.
  • Advanced techniques, such as VBA coding, Remove Duplicates with Criteria, and Power Query, offer even more powerful ways to remove duplicates in Excel. These methods are more complex but can be highly effective in dealing with large datasets or complex filtering needs.
  • By using these various tools and techniques, you can keep your Excel spreadsheets clean, efficient, and error-free, ensuring that your data is accurate and easy to work with.

Are you struggling with duplicates in your Excel worksheets? Don’t worry, this article will guide you through the process of removing duplicate rows quickly and easily so you can keep your data clean and organized.

Defining duplicate rows and why they are a problem

Duplicate rows in Excel are multiple cases of the same data that appear more than once on a spreadsheet. This can be because of human mistakes, wrong data entry, or duplication in source systems. Duplicates can be a problem for a few reasons:

  • It takes up space unnecessarily.
  • It skews results for analyses.
  • It lengthens processing and computation time.
  • It leads to errors when operations are done on the duplicate entries.
  • It makes it hard to track records, so constant cross-reference check is needed.
  • It causes confusion and inaccuracy when trying to interpret the results of calculations.

When managing lots of information, ignoring duplicates can be bad. It can increase processing time. Also, it can cause analysis to be wrong, causing incorrect decisions. It is important to remove duplicates before carrying out tasks.

If you’ve ever had problems with Excel showing inaccurate outputs due to duplicate cells, then make sure to learn how to identify and get rid of them here.

Easy ways to find duplicate rows in Excel:

Easy ways to identify duplicate rows in Excel

Open the Excel document that has data. Select any cell inside the range.

Go to Home tab, click on Conditional Formatting.

Choose Highlight Cells Rules from the dropdown list.

Select Duplicate Values.

Choose the rules you want to follow from either Format Cells That Have Duplicate Values Wizard or Simple Comparing Formula Options popup box.

To highlight the duplicates, click on “OK.” To eliminate them straight away, click on “Remove Duplicates” on Display Sheet.

Easy ways to identify duplicate rows in Excel: Pick a method that suits you best and use it regularly to keep your spreadsheet clean and accurate. If your spreadsheet has numerous columns with different designs, span out your search to target a single column. You can use formulae like =IF(A1=B1,”Duplicate”, “Not a Duplicate”) to expand across different columns. Microsoft created CopyQQA to remove duplications and point out potential irregularities in surveyed data before deletion.

Finally, remember to be careful when deleting same records as there is no undo button for real goofs!

The Basics of Removing Duplicate Rows in Excel

Struggling with large data sets in Excel? Dealing with duplicate rows can be a real drag. But don’t worry, there are tools and techniques to make it easier. This guide will show you how to remove duplicate rows in Excel. We’ll go through the Remove Duplicates tool, the Advanced Filter and Conditional Formatting. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to quickly clean up your Excel data!

The Basics of Removing Duplicate Rows in Excel-Removing Duplicate Rows in Excel,

Image credits: by James Arnold

Step-by-step instructions for using Excel’s built-in Remove Duplicates tool

Start by selecting the range of cells with duplicate records. Then, go to the “Data” tab on Excel’s Ribbon and click on the “Remove Duplicates” command. Select the columns or combination of columns that you want to compare for duplicates and click “OK”.

Excel will remove all rows with identical values in one or more columns. Be cautious when using this tool, as it does not verify how relevant the rows are.

This feature is very user-friendly and can be used to save time. For example, a friend was able to quickly eliminate duplicates from an extensive database of orders.

Another method for removing duplicate rows from spreadsheets is the Advanced Filter method. This requires more work, but can be useful when dealing with larger data sets that need more sophisticated filtering methods.

An alternative method using the Advanced Filter to eliminate duplicates


Select the range of cells that contain your data. Then go to the Data tab and click “Advanced” in the Sort & Filter group. In the Advanced Filter dialog box, pick “Copy to another location” and select a range of cells where you want to move your unique entries. Tick the “Unique records only” box and hit OK. The filtered data will be copied to your chosen range without any duplicates.

This method is great ’cause it lets you keep your initial data while still filtering out duplicate entries. It’s also fast and efficient with large amounts of data. Plus, once set up, you can easily reapply the filter in just a few clicks.

A friend of mine who runs a small business used this technique for her customers’ contact information which saved her hours of manual work. Now let’s look at how to use Conditional Formatting to quickly highlight and delete duplicates – another great tool in Excel’s toolbox to keep your data tidy and sorted.

How to use Conditional Formatting to quickly highlight and remove duplicates

Use Conditional Formatting to quickly spot duplicate values in your Excel spreadsheet. Select the column(s) you think have duplicates. Click ‘Conditional Formatting’ in the ‘Styles’ group of the ‘Home’ tab. Choose ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ and then ‘Duplicate Values’. Pick a formatting style, and bam! All duplicates are highlighted. Sort the table by this column to list together duplicates. Delete those rows.

Another tip: Record the process as a macro for complex spreadsheets with multiple columns. Ready for advanced techniques? Let’s take a step further to remove duplicates in Excel.

Advanced Techniques for Removing Duplicates in Excel

Text: Using Excel? Removing duplicate rows can be necessary – but tedious. Fortunately, there are techniques to make it faster and easier. In this section, learn the three methods. Automate with VBA coding, selectively remove duplicates with the Remove Duplicates with Criteria tool, and use Power Query to filter out duplicates. Each sub-section explores a different technique. A comprehensive guide to advanced duplicate-removal in Excel for beginners and pros. Streamline your workflow and save time!

Advanced Techniques for Removing Duplicates in Excel-Removing Duplicate Rows in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Jones

Automating the process with VBA coding

Press “ALT + F11” after opening the Excel file. This will open the Visual Basic Editor.

In the editor, select “Insert” and click on “Module”.

Type in the code for removing duplicates. E.g. Range(“A1:A500”).RemoveDuplicates Columns:=1, Header:=xlYes.

Highlight the cells containing data which you wish to remove duplicates from.

Run the code by pressing F5 or selecting “Run” from the menu bar.

Knowledge of programming concepts such as variables, loops, and conditional statements is important when automating the process with VBA coding.

It may take time to learn and become familiar with this method. However, it can be a powerful tool for data manipulation and speed up processing times.

It works best for datasets with large amounts of info and for repetitive tasks that need automation.

VBA was first released in 1993 and has been used extensively since.

Now, let’s move on to ‘Removing duplicates selectively with the Remove Duplicates with Criteria tool.’

Removing duplicates selectively with the Remove Duplicates with Criteria tool

If you want to remove duplicates from your data range, here are 3 simple steps to follow:

  1. Choose the range of data.
  2. Go to the ‘Data’ tab and click on ‘Remove Duplicates’.
  3. Select the columns you wish to have the criteria applied to and press ‘OK’.

This method allows you to pick and remove duplicate data based on some columns. For instance, if you have a spreadsheet with customer data and want to eliminate duplicate entries of customers living in the same area or sharing similar attributes, this approach can be used.

Remember one thing – this technique only erases entire rows that meet your criteria. Any values that don’t match within that row will also be removed. Thus, it is important to double-check which columns you need criteria for before continuing.

Pro Tip: It is always useful to make a backup copy of your original data before using any sophisticated techniques like selectively removing duplicates. That way, you have a safety net in case something goes wrong.

In our next segment, we’ll dive into yet another advanced technique – Power Query – which gives users more options for precisely filtering out duplicates.

A detailed guide to using Power Query to filter out duplicates

When it comes to deleting duplicates in Excel, Power Query can be a time and effort saver. Here’s a guide on how to use it in a few simple steps:

  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click Get Data and choose From File > From Workbook.
  4. Select the worksheet containing your data.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. In the Power Query Editor, go to Home > Remove Rows > Remove Duplicates.

Power Query not only simplifies removing duplicates. It also enables complex filtering like fuzzy matching or case sensitivity. Plus, you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting important data or formulas.

Note that not all versions of Excel come with Power Query installed by default. Make sure it’s installed before you start.

Ready to get rid of duplicates? Try Power Query today!

5 Facts About Removing Duplicate Rows in Excel:

  • ✅ Removing duplicate rows in Excel can be done through the “Remove Duplicates” function in the “Data” tab. (Source: Microsoft Excel Support)
  • ✅ This function only removes exact duplicates, so it’s important to review the data to ensure there are no partial duplicates. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ It’s possible to remove duplicates based on specific columns, rather than the entire row. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Using the “Conditional Formatting” feature can help identify and highlight duplicate data before removing it. (Source: Business News Daily)
  • ✅ Removing duplicates can help improve data accuracy, reduce file size, and make it easier to analyze and make decisions based on the data. (Source: Excel Easy)

FAQs about Removing Duplicate Rows In Excel

How do I remove duplicate rows in Excel?

To remove duplicate rows in Excel, go to the Data tab, select the range of cells that you want to de-duplicate, click on the Remove Duplicates button, select one or more columns to check for duplicates, and click OK.

What is the quickest way to remove duplicate rows in Excel?

The quickest way to remove duplicate rows in Excel is to use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + ↓” to select all the cells in a column, then go to the Home tab, click on the Conditional Formatting button, select Duplicate Values, and click OK. Then, go to the Data tab, click on the Filter button, and select the filter icon to uncheck all the checkboxes except for the one that represents the value that you want to keep. Finally, select the filtered rows and delete them.

What are the consequences of removing duplicate rows in Excel?

Removing duplicate rows in Excel can have two consequences: loss of data and possible errors in calculations. If you don’t keep the original data or keep a record of which values you removed, you may delete important information. If you have formulas that rely on the values that you removed, you may get incorrect results. Therefore, it’s important to be careful when de-duplicating data.

How do I find and highlight duplicate rows in Excel?

To find and highlight duplicate rows in Excel, first select the range of cells that you want to search for duplicates in. Then, go to the Home tab, click on the Conditional Formatting button, select Highlight Cell Rules, and choose Duplicate Values. Next, select the formatting style that you want to use to highlight the duplicates, and click OK.

Can I remove duplicate rows based on multiple columns in Excel?

Yes, you can remove duplicate rows based on multiple columns in Excel. When you click on the Remove Duplicates button, select the columns that you want to use to check for duplicates, and click OK. Excel will remove duplicate rows based on the combination of values in those columns.

What is the difference between removing duplicates and filtering unique values in Excel?

Removing duplicates in Excel deletes any duplicate values in the selected range of cells, leaving only unique values. Filtering unique values in Excel hides any duplicate rows in the selected range of cells, but doesn’t delete them. This means that you can still see the original data, but it won’t be counted in any calculations or summary functions. Additionally, you can filter by more than one column at a time, whereas removing duplicates only allows you to remove duplicates based on one or more columns.