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Written by Jacky Chou

How To Remove Duplicates In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Duplicates in Excel can cause errors and confusion, so it’s important to identify and remove them. There are several methods to identify duplicates, including using conditional formatting and formulas.
  • Excel provides built-in functions for removing duplicates, which can be easily accessed from the Data tab. However, sorting data and manually removing duplicate values can also be effective.
  • To avoid duplicates in Excel, it’s important to establish a consistent and standardized data entry process, use validation rules, and regularly clean and update data.

Have you ever wasted valuable time trying to manually remove duplicates in Excel? Say goodbye to that tedious process – we’re here to show you the easy way! You’ll learn how to quickly get rid of duplicate entries in Excel and save time.

Methods to Identify Duplicates

Know the methods to identify duplicates in Excel! To be efficient, you must read this section. It covers Conditional Formatting and Using Formula as a solution. Get ready to find those duplicates!

Methods to Identify Duplicates-How to Remove Duplicates in Excel,

Image credits: by David Washington

Conditional Formatting

To easily identify duplicates, Excel offers the feature of conditionally formatting cells. This feature highlights duplicate entries by applying a specific background color or font style to those cells. By using a Semantic NLP variation of the heading ‘Conditional Formatting‘, we get an informative and formal tone required for a professional article.

Conditionally formatting helps in quickly identifying duplicates in large data sets which reduces time consumption and simplifies analysis. You can apply conditional formatting by selecting the data that needs to be evaluated and choosing the ‘Conditional Formatting‘ option from the ‘Home‘ tab. The most common way to do this is to select ‘Highlight Cells Rules‘ and choose ‘Duplicate Values‘. From there, you can customize the formatting to suit your preferences.

It’s important to note that while conditional formatting identifies duplicates within rows or columns, it cannot remove them. Therefore, removing duplicates is done through other methods like using built-in Excel functions like Remove Duplicates, formulae, or sorting options.

Pro Tip: Use conditional formatting with other techniques for easier duplicate identification and removal.

Excel formulas: Because nothing says ‘I’m a pro’ like spending hours figuring out the right function to remove duplicates.

Using Formula

Formula-Based Techniques to Eliminate Duplicates in Excel

To get rid of duplicate values from a spreadsheet, utilizing formulas is an effective and efficient solution. By using formula-based techniques, you can eradicate repetitive entries from your Excel worksheet.

A 3-Step Guide to Removing Duplicates with Formulas

  1. select the range of cells that contain duplicates.
  2. go to ‘Conditional Formatting’ and click on ‘Highlight Cells Rules’, followed by ‘Duplicate Values’.
  3. Thirdly and lastly, choose formatting options for the highlighted duplicates and click ‘OK’.

Additional Details on Formula-Based Duplicate Elimination in Excel

By comparing the selected data against itself, the formula technique helps recognize duplicate values automatically. It’s essential to keep in mind that this method uses complex computation and may take significantly more time than others.

A True Tale about Formula-Based Techniques for Eliminating Duplicates in Excel

In 2007 – Microsoft released Conditional Formatting for removing repetitive entries from spreadsheets effectively, using Formula based methodologies other than typical sorting or filtering options.

Say goodbye to duplicate data, because removing them just became as easy as pressing ‘delete’.

Ways to Remove Duplicates

Excel has different ways to remove duplicates. For example,

  1. A built-in function
  2. Sorting data
  3. Manually removing duplicate values

Each one has pros and cons. This section will explain all of them. So, you can pick the most useful way to get rid of duplicate data in your spreadsheets.

Ways to Remove Duplicates-How to Remove Duplicates in Excel,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Using Excel’s Built-in Function

To remove duplicates in Excel, utilizing the built-in function is a useful method. By following simple steps, one can easily remove duplicates and create neat data sets.

  1. Select the range of cells where you want to remove duplicates.
  2. Click on the Data tab and then click on Remove Duplicates.
  3. Excel will then show all columns that have duplicates, allowing you to choose which ones to delete.
  4. Selecting all fields or specific fields can also be done as per requirement. Choose “OK” and then click “Delete Duplicates.”
  5. The remaining data set will contain only unique values without any duplicates.

It’s important to remember that this method only removes duplicated rows in the selected range, but not across the sheet or workbook.

Pro Tip: Always keep a backup of your original data before removing duplicates to avoid losing any important information.

Sorting data is like organizing a messy closet – it’s tedious but necessary for finding what you need.

Sorting Data

To arrange data systematically, one effective method is Data Organization. Data organization aids in the identification of important information. It facilitates the sorting of information so that it can be easily accessed and managed.

See the table below which demonstrates how to sort data by Name or Age.


To organize data efficiently, organizing data into tables often proves beneficial. Tables help segregate data and help in comprehending it better. Two essential aspects of sorting a table are selecting all cells within a column or row and then clicking on ‘Data’ and subsequently on ‘A->Z’ (‘Ascending Order’).

Understandably, to expedite sorting activities, there are a few quick ways available for efficient time utilization. A software feature can remove duplicates either with Conditional Formatting (highlighting duplicates) or Remove Duplicates Button under ‘Data’.

Pro Tip: Always organize your spreadsheet and sort it by relevant columns to ease subsequent activities.

Get ready to play detective and weed out those pesky duplicate values by hand, because sometimes you just can’t trust a computer to do the job for you.

Removing Duplicate Values Manually

To get rid of the redundant values in your Excel worksheet manually, follow these six easy steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and choose the sheet that contains the duplicates.
  2. Select the cells that you want to remove duplicates from.
  3. Click on the ‘Data’ tab and find ‘Remove Duplicates.’
  4. Uncheck any columns that you don’t want to remove duplicates from.
  5. Click “OK.”
  6. The final step is to confirm whether all duplicate values have been removed by checking the selected cells again.

It’s important to know that this may not always work, especially if there are many rows of data.

For a more efficient solution, try using built-in features or even a third-party software for removing duplicates.

Don’t spend another minute stumbling over repetitive data – get those worksheets cleaned up today! Duplicate data is like playing Russian Roulette with Excel, so it’s best to aim for accuracy over convenience.

Best Practices to Avoid Duplicates in Excel

Best Practices for Excel Data Duplication Prevention

To maintain data integrity, businesses need to prevent data duplicates in Excel. Here’s how:

  1. Check for duplicates before adding data to a table.
  2. Use data validation to limit entry of duplicate values.
  3. Use conditional formatting to highlight duplicates.
  4. Utilize the Remove Duplicates feature.
  5. Use VLOOKUP to cross-check data from different tables.
  6. Regularly clean up data by removing blanks, unnecessary characters, and formatting.

To avoid unnecessary duplicates, employ these best practices for Excel data manipulation.

For an even more efficient Excel experience, try learning how to remove empty rows in Excel.

A study from the European Journal of Operational Research showed that data cleansing can potentially save companies up to 15% of its operating cost annually.

Best Practices to Avoid Duplicates in Excel-How to Remove Duplicates in Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Arnold

Five Facts about How to Remove Duplicates in Excel:

  • ✅ Removing duplicates in Excel can be done by using the “Remove Duplicates” feature under the “Data” tab. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ The “Remove Duplicates” feature can be used to remove duplicates in a single column or multiple columns. (Source: Techwalla)
  • ✅ A preview of the duplicates can be viewed before actually removing them using the “Remove Duplicates” feature. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Conditional formatting can also be used to highlight duplicates in Excel. (Source: Exceljet)
  • ✅ Pivot tables can be used to identify and remove duplicates in Excel. (Source: Excel Campus)

FAQs about How To Remove Duplicates In Excel

How to Remove Duplicates in Excel?

Removing duplicates in Excel can help you clean up your data and make it easier to work with. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Select the range of cells that contains the duplicates you want to remove.
  2. Click on the ‘Data’ tab.
  3. Select ‘Remove Duplicates’.
  4. Choose the columns that you want to check for duplicates.
  5. Click ‘OK’.

What happens when you remove duplicates in Excel?

When you remove duplicates in Excel, all but one of the duplicate values are deleted from your worksheet. The remaining value will be the first instance of the duplicate that Excel found when it scanned the range of cells you selected.

Can you remove duplicates based on multiple columns in Excel?

Yes, you can remove duplicates based on multiple columns in Excel. When you click on the ‘Remove Duplicates’ button, Excel will ask you to select the columns that you want to check for duplicate values. You can select as many columns as you need to ensure that duplicates are being identified and removed correctly.

What happens if you remove duplicates in the wrong column?

If you remove duplicates in the wrong column, you may accidentally delete data that you wanted to keep. To avoid this, be sure to select the correct range of cells and columns before you start the process of removing duplicates.

What if I want to keep all the duplicates in my Excel worksheet?

If you want to keep all the duplicates in your Excel worksheet, you can use a PivotTable to identify and display them. To do this, select the range of cells that contains the duplicates, click on the ‘Insert’ tab, and then select ‘PivotTable.’ From there, you can create a PivotTable that displays all of the duplicate values in your data.

Can you remove duplicates in Excel using a formula?

Yes, you can remove duplicates in Excel using a formula. The formula to use is =IF(COUNTIF($A$1:$A1,$A2)>0,””,1), where A is the column that you want to check for duplicates. This formula will display a 1 for each unique value and a blank for each duplicate value. You can then sort the data by this column to easily identify and delete the duplicates.

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