How to Combine Duplicates in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Combining duplicates in Excel can be a real headache, but it doesn’t have to be! With these simple steps, you’ll be able to merge duplicate rows with ease. Whether it’s consolidating data or cleaning up your spreadsheet, this task can be accomplished quickly and efficiently. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be on your way to a more organized Excel file.

Step by Step Tutorial to Combine Duplicates in Excel

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. Combining duplicates means finding rows with the same data in one or more columns and merging them into a single row. This is often necessary when you have a large dataset with repeated entries.

Step 1: Select the data range

Click and drag to highlight the cells where you want to find and combine duplicates.

Selecting the range is a crucial first step because it tells Excel where to look for duplicates. Make sure you include all the columns that need to be checked for repeated data.

Step 2: Go to the Data tab

Click on the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.

The Data tab contains all the tools you need to manage your data, including the “Remove Duplicates” feature, which is what we’ll be using to combine our duplicates.

Step 3: Click ‘Remove Duplicates’

Find and click the “Remove Duplicates” button in the ‘Data Tools’ group.

This will open a new window where you can select the specific columns you want Excel to use when identifying duplicates.

Step 4: Choose the columns

In the Remove Duplicates dialog box, select the columns you want to check for duplicate information.

If you don’t select any columns, Excel will check all the columns in your selected range. Be careful to choose only the columns that should be considered for merging duplicates.

Step 5: Press ‘OK’

After selecting your columns, click ‘OK’ to start the duplicate removal process.

Excel will then process your data and remove duplicate rows, leaving only unique entries behind.

After completing these steps, all the duplicate entries in your selected range will be merged. You will see a message box indicating how many duplicates were found and removed, and how many unique values remain. This process can significantly tidy up your spreadsheet and make your data easier to work with.

Tips to Combine Duplicates in Excel

  • Before you start, make sure to back up your data. Merging duplicates cannot be undone.

  • Use the “Undo” feature (Ctrl + Z) immediately if you accidentally remove the wrong duplicates.

  • Consider using a table format for your data range, as it can make managing and identifying duplicates easier.

  • You can use the “Advanced Filter” option for more control over which duplicates to remove.

  • If you need to combine data from duplicate rows rather than just removing them, consider using a formula or a Pivot Table.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to combine data in the duplicates, not just remove them?

If you need to combine or merge data from duplicate rows, such as summing numbers or concatenating text, you’ll need to use formulas or a Pivot Table instead of the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature.

Can I undo the removal of duplicates?

Yes, you can immediately undo the action by pressing Ctrl + Z. However, if you close the workbook or perform other actions after removing duplicates, you might not be able to undo it. Always back up your data first.

Will ‘Remove Duplicates’ delete my whole row?

Yes, the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature will delete the entire row where a duplicate is found. Make sure you’ve selected the correct columns to check for duplicates.

Can I remove duplicates from multiple sheets at once?

No, the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature only applies to one worksheet at a time. You’ll need to repeat the process on each sheet.

What happens if I don’t select any columns in the ‘Remove Duplicates’ dialog box?

If you don’t select specific columns, Excel will check for duplicates across all columns in your selected range. This might result in more rows being removed than you intended.


  1. Select the data range.
  2. Go to the Data tab.
  3. Click ‘Remove Duplicates’.
  4. Choose the columns.
  5. Press ‘OK’.


Excel is an incredibly powerful tool that can handle a vast amount of data with ease. However, with great power comes a great responsibility to keep that data organized and clean. Combining duplicates in Excel is just one of the many tasks that users often encounter, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting one. The step-by-step guide provided should help you make quick work of those pesky duplicates, and the additional tips ensure that you’re using Excel’s full potential to keep your data spick and span. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, managing duplicates is an essential skill that’ll save you time and help you make sense of your data. So, the next time you find yourself staring at a spreadsheet filled with repeats, just remember this guide and tackle it like a pro!

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