How to Remove Duplicates Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing duplicates in Excel is an essential skill for anyone who works with data. It’s a simple process: you choose the data you want to clean up, click on a few options, and let Excel do the heavy lifting. Afterward, you’ll have a tidy spreadsheet with only unique entries, making it easier to analyze and use your data effectively.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Remove Duplicates Excel

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s establish what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently eliminate any duplicate data from your Excel spreadsheet, ensuring your data is accurate and reliable.

Step 1: Select your data

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to deduplicate.

Selecting your data is the first and most crucial step. You want to make sure you’re only selecting the cells that contain the data you want to clean up. If you accidentally include headers or other important information, you could lose it when you remove duplicates.

Step 2: Click on ‘Data’ tab

Navigate to the ‘Data’ tab on Excel’s ribbon.

Once you’ve selected your data, you’ll need to locate the ‘Data’ tab at the top of the Excel window. This tab contains all the tools you’ll need to manage your data, including the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature.

Step 3: Click on ‘Remove Duplicates’

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

The ‘Remove Duplicates’ button is what you’ll use to instruct Excel to eliminate any duplicate entries within your selected data. It’s a straightforward process, but you’ll want to ensure you’ve selected the right data before you click this button.

Step 4: Choose columns

Decide which columns you want Excel to check for duplicates.

A new window will pop up, allowing you to specify which columns Excel should look at when identifying duplicates. If you want to check the entire dataset, leave all columns checked. If you’re only concerned with certain columns, uncheck the ones you don’t want to include.

Step 5: Click ‘OK’

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

Once you click ‘OK,’ Excel will go through your selected data and remove any duplicate entries based on the columns you’ve chosen. It’s a quick process, and you’ll see the results immediately.

After you’ve completed the action, Excel will display a message telling you how many duplicates were found and removed and how many unique values remain. This confirmation helps ensure that the process went smoothly and that your data is now duplicate-free.

Tips: How to Remove Duplicates Excel

  • Always make sure to have a backup of your data before removing duplicates. This way, if something goes wrong, you won’t lose any important information.
  • If your dataset includes headers, make sure to check the ‘My data has headers’ option in the ‘Remove Duplicates’ window to prevent Excel from mistakenly removing them.
  • Use the ‘Undo’ feature (Ctrl + Z) if you accidentally remove data you didn’t intend to. It’s a quick fix that can save a lot of stress.
  • After removing duplicates, consider sorting your data to ensure it’s organized in a way that’s easy for you to work with.
  • If you’re working with a particularly large dataset, be patient. The deduplication process might take a bit longer, but Excel is designed to handle big amounts of data efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t select ‘My data has headers’?

If you don’t select this option, Excel will treat the first row of your data as regular data, which could result in your headers being identified as duplicates and removed.

Can I remove duplicates based on just one column?

Yes, you can. In the ‘Remove Duplicates’ window, uncheck all columns except the one you want to deduplicate. Excel will then only look at that specific column for duplicates.

What if I want to keep some duplicates?

If you need to keep certain duplicates, you’ll have to manually exclude them from your selection before performing the deduplication process.

Will removing duplicates reorganize my data?

No, removing duplicates will only delete the extra entries. It will not sort or reorganize your remaining data.

Can I remove duplicates across multiple sheets?

No, the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature only works within the single sheet you’re working on. To deduplicate data across multiple sheets, you’ll need to consolidate your data onto one sheet first.


  1. Select your data
  2. Click on the ‘Data’ tab
  3. Click on ‘Remove Duplicates’
  4. Choose columns
  5. Click ‘OK’


Mastering the art of removing duplicates in Excel is a game-changer. It simplifies your data, making it easier to navigate and analyze. The steps outlined above provide a clear path to achieving a clean spreadsheet devoid of any redundant information. By following these steps, you can confidently tackle any dataset, no matter how daunting it may seem at first glance.

Remember, the key to success is ensuring you’ve selected the correct data and columns before starting the deduplication process. Take advantage of Excel’s powerful features to streamline your workflow, but always keep a backup just in case. Practice makes perfect, so don’t shy away from using the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature whenever necessary.

Whether you’re a data analyst, a marketer, or just someone who loves to keep their finances in check, knowing how to remove duplicates Excel is an invaluable skill that will save you time and headaches. So go ahead, dive into your data, and make Excel work for you!

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